Apr 18, 2017

Don’t Gamble With Your Test/Dev Environments [Video Demo]

Don't Gamble with DevOps

Use Data-as-a-Service To Simplify Your DevOps:

IT managers and engineers alike know all too well the expense, complexity and time-consuming nature of building and maintaining suitable Test/Dev environments. Even simple, virtualized environments can be costly to maintain. We accept this as a necessary reality in order to provide the stable, accurate, and efficient infrastructure our user communities require. We know that we must invest the significant resources of both hardware and personnel to accomplish this inescapable operation.

Most IT operations have been moving inexorably toward virtualized environments for some time now. They provide for easier and faster administration, consolidation of services on less hardware and much greater flexibility. Even in virtualized environments, standing up and maintaining a Test/Dev environment can be challenging when we consider that all servers in an application stack must be built from scratch and must have the same operating systems and software version and patch levels as the production environment. It can take days or even weeks to prepare a Test/Development environments, for use by development and testing teams in such a way that application changes can move through the life cycle without team members stepping on one another’s feet. 

The Big Easy

An even bigger challenge is the presentation the production of data sets for these activities.

But, it doesn’t have to be this way…

Actifio has a simple answer to these challenges. By placing either physical or virtual production servers under Actifio protection, exact clones can be created with a few clicks of a button. This takes minutes instead of hours or days. By harnessing the power of vCenter or Hyper-V, multiple isolated copies can be created for use by development and various testing teams, Cloned servers can themselves be placed under protection so that as changes are made by the developers and configuration teams. This allow them to move through the life cycle to user acceptance, quality assurance, and system testing teams with speed and ease.

Clones Give You a Full House

Providing copies of the back-end databases needed by applications can be especially challenging. Actifio allows Oracle and SQL Server databases to be ingested and mounted to servers in the Test/Dev environment in minutes. They can be mounted as static copies of the production data with a simple Application Aware Mount or, if near real-time data sets are required, as a Live Clone that can be periodically updated from production. One of the greatest advantages of presenting production data in this manner is that it is not necessary to provision storage in the Test/Dev environment. Instead, Actifio relies on third party storage and presents volumes to the target servers as iSCSI disks upon which it will build native file systems or block devices.

Watch as we clone an Oracle database in less than 3 minutes!

Actifio also has a workflow engine that allows for automation of such preparatory steps as re-IPing servers and applying site- or environment-specific configuration changes. Data maskers can be incorporated into the workflow so that sensitive data is obfuscated. Need to provide clones to a remote site? No problem. Actifio CDS (hardware) and Sky (virtualized) appliances can be paired with appliances at remote sites and be brought up there. Actifio can be deployed in both the AWS and Oracle cloud environments.

In Conclusion

Actifio can substantially lowers your costs, complexity and SDLC time by replacing manual Test/Dev environment build outs to a few clicks of a button. Actifio employs both an intuitive GUI that allows for self-service operations by development and testing teams. More complicated operations can be automated via a powerful CLI. It can be leveraged to provide isolated on-site or remote Test/Dev environments in minutes instead of days or weeks and leverage near real-time production datasets in the AWS, Oracle, and Azure cloud.

Are you considering or already have adopted a DevOps environment? Headwaters Group and Actifio can help simplify your initiative. Learn More

Filed Under: actifio, application development, copy data virtualization, database, Educational, oracle, Tech Talk, test / dev

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