How many software environments do you need?

I was looking over some posts that were discussing the number of software environments needed during software development. There is even a recognition that test environments will be the achilles heel of the future.

If you are an ISV, you probably need the following environments: Development, Testing, Demo and Support. If you are an Enterprise IT software team – you will probably need the following environments: Development, Testing, Staging and Production (with an increasing complexity in each environment). By an environment, I mean a set of physical machines connected to each other and which can host the required operating systems, software, databases, the latest software build etc.

Do you agree on the need for these environments? Is your setup any different?

Ideally, these environments need to be segregated and independent of each other. It should also be possible to deploy test bed configurations in each of these environments with ease.

Given the complexity and demands of each environment it is hard for a team to sustain this, while ensuring a response in a reasonable time frame. Which is why virtual lab automation (& products such as VMLogix LabManager and VMware Lab Manager) is a blessing! On these same physical machines, you can automatically deploy & tear down virtual machine test bed farms. “Pristine” test beds can be deployed, snapshot and reverted to instantly by users in each of these environments without the need for IT intervention.


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