SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez, Liz McMillan, Zakia Bouachraoui

Blog Feed Post

How a Leading Financial Services Company Scaled Test Environment Access for Parallel Agile Development—Saving $2M+

finance.jpgThe transition to Agile at a leading financial services company meant that their Development organization was reorganized into many smaller cross-functional (dev/test) groups.  Ironically, this effort to speed up the SDLC actually introduced new delays. One example: a test environment that was once dedicated to a single team suddenly needed to be shared by 9 smaller teams.  Due to the complex data setup required, the environment could be used by only one team at a time—the others had to wait.

Since the test environment included a third-party application that was $250K per instance, creating 9 separate instances of this physical test environment would have been prohibitively expensively. Service virtualization enabled them to establish 9 simulated test environments that gave each team instant, flexible access to the behavior of that system—with zero impact on the other teams. 

 

The Challenge: Scaling Access to a Complete Test Environment Including an Expensive Third-Party Application

This company's mission is to provide personal investors direct access to investment and brokerage services. They focus their research and development efforts on making it easy for clients to research and select securities that suit their financial goals, as well as to monitor and optimize portfolio performance. Rather than "reinvent the wheel," they leverage a proven third-party application to handle core industry-standard functionality, such as executing market purchases and sales.

Before the transition to Agile, the team responsible for trading functionality was able to complete their development and testing tasks using a shared test environment. However, once the team was split into 9 different teams—each of which was trying to complete different development and testing tasks in parallel—test environment access quickly emerged as a problem. Since each group had to have the test environment set up in a very specific manner, any attempts to access that test environment simultaneously meant that the groups were stepping on one another's toes—wasting time having to constantly configure and reconfigure the conditions and data needed to complete their particular tasks.

Restricting test environment access to one group at a time was not well-suited to their goal of accelerating the SDLC with parallel development. However, providing each group their own physical test environment was not feasible. Since each instance of the third-party trading application cost $250K, this meant that they would have to spend $2 million to make this application available in eight additional test environments. This option was deemed prohibitively expensive.

The Solution: Simulating the Constrained Dependency's Behavior and Data in Multiple Zero-Impact Sandboxes

The company was able to use Parasoft Service Virtualization and Parasoft Environment Manager to simulate the behavior and data of this third-party application and make it available on demand in 9 independent test environments that each team could configure and reconfigure as needed—with zero impact on the other teams.

Exercising the AUT's interactions with the third-party application, they were able to capture the behavior and data associated with their core use cases and make it available in "virtual assets." Parasoft Environment Manager was then used to design a master test environment template that included these virtual assets. From this template, any number of teams could instantly stamp out their own test environment—with the virtual asset configured to the appropriate state, and with the ability to easily add additional data to increase test coverage or to adjust response times as needed for performance testing. This way, each team could instantly access a preconfigured environment, then customize it for their own specialized testing needs—with zero disruption to other teams' dev/test activities.

Replacing the actual third-party system with virtual assets yielded additional benefits beyond enabling the Agile teams to develop and test in parallel. Previously, when their test environment included a real instance of the trading application, trading-related transactions could be tested only during trading hours—9:30 am to 4 pm Eastern time. Since the development and test teams were based in California, this meant that they could test only from 6:30am to 1 pm, which is only about 50% of their typical work day. With the virtual assets standing in for the actual system, testing could be performed 24/7, enabling the team to perform exploratory testing at their convenience as well as exercise these transactions as part of their continuous integration process.

Another benefit was that test execution time was significantly shortened. Tests against the actual system took over 20 minutes due to a delayed (asynchronous) response from the trading system. By adjusting the performance of the virtual asset, the team could get almost instantaneous responses, which expedited both automated and exploratory testing.

 

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Wayne Ariola

Wayne Ariola is Vice President of Strategy and Corporate Development at Parasoft, a leading provider of integrated software development management, quality lifecycle management, and dev/test environment management solutions. He leverages customer input and fosters partnerships with industry leaders to ensure that Parasoft solutions continuously evolve to support the ever-changing complexities of real-world business processes and systems. Ariola has more than 15 years of strategic consulting experience within the technology and software development industries. He holds a BA from the University of California at Santa Barbara and an MBA from Indiana University.

