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Next Step for Virtualization: Pre-production Testing
 

Next Step for Virtualization: Pre-production Testing

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IT organizations struggle to perform efficient change and release management. ITIL best practice guidelines clearly identify pre-production testing as a very important step to improve change and ...

IT organizations struggle to perform efficient change and release management. ITIL best practice guidelines clearly identify pre-production testing as a very important step to improve change and release management efficiency. Effective pre-production testing includes building realistic staging environments for IT testing, testing all changes that are targeted for production, and testing the impact of a change across the entire software infrastructure stack from end-to-end. This is sound advice in theory, but IT professionals face a ‘Perfect Storm’ of challenges:
• Production system availability expectations are extremely high
• IT supports very complex production environments with multiple inter-dependencies
• the volume, diversity, and acceleration of changes requested of production systems is overwhelming
IT organizations that adopt a structured change and release management approach also enjoy a smoother, more mature, change process. ‘Second generation’ virtualization serves as an enabling technology upon which to create a structured approach to improve change and release management maturity. It introduces both benefits and challenges of its own. While virtualization is not a complete answer for change and release management, it offers promise that IT organizations should consider.
Takeaways:
• IT Operations faces a 'perfect storm' of extreme availability demands, highly interdependent systems, voluminous and accelerated change, and confusing system complexity
• Structured change management processes according to ITIL best practices includes setting up a staging environment for IT testing, testing all changes, and testing changes from end-to-end across the infrastructure.
• For companies that have adopted structured Change Management processes, Change drives 25-30% of incidents in production. For companies with less structured processes, Change drives 75-80% of incidents in production
• Virtualization can improve efficiency of pre-production preparation and the adequacy of the testing of changes, but it comes with its own costs and challenges.

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  • Good afternoon everyone, welcome to session 309 My name is dennis powell, sr pm with stacksafe My presentation is entitled “Next Step for Virtualization – Pre Production Testing”

Next Step for Virtualization: Pre-production Testing Next Step for Virtualization: Pre-production Testing Presentation Transcript

