CICD Test Environment Management

Top 20 Continuous Integration Tools in 2017

A key consideration when building Test Environment Management solutions is to both understand and promote the DevOps philosophy of Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CICD).

A philosophy or practice that promotes the rapid merging of developer artifacts (which could cross Application Software, the Data and the Infrastructure) and ensuring continual and automated build, testing, packaging and deployment).

Key Benefits include:

+ Early identification of defects.
+ Developer/Engineering Change is managed continually (opposed to a high risk big bang approach)
+ A constantly available development & test environment with the current build
+ Promotion of automated testing i.e. Unit & Shakedown (reducing manual intervention)
+ Immediate feedback on issues that have been introduced
+ Promotion of consistent & simplified packaging
+ Promotion of promotional (stateless) deployment methods
+ Accelerated Time to Market:

In today’s vast software market there is a plethora of CICD & TEM tools to consider and choose from. Some of which do one specific task (e.g. system deployment e.g. Atlassian Bamboo) and others which help govern the complete IT life-cycle across the enterprise (promoting SAFe or “Agile at Scale” objectives, for example enov8 Environment Manager).

Looking for some ideas on the best tools to help you in the complex world of CICD (Continuous Integration and Contininuous Delivery) then visit Guru99’s latest Top 20 list for CICD.
CICD Test Environment Management

The 3 Ms of Test Environment Management

Why do we need Test Environment Management Solutions?

Test environment management can be defined as Managing, Monitoring and Maneuvering the test environments of an organization as per their fast-changing IT requirements. 
And these 3 M’s become the pillars of any successful test environment management solution.  

In today's fast moving digital world we require vibrant test environment management practices that will help organizations increase their performance, improve analytics &  better control through a combination of automation and real-time decision making. 

The 3 Ms of Test Environment Management

History of TEM solutions

Before Test Environment Solutions came into market, Test environment were being managed by Test Environment teams using manual ways predominantly by using excel sheets. When somebody would need an environment or information related to it, they would just either refer to excel spreadsheets or set of applications to calculate their answers to their problems. This always ended up as a time-consuming exercise.
These were the most common challenges which came due to all manual process for test environment management:

  • Time Consuming – It took a lot of manual effort to maintain & collate the information as per requirements from stake holder or end users.
  • People Dependent – Most of the information was maintained by group of people or teams. To get information always had a person dependency.
  • Lack of Visibility – Teams working across locations or on various projects didn’t have much insight on the changes or development happening in applications within the same organization. This sometimes resulted in production failures.
  • Multiple Tool Set – Most of the organizations have different tools to manage different set of information and activities like SharePoint for document management, CMDB tools etc. So, everybody would need access or knowledge of these tools to get the right information.

So, what should a good test environment solutions look like?

Here are some of the key features which should be available in any solution to be successful:

  • Environment Modelling  – The solution should provide capability to manage information or refer to different sources of information so that it can be used as one stop shop for all knowledge needs and be the source of truth for the organization.
  • Planning & Scheduling – The solution should provide the required information and visibility for better planning & Co-ordination with ease. They should provide key information on contentions and risks that can impact the software release or project at a click of a button.
  • Project Demand Awareness – These solutions should provide organization in understanding the demand for test environment thus allowing them to take pro-active approach in planning delivery of IT.
  • Service Management – These solutions should have in built workflows which can be used for stream lining their operations and services.
  • Release Operations – These solutions should help in standardizing build, Deploy and Test activities while promoting existing application automation toolsets through seamless integration.
  • Centralized Status Accounting & Reporting - By moving away from your manual spreadsheets, emails and other makeshift methods, these solutions should help organisation with effectively reporting and dashboards on various aspects of environment management including activity, performance, usage & availability. 

In summary, the solution should act as an umbrella on all your IT framework and tools which will allow the organisation to leverage the best outcome from the existing capabilities and promote transparency, control and productivity

Hong Kong’s MTR faces $3.5m fine for System Breakdown

Hundreds of thousands of commuters left stranded by system breakdown

HONG KONG • Rail service provider Mass Transit Railway (MTR) faces a fine of over HK$20 million (S$3.5 million) after a service disruption of over 10 hours, reportedly due to a computer glitch, left hundreds of thousands of commuters stranded... More

 

System glitch affects Woolworth

Angry Woolworths customers say they have had money withdrawn from their accounts because of a computer system glitch that has re-processed six-month-old transactions.

Key points

  • Woolworths says payment service provider Cuscal are to blame for error
  • Number of affected customers is unknown
  • Customers concerned about security of their bank details

"We have received confirmation from Cuscal, one of our payment processors that service credit unions and other financial institutions, that due to an error in their IT Environment, a limited number of Woolworths customers may have received incorrect transactions," the company said in a statement. ... more

Badly cooked Environments

The DevOps Chef

A  good article / insight from Enov8 on a recent customer meeting.

Badly cooked Environments

Badly cooked Test Environments

No you cant automate your End to End Test Environment Creation if you:

  1. Don’t know what your Systems look like &
  2. Don’t know the Operational Steps

 

Tip! Learn to walk before you run. Get the basics right first.

 

 

 

IT News Africa

Key Factors for TEM

Interesting article on IT News Africa this week.

IT News Africa

Testing teams today are challenged with unstable, fragmented environments due to fast changing business needs, and the majority of testers’ time is wasted on fixing environmental issues.

In order to provide the necessary glitch-free, standardised test environments organisations must invest in dedicated Test Environment Management (TEM). This will result in test environments up and running 24×7 and also ensure the testing team only does testing….. [More]

CIO Magazine TEM

Enov8 add Test Lab Manager

CIO Magazine – Enov8 have announced that their current solution, for Test Environment Management, EcoSystem EM has now had a Lab Manager added. This will be a great addition to the tools already vast set of functions.
Ref: CIO Article.

CIO Magazine TEM

Our Site Release

Test Environment Management (dot) com is pleased to announce the release of its new website. Our website will be used to collate key Test Environment Management & TestOps information and News.

NEW TEM WEBSITE