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Category: Test Environment Management

Customer Spotlight: Amit Bali at eBay

Amit Bali, Release and Configuration Management Lead at eBay, discusses the challenges that drew his team to Plutora, the implementation process, and the advantages of making the change. Amit Bali is a Release and Configuration Management Lead at eBay. He is responsible for coordinating application releases, their schedules, and the test environments utilized in the […]

November 21st, 2017  |  Published in Deployment Management, Release Management, Test Environment Management

DevOps is cool, but get involved in OpsDev for Test Environment Management too!

The DevOps mindset can be flipped around and applied to Test Environment Management The hyped mnemonic “DevOps” is equally true the other way around: OpsDev – that is, more and more work in the operations and infrastructure departments happens as development activities with scripts, code repositories and build managers. OpsDev is as tool-heavy as DevOps, […]

October 24th, 2017  |  Published in DevOps, Test Environment Management

Customer Spotlight: Melissa Landrum at Dell

Melissa Landrum, Senior IT Manager at Dell, talks about the challenges her release management team was facing at Dell and how Plutora has helped solve them. Melissa Landrum is a senior IT manager at Dell. She is responsible for fiscal year strategy planning, enforcing organizational standards to ensure quality, communicating issues and their recommended solutions […]

August 23rd, 2017  |  Published in Deployment Management, Release Management, Test Environment Management

Control Costs: Use Cloud Test Environments

There is no way that’s more effective at reducing your overall test environment spend than migrating to cloud test environments and embracing testing and infrastructure automation. The nature of test environments is inherently temporary—you set up an environment, run through an automated test suite, and then tear down the environment. If you can reduce the cycle […]

February 28th, 2017  |  Published in Test Environment Management

Metrics and KPIs for Test Environment Stability

If your testing environments are constantly unavailable and affected by outages, your release timelines will be affected. You can use Plutora to measure stability events for specific environments, so you can pinpoint and plan around events that will affect your critical path to release. How often is an environment unavailable due to factors within your project’s […]

February 26th, 2017  |  Published in Test Environment Management

Control Costs: Measure Test Environment Effort

How many people does it take to set up and tear down a test environment? If you ask this question and measure the effort required you might be surprised by the result. While organizations often focus on the hardware budget for test environments, the largest cost associated with test environment management is almost always the […]

February 19th, 2017  |  Published in Test Environment Management

Control Costs: Scale Down Test Environments

You’d be surprised how often organizations insist on running a carbon-copy of a production network for a rarely-used staging environment; this is unnecessary. You don’t need a million-dollar staging environment sitting next to your production environment. You should control your test environment costs. If you are searching for strategies to reduce the cost of your […]

February 14th, 2017  |  Published in Test Environment Management

Control Costs: Keep Track of Test Environments

Test environments cost money; this is the inescapable fact of test environment management. It can be difficult to justify the expense in your conversations with finance and management, especially if they lack a software development background. Businesses are often fine with dropping millions on production infrastructure because there’s a direct line between keeping production running and revenue. […]

February 5th, 2017  |  Published in Test Environment Management

How Much should a Cloud-based Test Environment Cost?

How much should you be spending on your test environments? How much is too much? How much should test environment cost? In this post, we outline a simplified model of a generic application running in the cloud. Using Amazon Web Services (AWS) on-demand prices we calculate some price points and explore the cost of QA […]

December 14th, 2016  |  Published in Test Environment Management

Why do you need all these environments?

If a project has regular releases there’s a good chance that when a development team is finished with a feature, a QA team takes over to validate that feature. During that QA process, development teams often want to move on to the next feature. In these scenarios having two QA environments make sense as features can be delayed and releases will have to be serialized if a QA environment is “tied up.”

December 7th, 2016  |  Published in Test Environment Management

How much do the environments cost?

