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What is environment management?

In the IT world, an “environment” refers to a setup where specific applications, products, or services run. This setup can include various technology components serving a group of users or customers. While this could mean a network, our focus here is on the software environments that help a value stream deliver its work and changes to customers.

Apart from the development and live production environments, there might be several environments for testing and staging. These could be on physical or virtual machines, or even in containerized or serverless forms, possibly mixing these types.

Understanding Route-to-Live

In simpler terms, Route-to-Live is the journey that a piece of code takes from being created to being live in production, ready for customers. This journey includes stops at different environments like the developer’s machine, various testing servers, staging servers, and finally the live production environment. This path is crucial as it ensures that the code is ready and tested before it reaches the end users.

Demystifying Environment Management

Environment Management is all about applying good practices to ensure all environments, from pre-production stages like development and testing to the live production stage, are effectively managed. With numerous teams and environments in play, issues can arise such as booking conflicts or technical inconsistencies. Environment Management tackles these issues by:

  • Keeping a central list of all environments, including their current versions and connectivity details.

  • Allocating test environments to different teams as needed.

  • Creating new test environments when necessary.

  • Ensuring all environments are available and performing well.

  • Working with project teams to manage costs related to environments.

  • Removing or updating outdated environments and freeing up resources.

  • Automating as many activities as possible.

  • Conducting initial investigations of issues and coordinating resolution efforts.

  • Analyzing data to identify and proactively address environment-related issues.

Objectives and Benefits of Good Environment Management

The goal of Environment Management is to minimize risks associated with having multiple environments and teams. This involves preventing delays and issues caused by environment misconfigurations or sharing issues. The benefits include smoother work flow to customers, reduced frustration in tech teams, less failures during changes, time savings, and reduced infrastructure costs.

Minimize delays, cut costs, and boost your tech team’s morale.

A Quick Look at the History of Environment Management

The need for environments in IT isn’t new, but what has changed is the scale and complexity. With more products and interconnected systems, the need for robust Environment Management has grown. The shift towards cloud infrastructure, increased automation, and the adoption of agile and DevOps practices have brought Environment Management into the spotlight, highlighting the issues poor management can cause and the need for proactive coordination.

How Does Environment Management Work?

Environment Management improves the quality of software development and support throughout its lifecycle. It involves practices that ensure consistency across development, testing, and production environments. This includes using the same components, maintaining consistency, managing versions, conducting technical checks, centralizing storage of development packages, supporting multiple versions for parallel releases, automating deployment, documenting dependencies, and tracking changes. All of these practices contribute to a stable and efficient software development lifecycle.

Test environment - Route to live

Optimize operations, heighten transparency, speed up success.

Optimize operations, heighten transparency, speed up success.

Optimize operations, heighten transparency, speed up success.