Test Environment Emergencies

How to be Prepared for Test Environment Emergencies

The last thing you want as an environment manager is to be caught off guard by a sudden need for a new environment. It could be an urgent production bug or an unrealistic deadline for a high-profile project that cannot be met without disrupting existing QA and staging environments.

As much as you may want to enforce policies and plan ahead, some battles are just not worth fighting. But fear not, the key to your success as an environment manager lies in how you prepare for these emergencies. So before the Steering Committee is called in to review another business case for buying more, why not take control of the situation by following these steps to ensure you are ready for any emergency environment request.

Create a Plan for Emergencies

Survey your biggest customers and plan for the unexpected:

One way to prepare for emergency environment requests is to survey your biggest customers and understand their requirements. This will help you plan ahead and ensure that you have enough resources to handle unexpected situations. For larger projects, it’s important to reserve capacity for unexpected scheduling changes or bugs. This will help you avoid delays and ensure that critical deadlines are met.

Set aside some hardware and resources for the unexpected:

It’s important to model your application’s needs and set aside enough excess capacity to deal with unexpected situations. If you’re developing a web application that interacts with services, make sure you can spin up a separate environment for all system components. It’s also important to ensure that you never reach 100% allocation of existing hardware or cloud-based resources. By doing this, you can avoid running out of resources when you need them the most.

Look to the Cloud:

Setting up testing environments on a public cloud like AWS, Azure or GCP can be a wise decision for an enterprise that uses a hybrid of in-house resources and public cloud systems. This allows for the use of cloud-based resources as an emergency “chute.” By taking advantage of the public cloud’s scalability and flexibility, additional capacity for an application can be quickly created by deploying VM resources. This can be a valuable strategy for businesses that need to respond quickly to unforeseen demands on their resources.

Plan for “more than one” environment emergencies:

Don’t assume one will be enough. When it comes to test environment emergencies, it’s best to plan for the worst-case scenario. Emergency environment requests are often made in response to a critical production bug. Problems in complex systems tend to happen in clusters, so you need to be ready to handle more than one unanticipated emergency at once.

Test the emergency plan

Test the plan regularly:

It’s important to test your emergency plan regularly to ensure that it works as intended. This will help you identify any weaknesses or gaps in your plan and address them before an actual emergency occurs. Regular testing also helps you ensure that your team is prepared to handle emergencies effectively.

Involve all stakeholders:

When testing your emergency plan, it’s important to involve all stakeholders, including developers, testers, and business users. This will help you ensure that everyone is on the same page and knows what to do in case of an emergency. It’s also important to provide training and documentation to all stakeholders to ensure that they understand the emergency plan and can execute it effectively.

Collect feedback and make improvements:

After testing your emergency plan, it’s important to collect feedback from all stakeholders and make improvements as necessary. This will help you ensure that your plan is effective and up-to-date. It’s also important to review your plan periodically and update it as necessary to reflect changes in your environment or business needs.

Dont advertise your excess stock

It’s essential not to advertise excess environment capability as it may lead to unnecessary requests for resources that could have been reserved for real emergencies. Using a TEM tool like Enov8 can help you model environment requirements, predict which projects are going to have conflicting environment requirements, and avoid test environment emergencies.

By following these steps, you can be confident that your team is prepared for any test environment emergencies that may arise and can handle them efficiently.


In conclusion, test environment emergencies can be disruptive and costly for any organization. Independent of the type of testing environment, It is important to have a plan in place that covers the needs of all stakeholders, so you are prepared for unanticipated events. By following these steps, you can ensure that your team is ready for any emergency environment requests and can handle them efficiently.

Author: Andrew Walker of Enov8

Andrew is a key member of the Enov8 platform design team. Enov8 is a comprehensive Solution for Test Environment Management needs. The Enov8 system enables users to model the environment requirements of every application team independently, allowing for a thorough assessment of an entire organization’s environment requirements. This visibility has proven to be invaluable for Enov8’s customers, who are able to accurately predict what it will take to support hundreds of projects across several departments. With Enov8, users can create more precise environment forecasts and predict potential conflicts in environment requirements between different projects. This foresight helps organizations avoid test environment emergencies and ensures the success of their Environment Management efforts.