When I talk to people about environment management I’m surprised by the number of people who don’t understand how much they cost.  In a large organization it isn’t immediately obvious just how much a particular environment costs.  It isn’t like people announce how much a VM costs every time someone spins one up to support […]

October 31st, 2016  |  Published in Test Environment Management

Reclaiming Underutilized Environments

What is an Environment? When we discuss Environment Management, we’re not thinking about simple systems.  An environment isn’t just a web server and a database.  Instead, we’re thinking about complex systems with a lot of moving parts.  For example, a large e-commerce website that generates billions in revenue may have several different environments: one for […]

October 26th, 2016  |  Published in Test Case Management, Test Environment Management

Jenkins and Plutora integrate

Plutora is pleased to announce our new Jenkins self-service adaptor. Jenkins has become the default enterprise standard for continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD). With the release of our new Plutora Jenkins adaptor, we bridge the gap between best-of-breed release and environment management capabilities and release automation.     Our Jenkins plugin supports enterprise teams across the […]

October 20th, 2016  |  Published in Test Environment Management

An Environment for Every Developer?

This trend is showing up in the enterprise and it’s starting to cause friction for TEM managers who might not yet appreciate what’s driving this transition. If you’ve run a report on environments and noticed that one or two teams has hundreds of QA environments this is a signal that you have a team that is trying to transition to cloud-based development.

July 15th, 2016  |  Published in Test Environment Management

How to Clean Up Polluted Test Environments in 9 Steps

Take thousands of developers, distribute them over several departments, and split them up into small teams of 10-20. Now take these 20-50 development groups and ask them to create a distributed, service-oriented architecture. Without a solid approach to test environment management your organization will end up with a real “mess” of testing environments. Test environments […]

June 3rd, 2016  |  Published in Test Environment Management

What is Test Environment Conflict?

In an environment where infrastructure is shared across several development teams test environment conflict happens when more than one project needs to use test environment resources at the same time. It can also occur when competing release trains of the same project have overlapping test environment requirements. Test environment conflict is a common cause of […]

May 16th, 2016  |  Published in Test Environment Management

How to Prepare for Test Environment Emergencies

Environment “shortages” always start with a test environment emergency – some unforeseen need for a new environment. Maybe a high-profile project has both an urgent production bug to fix and an unrealistic deadline to meet at the same time. This project’s QA and staging environments can’t be disturbed to fix production without ruining a schedule […]

May 10th, 2016  |  Published in Test Environment Management

frequent software releases

Enabling Frequent Software Releases, Greater Independence

As release managers and executives, we address release complexity and complex dependencies between releases by combining software releases...

April 27th, 2016  |  Published in Deployment Management, IT Governance, Release Management, Test Case Management, Test Environment Management

Testing Against Production? Blame Your Data

Managing databases and newer, more exotic NoSQL stores is an emerging challenge in an industry under constant pressure to move faster. While the industry has perfected the art of cloud-based provisioning and configuration of application servers, databases continue to be a pain point for environment managers. There are a few factors at play. Most large […]

April 22nd, 2016  |  Published in Test Environment Management

What is Test Environment Pollution?

Test environment pollution and test environment churn are two of the biggest factors contributing to delay and inefficiency in test environment management. Test environment churn is a measure of how quickly test environments are changing and the stability of your test environments. Test environment pollution is a measure of how active, up-to-date, and relevant your […]

April 22nd, 2016  |  Published in Test Environment Management

Transparency and Communication: The Keys to More Agile Software Releases

Two decades makes a huge difference for software developers. We’ve gone from months-long development cycles to lifecycles measured in weeks or days, with some on the “bleeding edge” executing highly agile software releases even more frequently than that. At Plutora, our management team has been at the forefront of this transformation for decades. We’ve moved the […]

March 28th, 2016  |  Published in Release Management, Test Environment Management

How to Reduce Test Environment Conflict

Test environment conflict is when two projects or two releases require access to the same testing resources at the same time. For a Test Environment Manager this might mean that two projects need to test against the same database or deploy to the same environment at the same time, and for a release manager this […]

