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Looking for white Paper on Segregating Development/Test/Production Environments i n Corporate A.D. and Distributive Systems

Posted on 2001-06-27
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Last Modified: 2008-01-16
I've searched the web pretty well.  I can't find what I'm looking for.  Can someone point me towards a white paper (or white-paper type info) that proposes the best way (if at all) to separate development, test, and production environments in a corporate application development and distributive systems group?  It would hopefully cover things like:

-must development and test servers be separate from production servers?  If so, should there be separate server rooms?
-what security procedures should be used?  
-what network (severed?) ties are recommended if separate environments are proposed?
-what operational change management (change control)  procedures should be used?
-how should the distributive systems group (network and server maintenance) research and test upgrades/patches/new hardware?  Use the same recommendation as that for A.D?

Any info would be greatly appreciated!  Thx!
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Question by:Rogee
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GuitarWizard earned 75 total points
ID: 6237153
First off.....should development and test servers be separate from production servers....it depends; how confident are you that the code you push to the production servers won't crash and burn?  Is this just a corporate environment, or an e-commerce environment?  I worked for Priceline.com WebHouse Club in the NOC, in which we had one of the largest, if not the largest, transactional system in existence at the time.  In addition to our production servers, we had pre-production servers in each grouping of servers (object servers, web servers, transactional servers, tax servers, etc), in which code would be tested and also stress tested with LoadRunner.  If it was a fairly large deploy, the powers-that-be would try to make sure that there were no problems once the code was deployed to the production servers, but believe me, from time to time there were problems, and the deploy got rolled back if the problems were severe enough; otherwise a patch would be quickly developed and deployed to the production servers.

As far as separating your environments, try subnetting.  

In regards to people researching and testing upgrades/patches/new hardware....it depends on how your company is structured.  We had a QA department that would test what the developers had created; essentially try and "break" it.  Also, depending on the severity of the problem code, the QA department would sometimes determine what the problems are with the code versus the developers initially looking at the problem (however, if it was a major issue, then the developers were called into the NOC ASAP)

I don't know of any white papers off the top of my head that goes over these procedures; it really depends on your organization.  What I described above is first-hand knowledge of how our environment was managed.  It's really more of a common-sense issue; do you want suspect code to be immediately pushed to your production site, or do you want to test it first?  Do you require "lower level" developers to provide QA to test new code and troubleshoot problem code?  Are there any managers who can write up processes relating to the business environment as to how deploys and "change management" is handled?  What may work for one environment may not necessarily work for another environment.  Security, for example, at the Department of Defense would be much more of an issue than say, Priceline.com.  Not that we were lax and had everyone from the CEO to a secretary messing around with servers....but, generally speaking, only developers, support groups, the NOC and its' managers, and upper level management had access to the pre-prod environment.  

I hope this helped a little.....if you have any questions or need clarification, please feel free to ask...
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by:lrmoore
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Rogee,
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