Avoiding Test Environment Conflict

I. Introduction

Test environment conflict is a common challenge faced by organizations during software development. It occurs when multiple release trains or testing teams are trying to access a shared test environment simultaneously, leading to conflicting actions and potential issues such as broken test cases, incorrect data, and delays in testing.

The importance of test environments in the software development process cannot be overstated, as they provide a crucial step in ensuring the functionality and reliability of applications before they are released to production.

In this post, we will discuss the causes of test environment conflict, its consequences, and strategies for avoiding it to ensure a smooth and efficient software development process.

II. Causes of Test Environment Conflict

A. Multiple teams accessing a shared test environment – Shared test environments are often used by multiple teams within the same organization or across different organizations, allowing for a centralized management of resources and reducing the cost of setting up separate environments for each team. However, this can lead to conflicting actions when multiple teams are trying to access the same environment simultaneously.

B. Lack of proper planning and management processes – Proper planning and management processes are crucial in avoiding test environment conflict. Without these processes in place, there is a risk of conflicting actions and potential issues such as incorrect data and broken test cases.

C. Inconsistent communication between teams – Communication is key in avoiding test environment conflict. When teams are not communicating effectively, there is a risk of conflicting actions, duplicated work, and other issues that can slow down the software development process. Inconsistent communication between teams can lead to misunderstandings and miscommunications, causing test environment conflict to occur.

III. Consequences of Test Environment Conflict

A. Delays in testing – When test environment conflict occurs, it can cause delays in testing as teams try to resolve the issues caused by conflicting actions. This can slow down the entire software development process and impact the release schedule.

B. Loss of data – Conflicting actions in a shared test environment can result in the loss of data, making it difficult to accurately test applications. This can have a negative impact on the quality of the applications being developed.

C. Issues with reproducibility – Conflicting actions in the test environment can make it difficult to reproduce test results, which is crucial for debugging and fixing issues. This can further delay the software development process and impact the quality of the final product.

D. Incorrect test results – When test environment conflict occurs, it can lead to incorrect test results, which can result in incorrect conclusions about the functionality of the applications being tested. This can have a negative impact on the overall quality of the applications and the credibility of the testing process.

IV. Strategies for Avoiding Test Environment Conflict

A. Implement proper planning and management processes as part of your Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)

  1. Reserve the environment for each team – Designating separate test environments for each team can prevent conflicting actions and ensure that each team has the resources they need to test their applications effectively.
  2. Set up proper change control procedures – Establishing change control procedures helps ensure that changes to the test environment are well managed, preventing conflicting actions and ensuring the accuracy of test results.
  3. Create a clear communication plan between teams – Establishing clear communication channels between teams can help prevent misunderstandings and conflicting actions in the test environment.

B. Use test environment management tools

  1. Automate and simplify management of shared test environments – Utilizing test environment management tools can automate many manual tasks and simplify the management of shared test environments, reducing the risk of conflicting actions. One such tool is Enov8 Environment Manager.
  2. Streamline communication and collaboration between teams – These tools can also provide a centralized platform for communication and collaboration between teams, reducing the risk of miscommunications and conflicting actions.
  3. Ensure consistent access to the test environment – Test environment management tools can also help ensure consistent access to the test environment for all teams, reducing the risk of conflicting actions and ensuring that each team has the resources they need to test effectively.

C. Ensure Environments are Readily Available

  1. Establish Dedicated Test Environments – To prevent conflicts, assign dedicated test environments to significant projects and phases of the Software Lifecycle. For continuous delivery, projects should always have dedicated development and test environments.
  2. Enable On-demand Test Environments – Additionally, ensure the ability to quickly spin up and down environments, using automation, based on necessary demand.

V. In Conclusion

In conclusion, test environment conflict can have a negative impact on the software development process, resulting in delays, loss of data, incorrect test results, and other issues. To avoid these issues, teams should implement proper planning and management processes and make use of test environment management tools. With effective communication and collaboration between teams as well as automated process management, teams can ensure a smoother testing process and better quality applications.


Why Development Environments?

Why Development Environments

A development environment, like a test environment, is a critical component of any software development lifecycle, providing developers with the space and tools they need to implement and test application features.

This type of test environment may include a variety of tools and resources, such as testing frameworks, code repositories,test data, debuggers, and more. It is important for developers to carefully consider their needs when creating a development environment, as this will impact both the quality and efficiency of their work.