March 22nd, 2016  |  Published in Release Management, Test Environment Management

The Definitive Hiring Guide for Enterprise Release Managers

This is the third installment in a series on hiring considerations within a modern enterprise software environment. For the second installment, click here. An Enterprise Release Manager (ERM) is a new role in the enterprise and it is a by-product of several factors. First, enterprises continue to report larger portfolios with an increased number of smaller, more independent projects. At the […]

March 19th, 2016  |  Published in Release Management, Test Environment Management

The Definitive Hiring Guide for Test Environment Managers

This is the second installment in a series on hiring considerations within a modern enterprise software environment. For the first installment, click here. Decades ago, when software projects were larger and more monolithic projects moved very slowly. Developers didn’t build micro-service architectures in weeks using modern software tools and processes such as Agile. They worked on projects with timelines measured in […]

March 15th, 2016  |  Published in Test Environment Management

I Thought DevOps Integration was Supposed to be Easy?

We’ve said it on this blog before, and we’ll repeat the same message: Solving a software engineering problem is simple physics. It takes a set amount of energy to move a project from point A to point B, and changing the process or path doesn’t change the unavoidable fact that difficult software problems are difficult […]

February 16th, 2016  |  Published in IT Governance, Release Management, Test Environment Management

5 Reasons Modern Software is Never “Done”

The software industry is constantly changing. Whether we’re developing for new mobile platforms, adopting the latest languages, or upgrading our methodology there are few constants when it comes to modern software. As timelines for software delivery projects tend to be shorter, more continuous approaches, we’ve compiled a list of the five reasons that software projects […]

January 16th, 2016  |  Published in Release Management, Test Environment Management

The Gold Master: Why Modern Software is Never Finished

Gone are the days of the “Golden Master”. In fact, programmers new to the industry may not even recognize the term. Let’s travel back in time, before cable modems and fast internet connections to when software was distributed on floppy disks or CD-ROMs. There was little or no opportunity to “update” software once you shipped it, and add-ons […]

January 10th, 2016  |  Published in Release Management, Test Environment Management

Testing Environment Management Resolutions for 2016

To follow up our previous post on environment management resolutions for 2016, here is a post focused on specific resolutions for Test Environment Management (TEM). Most of the challenge for TEM relates to unknowns surrounding the testing process: How long is a testing process going to take? What are the shifting data requirements for test […]

January 7th, 2016  |  Published in Test Environment Management

Enterprise Release Management Resolutions for 2016

Happy 2016. To help you think about the Environment Management year ahead, we’ve assembled a collection of resolutions for you to try out. Resolution #1 – I will plan ahead for environment requirements. Many environment managers operate in a reactive mode. They make some wildly inaccurate forecasts about future demand and they sit on excess […]

January 4th, 2016  |  Published in Deployment Management, Release Management, Test Environment Management

What is Test Environment Churn?

Test Environment Churn and Test Environment Pollution are two things that happen when you have environment managers creating hundreds of environments to support hundreds of projects across several departments. In this post I’m going to focus on Test Environment Churn: what is it? And, what does it represent in the context of Test Environment Management. […]

January 4th, 2016  |  Published in Test Environment Management

Connecting DevOps to the Business at DevOps Summit New York

This week we’re attending the Sys-con DevOps Summit in New York City.  It’s a great conference and energy behind DevOps is enormous. Thousands of attendees from every company you can imagine are focused on automation, the challenges of DevOps, and how to bring greater agility to software delivery.  But, even with the energy behind DevOps […]

June 12th, 2015  |  Published in Release Management, Test Environment Management

Can we get another QA Environment… Tomorrow?

