It’s common that multiple environments share resources, including physical or virtual servers, application servers, and database servers. Shared resources can affect the functionality of the environments, as changes to the external interfaces and networks affect the behavior and testing capabilities of the multiple environments. Information pertaining to changes needs to be actively discussed. This information includes the current environments being used, the users of the environment, the date of release, the applications configured, and the hardware and network changes introduced. Environment communication could be a medium for informing teams about infrastructure changes that could affect the environments used by teams. For example, there could be two project teams (Project A and Project B) working on application servers hosted from one physical server. However, due to the requirements of Project A, the server may need to restart, which could lead to downtime with its associated risks for Project B. Hence, it is important that a release manager communicates information to various stakeholders of the environments. The prime stakeholder for the environments' communication may include the QA team, project team, release team, operational support team, architects, and other business stakeholders.
Release managers also need to introduce a communication medium where all the stakeholders of environments have information pertaining to resources used within the environments. Some common mediums through which information on environments is provided include: environments dashboard, environments usage Wiki, environments catalogue, and Excel spread sheets.
Environment issues in non-production environments can cause lost time on IT projects. Organizations should look at efficiently implementing an environments management process in order to counter this issue. Effective environment management improves the quality, availability, and efficiency of the environments in order to meet milestones, as well as ultimately reducing both the time to market and costs.
About the Author
Subhendu Mohapatra is a senior consultant with Bearing Point, Ireland. Subhendu has been working with BearingPoint providing consultancy and helping a wide variety of clients efficiently plan release and environments management activities critical to sustaining and delivering IT services. BearingPoint is one of the leading IT consulting organization specializing in providing IT management consultancy.