Friday, May 9, 2008

Agile Infrastructure (Testing) Part II: Go Virtual?

No matter how small, the moment you start testing, you need an Infrastructure to faciliate this. In the early days of testing, these Test Infrastructures were built using the left-overs from production often without proper system management In the recent years this has improved to D(evelopment)T(est)A(cceptance)P(roduction) environments.

Together with the improvement to DTAP came also a more professional management of these environment. Using ITIL, processes such as Change- & Release- and Server Level Management were introduced. This meant more control, but also less flexibility. Projects quickly needing a new server or a configuration change .... The need for an Agile Infrastructure was born

An Agile Infrastructure combines the best of both worlds; a Centrally Managed environment with Delegated Administration. Changes can be done quickly without a impact. Allthough there are restrictions Virtualisation of the Test Environment looks like the way to go.

The current market leader in virtualisation; VMware, has two products that might be a good start for an Agile Infrastructure

VMware Lab Manager
VMware Stage Manager (release date 2008)

Virtualisation has it's advantages, but also it's drawbacks. In a future post I will look at the downside of virtualisation. In the meantime a last word of advice: think twice before your virtualize.

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