The speed and effectiveness of development and test processes are most often limited by the time it takes to provision IT infrastructure. Typical organizations take weeks to deploy infrastructure; even the most efficient can take several days. With Catalogic ECX, Dev-Test infrastructure can be spun-up in minutes, either on an automated, scheduled basis, or with push-button ease on demand. ECX users have reduced Dev-Test infrastructure management time by as much as 99%.
Development and test teams place a heavy reliance on infrastructure. They need systems to do their work, and ideally these systems will have access to relevant production data. Experience shows that Dev-Test projects are more successful when they use actual production data (properly masked for security) which is current. Older, stale data or fake irrelevant data both result in more software bugs, longer development cycles and delay time to revenue.
Some copy data management (CDM) solutions attempt to address this problem by automating the provisioning of storage copies, or providing so-called data virtualization. This is good and a step in the right direction, but it’s only part of the challenge. For developers to do their work, they need the full working stack: storage (data), compute and networking. Data needs to be refreshed regularly to keep relevant. On top of this are security concerns that have to be handled (who can access the systems) and, finally, system clean-up when work is done to avoid sprawl and waste.
Catalogic ECX is the unique in-place CDM solution that can automate the entire stack and bring up complete working systems. As seen in the illustration below, other CDM offerings still leave multiple steps up to the user, while Catalogic handles every step in the process allowing you to truly accelerate application development.
Data masking is critical to any Dev-Test environment. To simplify operations, Catalogic ECX integrates with your current data masking solutions, whether home grown or packaged software, to automatically create masked copies of data as part of the regular data copy cycle. But rather than having to separately create masked copies for every developer, ECX creates a single master copy of masked data and then allows you to share it out to multiple users. This reduces copy counts and greatly speeds up data delivery.
In many organizations, IT is burdened with constantly providing copies of data to developers and testers. By deploying ECX, you can create self-service portals for your Dev-Test teams to access copies of data or to spin up VMs any time they need them, using the latest data copy or copies from a previous point-in-time. But don’t worry! IT always stays in control, setting limits on what self-service users can and can’t do, so there’s no risk of overprovisioning your infrastructure. ECX provides test data management that both IT and Dev can appreciate.
Database data is unique and requires special handling. Database cloning to support Dev-Test shouldn’t rely on brute force data snapshots. Data capture needs to be application aware. Logs need to be managed to allow for point-in-time recovery. Popular tools such as Oracle RMAN should be integrated into operations.
When it comes to application and database testing and development, ECX copy data management and all-flash storage are a perfect fit. The extremely high performance of all-flash arrays combined with space saving snapshots are the perfect complement to ECX, which automates and simplifies the copy process. Unlike with spinning disk arrays, high performance flash snapshots can support multiple Dev-Test workstations from a single copy, making them more efficient and reducing overall operational costs.
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