  • Next Step for Virtualization – Pre Production Testing Dennis Powell StackSafe, Inc.
  • Agenda
    • Virtualization, The Second Generation
    • Pre-production testing and virtualization
      • The impact of downtime
      • Calming the Perfect Storm
      • Challenges
    • Summary
  • Virtualization The Second Generation
  • Virtualization Red Hot Technology
    • Traditional drivers:
      • Consolidation cost savings
      • Simplified QA testing
    • Innovation drives the second generation
      • Green computing
      • Business continuity
      • Service-oriented virtualization
      • Data center automation
      • Pre-production infrastructure testing
  • Virtualized Pre-production Testing and Service Transition
    • Change Management
    • Validation Management
    • Release Management
    • Deployment Management
    • Evaluation Management
    Cope with higher volumes of change without impacting service quality Service Transition
  • Pre-Production Testing The Impact of Downtime
  • IT Operations and Service Transition: The Perfect Storm
    • Extreme availability demands
    • Highly complex environments
    • Inter-dependencies
    • High volume of changes
  • Downtime A Leading Critical Concern
    • The highest concern by all sized companies in managing multi-tier applications
    Statistical source: “IT operations Buyer Behavior Study”, June 2007. Research Edge Security (32%) Troubleshooting (32%) Insuring High Performance (34%) Speedy Deployment of Changes (38%) Minimizing Downtime (38%) Medium Enterprise (5000-9999) employees) Complexity (36%) Security (36%) Troubleshooting (38%) Insuring High Performance (48%) Minimizing Downtime (51%) Large Enterprise (10,000 + employees) Small Enterprise (750-4999 employees) Insuring High Performance (35%) 5 Complexity (37%) 4 Security (39%) 3 Troubleshooting (45%) 2 Minimizing Downtime (48%) 1 Concern Rank
  • Inadequate Testing A Leading Cause of Downtime
    • Companies consider insufficient pre-production testing a key reason for downstream production problems
    • Particularly considered a problem for companies:
      • with high change volumes
      • that consider e-commerce a top priority application (32%)
      • that operate in the financial services sector (25%)
  • Software Changes, IT Resources, and Downtime
    • 65% of companies see patches, software changes, or OS updates as the most significant cause of downtime*
    • Impact on resources
      • Average business loses more than 2,000 IT staff hours annually due to downtime*
    * “IT operations Buyer Behavior Study”, June 2007. Research Edge IT HOURS REQUIRED DUE TO UNPLANNED DOWNTIME BY COMPANY SIZE 2,115 hrs = Average # of IT Staff Hours Due to Downtime  All Firms
  • Pre-Production Testing and Virtualization Calming the Perfect Storm
  • Improving Testing Maturity During Service Transition
    • Adopt best practices for smoother process
    • Set customer expectations
      • Regularly schedule changes
    • Establish a consistent evaluation framework
      • Maintain a staging environment for IT operation testing
    • Reduce predicted vs. actual performance variation
      • Invest in automated change management
    • Thoroughly test to reduce known errors and risk
      • Test changes across the stack before deploying to production
  • Benefits of Improved Testing Maturity
    • 30% less downtime incidents on an annual basis
    • Reduction of change impacts to production
      • 22% lower problem rate
      • 33% lower rollback rate
      • 21% lower delay rate
    • 17% reduction in IT hours spent per test
    • Smoother change/release management process
    Statistical source: “IT operations Buyer Behavior Study”, June 2007. Research Edge
  • Virtualization Helps IT Maintain Consistent Change Schedules
    • Rapid test platform build/update reduces change schedule dependency on the ‘right’ test platform
    • Regularly scheduled changes generate business benefits across all change management maturity factor categories:
    • 6% fewer production problems caused by changes
    • 5% reduction in IT staff devoted to change management
    • 7% reduction in emergency changes
    • 4% have greater confidence that changes will work properly
    • 33% describe smoother change management process
    • Eliminates ad-hoc reactivity, sets customer expectations
  • Virtualization Facilitates Automated Change Management Process
    • Automated provisioning (test images, DR…) quickly delivers representative systems for change management
    • Automated change management improves business benefits in four of five categories:
    • 7% fewer production problems caused by changes
    • 4% reduction in IT staff devoted to change management
    • 6% greater confidence that changes will work properly
    • 33% described smoother change management process
    • Reduces variance between predicted and actual performance
  • Virtualized Environments are Easily Maintained for Change Testing
    • Less time and effort needed to build, copy, replace, and delete staged images
    • Companies that manage a testing environment gain business benefits in three of five categories:
    • 9% reduction in emergency changes
    • 12% have greater confidence that changes will work properly
    • 12% describe smoother change management process
    • Establishes consistent framework from which to evaluate change
  • Virtualized Environments Support Completeness of Change Testing
    • End-to-end testing across multi-tiered infrastructure stacks, hybrid imports, virtual and physical networks
    • Companies that test changes on the entire infrastructure stack gain greater business benefits in two categories:
    • 4% fewer production problems caused by changes
    • 40% describe smoother change management process
    • Reduce known errors and risk in the reality of today’s Data Center
  • Virtualization Supports Process Adoption of Choice
    • Customers deploying virtualization can select change and release guidelines of choice without limitation
    • Companies that adopt ITIL or another process gain business benefits in two categories:
    • 4% have greater confidence that changes will work properly
    • 30% describe smoother change/release management process
    • Smoother processing increases confidence and buy-in
  • Business Benefits of Virtualized Pre-production Testing Less Mature More Mature
    • Fewer Production Problems
    • Lower Percent of IT Staff Devoted to Change
    • Fewer Emergency Changes
    • Greater Confidence in Changes
    • Smooth Change Management Process
    Change Management Maturity Factors Business Benefits Change Testing Environment None Staging Platform Process Adoption None ITIL or Other Change Scheduling Ad Hoc Regular Intervals Change Management Process Manual Automated Completeness of Change Testing No test or partial test Test Against Entire Stack
  • Pre-Production Testing and Virtualization Challenges and Summary
  • Virtual Testing Limitations
    • The virtual environment
      • Avoid mixed hypervisor environments
      • x86 OS support
      • Verify physical license restrictions
      • Lack of fine-grained security control
  • Virtual Testing Limitations
    • The virtual environment
      • Network devices don’t import
      • Each virtual processor “believes” that it has 100% of its physical processor resources
        • Don’t oversubscribe physical processors
      • ISO isn’t for shops with high disk utilization
        • Verify free space before copying files
  • Virtual Testing Limitations
    • Testing the enterprise
      • Network administration needed to connect to non-virtualized components
      • Imported test tools take up disk space
      • Virtual production increases testing complexity
  • Summary
    • IT operations’ perfect storm impacts change testing, leads to downtime
    • Change maturity within Service Transition limits impacts/downtime
    • Virtualization builds change maturity for IT operation pre-production testing
      • Establishes formal staging and testing platform
      • Quickly builds, updates staging and testing platform
      • Minimizes dependency on ‘right’ test platform availability
      • Helps test changes across E2E infrastructure stack
      • Helps IT operations test much higher percentage of changes
      • Nurtures the adoption of best practice guidelines
  • Follow up
    • Questions: Dennis Powell, Sr. Product Manager, StackSafe, Inc.
      • [email_address]
      • 301-992-2989
      • Thank you!