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Monday, April 21, 2014

U Welcomes New Development and Testing Environments

ESUP is pleased to announce that as a final output of Test Move 2 (TM2), the program will begin a phased transition of the testing and development environments from CedarCrestone (CCI) to University hardware. The CCI lab has hosted these environments while the Infrastructure team worked to purchase and install the necessary hardware to house them on campus. This step is important because it allows the Test team additional time to work on the local environment and work out any bugs.

There were a number of reasons ESUP began development at CCI’s lab. Program leadership believed the University would benefit from the experience and expertise of CedarCrestone to host the development and testing instances. In addition, the University had enough space available to run current environments, but not much else. According to Tim Gagner, ESUP’s project director for Infrastructure, “These decisions allowed the University to determine the best long term solution that could support the PS applications and provide the time needed to purchase, install, and configure the new application platform.”

The new platform Gagner mentioned are Oracle’s Exalogic and Exadata servers, which will house ESUP’s production and testing environments. (Read ESUP’s blog post on the new servers from last summer, here.) These new servers were always slated to hold these environments, but now the process will happen earlier to allow development activities to happen on University-owned hardware and better prepare for ESUP production.

This earlier move also allows ESUP to work through operational support items and implement Stat, a migration tool that provides change and version control, and the ability to manage code migrations. With the large team of UMN and contractor staff developing ESUP, it is essential that structured migration tools are employed to mitigate project risk and ensure consistency in deployment activities. Developers can expect to be trained on using the migration software tool prior to the move.

There’s something reassuring about coming home. As Gagner summed it up, “This move gives our teams more time to prepare for ESUP’s launch by using the future production servers throughout testing. Teams will be more comfortable supporting the servers, databases, and application software locally...they’re excited to bring these environments to the U.”

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