Microsoft has formally activated the multimachine deployment capability in its Visual Studio Team Foundation Server (TFS) application life cycle management server. It is also offered in Visual Studio Team Services, the cloud-based companion to TFS.
The release-management feature is called Deployment Groups, and it lets software deployments be orchestrated across multiple servers. Rolling updates can be performed as well, while high availability is maintained. Deployments can be done to on-premise servers or to virtual machines on the Azure cloud or other clouds. End-to-end traceability is offered for deployed artifacts.
Features in Shared Deployments include:
- Sharing of deployment targets across team projects using deployment pools. This works if users are using the same server to host multiple applications managed by different teams.
- Release definition templates for deploying to multiple targets. Templates are provided for an online SQL database deployments. There also are templates for the Internet Information Service (IIS) web server.
- For provisioning virtual machines, an enhanced Azure Resource Group task can dynamically bootstrap agents on newly provisioned or existing VMs on Azure.
- The user experience has been enhanced to more closely match the rest of Team Services.