As the now-famous Harvard Business Review article said it first, all organizations are in fact becoming a software business, collecting and analyzing data with the vision to build better products faster. As time-to-market has such a profound impact on organizational performance (revenue, market share), most organizations are striving to streamline and accelerate application release cycles.
What is the key problem?
Testers need high fidelity copies of production databases so they can catch defects very early in order to release software on-time with high quality. However, creating high fidelity copies of production data takes an average of 1-2 weeks, thus delaying test cycles. It also costs $10,000 per copy including storage & infrastructure costs. This is a problem of mammoth proportions with no easy answer!
There are 4 problems:
- Speed – How fast can you clone the data? On average it takes 1-2 weeks to clone a database right from the initial request to the final provisioning.
- Costs – Who is going to pay for the 5 to 10 physical copies? Storage, infrastructure, power, and cooling costs all add up.
- Quality – Most often, testers end up provisioning a subset of data. As a result, you cannot do regression testing, performance, and scalability testing early on. Bugs are found very late in the test cycle at which point you have to go back to the drawing board or release buggy software.
- Security & governance – With so many physical copies floating around, it’s a nightmare scenario from a security and privacy perspective.
Agile DevOps Best Practices Around Copy Data Management
With new DevOps processes driving agile development, Copy Data Management (CDM) capabilities enable enterprises to provision data across the enterprise, anytime anywhere for test and dev purposes. Now the vision of accelerated time-to-market can be realized. These agile CDM best practices offer the following capabilities:
- Self-service – On-demand, automated provisioning time of multi-TB datasets in just minutes vs waiting for 1 to 2 weeks. This helps accelerate testing and release cycles.
- Costs – 90% reduction in storage costs due to space-efficient virtual data provisioning.
- Quality – Ability to do performance and scalability testing upfront and in parallel with functional testing; thereby releasing software on time and on budget.
- Security – Role-based access with data masking, auditing, and automated sensitive data masking.
These systems and processes can also be fully integrated into the DevOps tools like Jenkins and Ansible, enabling a seamless experience with zero learning curve for the DevOps teams.
The Results Speak For Themselves
Customers who have deployed these best practices have seen a dramatic reduction in provisioning times, from an average of 11 days to about 18 minutes, significantly improving the productivity of their DevOps teams.
These customers have reduced time to market by as much as 25% resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars of business impact.
Actifio is an industry-leading solution provider of Copy Data Management solutions and has helped 1000s of customers across the globe reduce time to market by 25% and increase top-line growth.