Some key considerations to keep in mind when designing a development environment include selecting appropriate tools, setting up robust processes and procedures, and optimizing communication among team members.

Additionally, it is important to ensure that your development environment not only supports your current project needs but can also grow with you over time. By taking these factors into account, you can create a development environment that will help to maximize the success of your software projects.

In this article, we will first explore what a development environment is, its purpose, and some examples. After that, we’ll go more in-depth and discover the best practices for creating a good dev environment.

Development Environment: The Basics

Why do we need a Development Environment?

Development environments let software developers create, run, and test their application code in a way that simulations real-world scenarios adequately. If that’s still too vague for you, here are some specific examples.

There are a number of key benefits to using a development environment, including increased user experience, reduced costs, and improved safety and privacy.

For example, by interacting with simulated dependencies instead of the real services, developers can avoid creating problems in the production app and incurring unnecessary costs. Additionally, working with real services may raise security or privacy concerns that can be avoided by using a development environment. Ultimately, utilizing a development environment helps software developers create better code more efficiently and safely.

How do we Implement a Development Environment?

There are a number of factors to consider when creating a development environment, including the size and complexity of your team, the maturity of your infrastructure, and the dependencies that your code relies on.

At its most basic level, a development environment is simply the developer’s machine itself. However, with advances in technologies like Docker, it has become easier to create self-contained and reproducible environments that can be activated by running a single command.

In some cases, however, this may not be sufficient for meeting all of your needs. In these situations, it might make sense to leverage existing infrastructures or resources in order to create development environments for engineers. For example, you may choose to create mock APIs or databases to avoid accessing real systems, or use sample data that has been anonymized to protect sensitive information.

Ultimately, the key to successfully implementing a development environment is to consider all of your requirements and find the right balance between flexibility and control. By taking these factors into account, you can create an environment that will enable your team to be more effective and efficient in their work.

Development Environment: A Few Best Practices

We’ve just covered the fundamentals of test environments. You’ve learned what they are, why they exist, and how to implement one. Now, let’s walk through some best practices to keep in mind when implementing a dev environment.

Your Development Environment Should Be Fast

One of the key best practices for a successful development environment is to ensure that it is fast and efficient. This involves using high-performance hardware, as well as optimizing your software and coding practices to maximize performance.

Your Development Environment Should Offer Isolation

Additionally, it is important to ensure that your development environment offers adequate isolation from other systems or processes in order to give developers the freedom they need to experiment and explore while minimizing the risk of errors or bugs in production.

Your Development Environment Should Be Realistic, But Not That Much

The phrase “It works on my machine!” is often used in software development, and for good reason. It can be frustating when the code you write doesn’t work when it’s transferred to the production server. This happens because the development environments and production environments are not identical copies of each other.

For example, my front-end code relies on an Apache version, or configuration, that has been activated in my developer test bed, however still needs to be deployed on to the target server. Consequently,the code doesn’t run correctly

By keeping the environments close to each other, for example same versions of the operating system and software stack, we are able to fix this problem. Containers, as referenced before, help us reach that goal.

However we should also appreciate it can’t, and shouldnt normally be an exact copy. For example, unlike production, you dont want customer sensitive data. In short, your dev environment should only be as realistic as it needs to be for developers to run their code safely and predictably.

Your Development Environment Should Be Compliant

Finally, it is important to keep your development environment as realistic as possible while still maintaining compliance with various regulatory requirements around user data protection and security.

Overall, creating an optimal dev environment requires careful planning and attention to detail in order to help developers work efficiently while also ensuring a reliable and secure end product.

When it comes to data there are ultimately two solutions: synthetic data generation or production data cloning (plus data masking methods). While both come


Like test environments, development (or dev) environments are an essential part of modern software development. All of these environments working together, and when done properly allow organizations to deliver high-quality software quickly.

Overall, creating an effective dev environment requires careful planning and attention to detail in order to help developers work efficiently while also ensuring a high quality end product.

Whether through containerization, synthetic data generation or production cloning, it is important to carefully consider the various requirements of your development and software testing process in order to create a productive and compliant environment that can support your team’s work. By taking these factors into account, you can ensure that your development efforts are as efficient and successful as possible.