Monday 14 December 2009

Development Environment SLAs

When we use the word 'production' to label our customer-facing systems we create certain expectations around how we support and manage them - careful change control, detailed monitoring, rapid response to incidents, and administration that works around user requirements.

But when we label our software delivery lifecycle environments 'development' and 'test' systems, we likewise heap upon them certain expectations. Unfortunately for the development process, those expectations are usually secondary priorities and open season for any sort of experimentation or ad-hoc change.

Perhaps this is why so many projects come across environmental issues from time to time? Development environments are in production too, they just produce something a little different to what your customer facing systems produce - more customer facing systems.

Sure, when faced with a direct choice between doing something for a lifecycle environment and something for live products the decision is easy, however handling development and test systems with a little more production-like behaviors doesn't need to impact your live system activities and will make all your projects a whole lot smoother.

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