Environment Management is crucial in handling various time-consuming and costly issues that arise due to mismanagement. Here’s a detailed breakdown:
Discrepancies between test and production environments:
Issue: Differences in operating systems, configurations, software versions, and patches can lead to a high probability of bugs and defects in the delivered product, resulting in poor code quality and potential product failures in live environments.
Solution: Ensuring alignment between test and production environments to maintain code quality and prevent product failures.
Mismanaged infrastructure assets:
Issue: This can cause budget overruns and delays in the testing process.
Solution: Proper management and administration of infrastructure assets to prevent budget spikes and testing delays.
Poorly administered environments:
Issue: This can lead to unintended consequences, poor configuration, and lack of change control, making root cause analysis of incidents and defects challenging.
Solution: Ensuring proper administration and control of environments to facilitate root cause analysis and reduce Mean Time to Repair (MTTR) and incident costs.
Lack of accountability in software development:
Issue: Developers or testers may end up testing directly in production due to time or budget constraints, resulting in a lack of accountability and increased risks.
Solution: Ensuring proper controls and accountability in software development processes to mitigate risks.
Use of production data for testing:
Issue: Cloning or extracting production data for testing is time-consuming, error-prone, and may violate data protection policies.
Solution: Implementing controlled and auditable processes for using production data in testing to ensure data protection and efficiency.
Issue: Poor communication can lead to misunderstandings of testing/business requirements and failure to identify critical defects.
Solution: Enhancing communication throughout the software development lifecycle to prevent misunderstandings and ensure defect identification.
Defect tracking challenges:
Issue: Without proper configuration and lifecycle management of defect tracking tools, defects might be assigned to the wrong teams, resulting in wasted resources and potential introduction of new defects.
Solution: Implementing robust processes for managing defect tracking tools to ensure accuracy and efficiency.
Using an environment management platform like Plutora helps in addressing these challenges, ensuring smooth workflows, and supporting necessary processes and visibility.
Environment management, DevOps, and Agile
Environment Management plays a vital role in supporting the principles of DevOps, which are:
Continuous experimentation and learning
How environment management supports DevOps:
Automated configuration and provisioning: Reducing delays due to unplanned work and coordination issues.
Ensuring environment consistency: Making stages, gates, and status visible to shorten feedback loops and allow immediate action when problems arise.
Releasing time for innovation: Providing teams with the capacity to trial new features and improvements.
Environment management and ITSM
Environment Management is integral to ITSM implementations, connecting with various processes like change management, IT asset management, and deployment management. It ensures quality and speed in releases, maintaining consistency across environments, documenting variations, and automating deployment activities to reduce errors.
Enterprise environment management
In enterprise settings, environment managers play a crucial role in managing dependencies, technical debt, and ensuring efficient use of environments. They facilitate risk reduction and manage the lifecycle of environments, even taking part in Change Advisory Boards to raise concerns. However, it’s important to note that heavier change processes do not necessarily correlate with higher performance, and a shift towards lightweight, peer-reviewed, and automated processes is recommended.
Cloud and environment management
The cloud has introduced new possibilities and challenges, allowing for quick replication and provisioning of environments but also leading to potential exponential spending and technical challenges. Proper monitoring and management are essential to prevent these issues and ensure that all critical systems are transitioned to the cloud effectively.
Environment management, CICD, and the DevOps toolchain
In DevOps practices with a Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery pipeline, teams need tools to quickly assess build status, accelerate handoffs, and maintain visibility throughout the process. A tool like Plutora provides this visibility, ensuring efficient build and deployment processes, identifying bottlenecks, and tracking code changes.
Case studies in environment management
Environment management may not be new, but progressive ways of working demand a new approach, powered by tools like Plutora See what Plutora’s customers have to about how they have benefited from the platform:
“Plutora has helped us address our complex IT environment through a common process, language, and implementation. We achieved a number of measurable benefits.”
Vice President of Electronic Health Record System from a Leading Healthcare Provider
“We knew our delivery requirements and productivity needed to ramp up very quickly. That’s why we ended up choosing Plutora.”
Service NSW | read more
“One of the main problems was that we just didn’t have visibility of all of our test environments and that frequently resulted in double bookings and uncontrolled changes because there wasn’t sufficient management in place to be effective.”
Mark Lewis, UAT Test Environment Manager read more
“It was a bit of a nightmare because we were using spreadsheets to manage the booking, locations, and scheduling of all these assets.”
Environments Delivery Assurance Manager at a multi-national utility company read more
“We used a basic SharePoint form to capture data. We couldn’t view environment conflicts, or see how releases impacted on systems. It was almost chaos.”
Amit Bali, Lead Release Manager, eBay read more
“We can now better predict and remediate environment contentions,” says Tobias. “Plutora has improved our ability to meet project environment timelines and quality goals.”
Danny Tobias, Project and Portfolio Environment Manager, United Energy and Multinet Gas read more
“The complexity of the independent systems, poor planning, and test environments caused significant, unexpected downtime and costly delays. With so many moving parts, we looked for a tool that provided greater transparency and control of releases and test environments.”
Marc Dovico, Senior Project Manager at BT Financial Group read more