“Hey, can we get another QA environment?” That question can ruin an environment manager’s day. A large organization plans for capacity, purchases enough infrastructure to support as many environments as the organization needs at once, and even “on the cloud” resources have a price. Several teams asking for new environments “out-of-band” force environment managers to […]

June 5th, 2015  |  Published in Test Environment Management

Avoid the Test Environment Management Penalty Box

We’ve compared release managers to air traffic controllers in previous blog posts. For test environment managers we use a different analogy, instead of air traffic controllers a test environment manager job’s is more akin to assigning and preparing gates for flights arriving to and taking off from a busy airport. An environment manager’s job is […]

June 1st, 2015  |  Published in Test Environment Management

Reduce CAPEX for Testing Environments with Plutora

Almost every large enterprise faces a similar challenge: you’ve moved to cloud-based environments, now how do you achieve some level of elasticity? How do you squeeze more results out of the hardware resources you have? How do you reduce CAPEX for testing environments? Whether you are using a public cloud or a private cloud the ability to […]

April 25th, 2015  |  Published in Test Environment Management

enterprise release risk

Most Common Enterprise Release Risk: Last Minute QA Testing

It’s a “given” in software development – release schedules always slip. Requirements shift, developers underestimate timelines, and quality assurance (QA) finds unexpected defects. Another law of software development is that final release dates are often inflexible. If a market or a holiday shopping season defines your release date you understand how important it is to […]

April 21st, 2015  |  Published in Release Management, Test Case Management, Test Environment Management

Adapt Environment Management to Cloud Deployments with Plutora

Despite the prevalence of public and private clouds in the enterprise, most IT departments still adhere to operational models designed for physical infrastructure and servers that involve complex environment setup processes.  As a result, organizations miss opportunities to take advantage of dynamic cloud-based deployments for non-production environments. There are a number of reasons why it […]

March 8th, 2015  |  Published in Test Environment Management

Assessing Your Maturity: Plutora’s CMM for Release Management

The Capability Maturity Model (CMM) has become an essential tool for assessing IT initiatives.  Originally developed to assess the capabilities of government subcontractors in the 1990s, the CMM is now used by IT management to define best practices in a particular practice area.  From Application Development to Database Management every practice in the IT department […]

March 1st, 2015  |  Published in Release Management, Test Environment Management

DevOps Infographic – Enterprise vs Unicorns

DevOps Infographic – Enterprise Reality vs Unicorns

February 4th, 2015  |  Published in Deployment Management, Release Management, Test Environment Management

3 DevOps Considerations for the Enterprise

3 Things DevOps can Learn from the Enterprise Many of the well-known examples of DevOps success we read in blogs on the Internet paint an idyllic picture of DevOps productivity. A team was facing a stodgy, slow-moving operations department, teams weren’t delivering software on time. Those teams moved to DevOps, became proactive about infrastructure and […]

January 26th, 2015  |  Published in Release Management, Test Environment Management

5 Surefire Ways to Make Your Enterprise DevOps Initiative Fail Miserably

5 Surefire Ways to Make Your Enterprise DevOps Initiative Fail Miserably 2014 was the year that DevOps arrived in large enterprises, and we’re seeing several large corporations moving to more agile software delivery and more frequent releases. We’ve helped many companies move toward DevOps practices using Plutora to provide necessary transparency to manage risk and […]

January 19th, 2015  |  Published in Release Management, Test Environment Management

3 New Year Resolutions for Release Management

Happy New Year from Plutora! We’re looking forward to the new year as we continue to develop products aimed at taking the effort out of environment, release, and deployment management. To help you organize your approach to the New Year we wanted to take some time to propose a few New Year resolutions for Release […]

January 5th, 2015  |  Published in IT Governance, Release Management, Test Environment Management

Test Environment Management – January Challenges

If you’ve ever watched a submarine movie like The Hunt for Red October, Crimson Tide, or U-571 you’ll notice that these scripts always include running a surprise drill soon after getting underway from port. When a submarine submerges after a long port call one of the first things a captain will do is run an […]

January 1st, 2015  |  Published in Test Environment Management

How to Support Agility through Enterprise Release Management

How to Support Agility through Enterprise Release The challenge facing today’s project management professionals is supporting a more agile approach to software releases while managing orderly governance and production controls that are necessary.  Project managers have become air traffic controllers landing more projects more frequently on more runways, and as the skies become more crowded […]

