SScher-esristaff

Designing a Robust Environment: Environment Isolation

Blog Post created by SScher-esristaff Employee on Jul 25, 2018

As technologists supporting important business functions, it’s important to do what you can to make sure that your organization’s production environment is protected.

 

What kinds of negative business impacts could you expect if your production environment failed? How much money would it cost your organization? How many mission-critical operations would be halted? How many customers or citizens would be affected?

 

Environment isolation will help protect your production system by creating at least three separate and distinct computing environments for operational, testing, and development activities. Let’s talk about how each of these systems help to protect your production environment.

 

Production Environment

Your production environment is the system that you are most familiar with. It’s your “live” system. It’s where most people in your organization go to do their work, whether it’s to access their mobile application to submit damage assessments around the city, or their desktop application to predict the structural integrity of buildings and bridges, or their dashboards to monitor the progress of their initiatives and projects. Because these people’s work is so important, it’s crucial that changes aren’t made here without first being tested and evaluated in a separate environment.

 

Staging Environment

Your staging environment is a replica of the production environment that isn’t supporting your business operations. This makes it a great, safe place to test an amazing new application your team has developed. This way you can be sure the app will deliver the functionality you promise and that nothing else in the system will be negatively impacted. It’s worth mentioning that many risk-averse organizations will have many kinds of testing environments, including a staging, performance testing, load testing, acceptance testing, and even training environments. The needs of your organization may differ depending on the level of risk you’re willing to assume.

 

Development Environment

Let’s get back to that amazing new application. That app was made in a separate environment: development.

This is a workspace where your developers can innovate. It’s where they can manage content, make changes, construct new business workflows, and create new capabilities. This environment’s size and complexity will largely be determined by how many developers you have working in this space and the level of risk associated with the kinds of changes they work on.

 

Needless to say, delivering a reliable, high-performing system is no easy feat. It takes a lot of diligent work done by smart, dedicated people. Isolating inherently risky activities like development and testing from your production environment will contribute to the stability and performance of that system.

 

Download the PPT for this presentation from the 2018 Esri User's Conference: Environment Isolation 

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