Focus on These 3 Layers to Successfully Manage Test Environments

Last updated:

Many companies require multiple Environments for their applications. For instance, when testing new features, it’s common practice to run the test on an isolated Environment, known as a Test Environment. 

The number of Environments grow as the company grows and managing Test Environments effectively can become your competitive edge.

Applications Manage Our Environment. 
How Do We Manage Application Environments?

Applications are a way of life. Want to meet a friend at a coffee shop? Uber a lift. Looking for the perfect late Valentine’s day gift? Shop online through Amazon. Lost in a new city? Google maps your way home. It’s simple, applications have taken over our lives, and they have a huge role to play in business.

The challenge is that applications don’t live in isolation. They oftentimes require several resources to run properly. They may require a webserver, an iOS device, memory, a web browser and internet access to run effectively. The total set of resources to run an application is called an Environment. 

We have dedicated an entire blog post to effective Test Environment Management (TEM) because applications are a way of life.

In order to effectively manage a Test Environment, you need to cover 3 key aspects:

  • KNOW your Environments
  • SCHEDULE demands and changes 
  • ORCHESTRATE changes and operations

Mismanaging your Environments can cost you a lot of money. In this blog post we are going to unpack each in more detail. It’s time to take your Test Environment to new heights.

Know
Know Environments with Jira Environment Management

Know your Test Environments

The business world is constantly adapting and evolving, which means your Environments will need to do the same. Every new application might need its own test and production Environment. Companies get stuck because they can’t see the forest for the trees. They obsess over the detail instead of understanding the entire environment and how the various cogs work together.

The first step to solving an issue is knowing where the issue resides. That’s why you have to KNOW all of your Environments and how they work together. 

A good way to search, sort and group Environments is by using customizable dashboards. Seeing all the relevant information in one snapshot will give you confidence in making the right decision at the right time. It will help you to keep control of your complex Environments.

Best practice tip: have quick and easy access to all relevant information regarding your Environment. The relevant information you must know is:

  • Environment Configuration: which version has been deployed, the infrastructure, URL and all information related to the configuration of your Environment.
  • Environment Status: the Environment up, down, slow, in deployment, decommissioned… there are many statuses’ you can apply to your Environment to quickly and effectively tell where the issues are and the severity of those issues.

Schedule
Schedule Environments Demands and Changes

Schedule your Test Environments

We work in a very dynamic cosmopolitan-type business world, where multiple people have to co-exist and work together. If you want to avoid utilization conflicts and productivity loss, you need a good scheduling structure. 

Scheduling is the process of arranging, controlling and optimizing workloads in a production process. Through effective scheduling you can allocate the right resources, for the right amount of time, in the right context to produce incredible results.

Best practice tip: We recommend that you schedule one of two key activities to keep your Environment manageable:

  • Schedule a required configuration: this is when you need an Environment with a certain configuration. For instance, I need to test version 3.2a on the staging Environment. This allows your scheduler to plan the time and required configuration beforehand. Time saving and well-structured. That’s high performance.
  • Schedule a configuration update: this is when you intend on changing the Environment. For instance, you might want to deploy version 3.2a to the staging Environment to further the project progress.

Orchestrate
Orchestrate Environment Changes using a Self-service

Orchestrate your Test Environments

In this complex business world, what is simple is orchestrated. The required operations on your Environments must be smooth and ideally available in a "self-service" mode. A successful Environment requires extensive usage of automation and the DevOps philosophy.

Read more: The 5 best practices for Test Management in Jira

Best practice tip: There are operations that should be easily, safely and rapidly performed on your Environments, such as:

  • version deployment
  • system or Environment reboot
  • new Environment creation
  • data refresh

Give your users the possibility to trigger these operations directly from Jira: build an Environment self-service.

Conclusion

Having the right Test Environment Management solution can be your competitive edge. 

We understand the frustration of a poor Environment management process and the need for an effective one, that’s why we have built a tool to make TEM simple!

Apwide Golive is a Jira app that gives you visibility and control over your development Environments. The key benefits include:

  • save time when looking for Environment information: no need to login to several tools
  • avoid Environment booking conflicts: no more config issue in the middle of a demo
  • stop being spammed: each user decides what notification he wants to receive and can unsubscribe in a click
  • plan Environments and release activities faster: use drag-and-drop on a timeline
Southwest Airlines Company
Mercedes-Benz Company
Nestlé Company
Sky Television Company
Barclays Bank

Our solution covers all 3 areas to successful Test Environment Management. All our customers are now able to KNOW their Environments and have already saved millions of dollars. Most of them have already seen the benefits of SCHEDULING their Environments and some of them are already ORCHESTRATING their Environments centrally from Jira.

TEM is a journey, do not wait and get started now!

100%
Know
65%
Schedule
25%
Orchestrate

Check our free evaluation version or our Demo Playground!