December 10th, 2014  |  Published in Release Management, Test Environment Management

How Release Complexity Develops Over Time

Your organization starts with a simple mode – a single project will have two week “sprints”.  Every two weeks you are going to aim for a release to production. This model works well up to a certain scale.  Teams of 4-5 developers working alongside a 1-2 QA testers on a small project are able to […]

October 21st, 2014  |  Published in Release Management, Test Environment Management

Drivers for DevOps for Enterprise Customers

Download the PDF version here

October 14th, 2014  |  Published in IT Governance, Release Management, Test Environment Management

What is Enterprise DevOps?

DevOps was created to reduce many of these same conflicts and while DevOps has had several high-profile successes it still presents a challenge for larger organizations. Large enterprises managing mission critical systems still have separate silos for development and operations. In this post I discuss how DevOps fits into the enterprise and what release managers […]

September 10th, 2014  |  Published in Deployment Management, Release Management, Test Environment Management

Test Environment Management Metrics

Test Environment Management Metrics When it comes to testing and quality assurance, providing the right incentives and metrics is critical. Your release plan shouldn’t reward quality assurance and quality engineering teams for rushing systems through the QA process, and you shouldn’t create systems that penalize anyone for identifying bugs or other issues that will affect […]

August 27th, 2014  |  Published in Release Management, Test Environment Management

Release Managers at a DevOps Divide

Release Managers at a DevOps Divide If you’ve been a release manager you’ll understand that you sit between two groups: An operations group tasked with accepting and supporting a software release. This group wants a predictable process, they view releases as incidents to be managed, and they answer to a business that wants predictability and […]

August 25th, 2014  |  Published in Release Management, Test Environment Management

Our New Global Headquarters in Mountain View, California

Our New Global Headquarters in Mountain View, California Over at Plutora things are moving fast. We have experienced phenomenal growth and as such we’ve moved into larger office space. Our Global HQ’s is now based out of Mountain View, CA, a few minutes walk from the world renowned GooglePlex. Our laser focus on building the best Enterprise […]

July 20th, 2014  |  Published in Release Management, Test Environment Management

Release Coordinator: A Day In The Life

A Release Coordinator typically is responsible for owning the planning and coordination of all phases and activities involved in the release of a system or system update into the production environment. Their role facilitates release meetings and develops the release recommendation and release deployment plan based on input from multiple stakeholders within various portfolio teams. They normally would […]

July 13th, 2014  |  Published in Release Management, Test Environment Management

Plutora Aviods 4 Common Erorrs

Who’s on first, what’s on second? 4 comedy of error routines Plutora avoids

Abbott and Costello’s classic baseball routine celebrates 75 years this year. It’s simply timeless comedy that is still just as funny today. When talking with clients about their processes and pain points, referencing “who’s on first, what’s on second?” all too often gets a knowing smile from Release Managers and Test Environment Managers alike. So […]

December 9th, 2013  |  Published in Release Management, Test Environment Management

Driving Culture Change in Release Management

Driving Culture Change in Release Management

The goal of any organization should be to have clearly defined release phases, where all parties are aware of the phase activities and key gates/milestones. The absence of purpose built collaboration tools has caused barriers in communication, information sharing and tracking of these activities across teams involved in the many moving parts of an enterprise […]

November 21st, 2013  |  Published in Release Management, Test Environment Management

Launching our Test Environment Manager Solution

When we founded Plutora, we sought to provide a simple and transparent way for organizations to manage their releases and reduce delay. Our customers have told us that delays in the environment management process are costly and time consuming, ultimately delaying time-to-market for their software releases. That’s why today, we’re excited to announce the release […]

October 17th, 2013  |  Published in Test Environment Management

Configuration Management

Configuration Management: Deploying “Gold” Configuration Settings to Production Across a number of pre-production environments, it’s likely the configuration settings of your systems/applications will be different versions at any given time (especially evident in larger companies). Different teams will most likely maintain the configuration settings across production, staging and a number of test environments. Furthermore some […]

October 1st, 2013  |  Published in Deployment Management, Test Environment Management

Managing Test Environments

Test Environments (also called QA or Pre-Production Environments) are a vital cog in delivering fully tested code and instilling confidence there will be a successful project or release. Any weakness with the robustness of the test phase will likely have cost implications for the business further down the track so it is important your test […]

September 12th, 2013  |  Published in Deployment Management, Test Case Management, Test Environment Management

Why Enterprise Release Management is important to concurrent project delivery

Enterprise Release Management (ERM) is a structured process methodology for managing enterprise change and project driven transformation prior to implementation into a live environment. ERM’s importance to having problem free concurrent projects implemented cannot be underestimated. Management of Non-Production Environments, Management of Application/System Dependencies, Prioritization of Stakeholders Tasks, Understanding and Prioritizing Milestones, Controlling Release Gates […]

September 1st, 2013  |  Published in Release Management, Test Environment Management

Common Problems of Test Environment Management

Test Environment Management, Common Problems

Sean Hamawi, co-founder of Plutora recently collaborated with Test Magazine (UK) and wrote a piece on Test Environment Management. Here is the Test Environment Management article in PDF.

July 1st, 2013  |  Published in Test Environment Management

Plutora Test Environment Management Update June 2013

It is an exciting time at Plutora! As environment issues in non-production environments can cause up to 40% of lost time on IT projects, our focus over the last month has continued to be on linking Test Environment Management Capability with Release Management Capability. Here’s what’s new with Plutora this month: •    Release Manager […]

June 5th, 2013  |  Published in Release Management, Test Environment Management

Incremental Test Environment Management Process Improvements

This post highlights the importance of an efficient and reliable Test Environment Management process in supporting application releases/project delivery. We begin with the introduction of test environments and the problems that companies are facing due to poorly implemented and executed test environment management practices. Finally, we suggest itSMF ITIL V3 compliant best practices for improving […]

May 22nd, 2013  |  Published in Release Management, Test Environment Management

Release Management and Outsourced Services

It is clear that the IT landscape within large enterprise is becoming increasingly complex resulting in more complex releases. I define complex releases as having a lot of moving parts, which are typically a large number of dependencies on the system where the changes is being applied, or a bundle of dependent changes on a […]

March 11th, 2013  |  Published in Release Management, Test Environment Management

Test Environment Management

Test Environment Management can mean many things to different people who are involved in either software delivery or IT Operations. In this post I wanted to touch on what it means in the context of “planning releases”. It’s probably good for me to point out as well that if you’re a small internet company or […]

February 10th, 2013  |  Published in Test Environment Management

Plutora selects Zendesk as Support Service Software Provider

After a comprehensive review and trials of leading support service software providers we have selected Zendesk as our support software provider. Zendesk will be used to power Knowledge Base and Community Forums as well as our Help Desk ticketing. Put simply Zendesk is a brilliant product, fits our needs very well and will support us […]

October 12th, 2012  |  Published in Deployment Management, Release Management, Test Case Management, Test Environment Management

Plutora breaks down the Wall of Confusion

In most organizations a wall of confusion exists between business stakeholders and IT teams as well as between different IT teams and IT vendors. The wall of confusion arises from the multiple fragmented processes and tools that exist between various teams within organizations. These fragmented processes and tools, often in the form of proprietary spreadsheets, […]

September 8th, 2012  |  Published in Release Management, Test Environment Management

Release Management Pain Points and Essential Capabilities

Release Management Pain Points and Essential Capabilities Release and Deployment Management aims to plan, schedule and control the movement of releases to test and live environments. The primary goal of Release Management and Deployment Management is to ensure that the integrity of the live environment is protected and that the correct components are released. We […]

July 20th, 2012  |  Published in Release Management, Test Environment Management