Latest Stories
Blockchain has shifted from hype to reality across many industries including Financial Services, Supply Chain, Retail, Healthcare and Government. While traditional tech and crypto organizations are generally male dominated, women have embraced blockchain technology from its inception. This is no more evident than at companies where women occupy many of the blockchain roles and leadership positions. Join this panel to hear three women in blockchain share their experience and their POV on the futu...
Concerns about security, downtime and latency, budgets, and general unfamiliarity with cloud technologies continue to create hesitation for many organizations that truly need to be developing a cloud strategy. Hybrid cloud solutions are helping to elevate those concerns by enabling the combination or orchestration of two or more platforms, including on-premise infrastructure, private clouds and/or third-party, public cloud services. This gives organizations more comfort to begin their digital tr...
In very short order, the term "Blockchain" has lost an incredible amount of meaning. With too many jumping on the bandwagon, the market is inundated with projects and use cases that miss the real potential of the technology. We have to begin removing Blockchain from the conversation and ground ourselves in the motivating principles of the technology itself; whether it is consumer privacy, data ownership, trust or even participation in the global economy, the world is faced with serious problems ...
Data center, on-premise, public-cloud, private-cloud, multi-cloud, hybrid-cloud, IoT, AI, edge, SaaS, PaaS... it's an availability, security, performance and integration nightmare even for the best of the best IT experts. Organizations realize the tremendous benefits of everything the digital transformation has to offer. Cloud adoption rates are increasing significantly, and IT budgets are morphing to follow suit. But distributing applications and infrastructure around increases risk, introdu...
Cloud Storage 2.0 has brought many innovations, including the availability of cloud storage services that are less expensive and much faster than previous generations of cloud storage. Cloud Storage 2.0 has also delivered new and faster methods for migrating your premises storage environment to the cloud and the concept of multi-cloud. This session will provide technical details on Cloud Storage 2.0 and the methods used to efficiently migrate from premises-to-cloud storage. This session will als...
For enterprises to maintain business competitiveness in the digital economy, IT modernization is required. And cloud, with its on-demand, elastic and scalable principles has resoundingly been identified as the infrastructure model capable of supporting fast-changing business requirements that enterprises are challenged with, as a result of our increasingly connected world. In fact, Gartner states that by 2022, 28% of enterprise IT spending will have shifted to cloud. But enterprises still must d...
Cloud-Native thinking and Serverless Computing are now the norm in financial services, manufacturing, telco, healthcare, transportation, energy, media, entertainment, retail and other consumer industries, as well as the public sector. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that pro...
Most modern computer languages embed a lot of metadata in their application. We show how this goldmine of data from a runtime environment like production or staging can be used to increase profits. Adi conceptualized the Crosscode platform after spending over 25 years working for large enterprise companies like HP, Cisco, IBM, UHG and personally experiencing the challenges that prevent companies from quickly making changes to their technology, due to the complexity of their enterprise. An accomp...
Moving to Azure is the path to digital transformation, but not every journey is effective. Organizations that start with a cohesive, well-planned migration strategy can avoid common mistakes and stay a step ahead of the competition. Learn from Atmosera CEO, Jon Thomsen about the opportunities and challenges found in three pivotal phases of the journey to the cloud: Evaluation and Architecting, Migration and Management, and Optimization & Innovation. In each phase, there are distinct insights tha...
Public clouds dominate IT conversations but the next phase of cloud evolutions are "multi" hybrid cloud environments. The winners in the cloud services industry will be those organizations that understand how to leverage these technologies as complete service solutions for specific customer verticals. In turn, both business and IT actors throughout the enterprise will need to increase their engagement with multi-cloud deployments today while planning a technology strategy that will constitute a ...
Isomorphic Software is the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications. We develop, market, and support the SmartClient & Smart GWT HTML5/Ajax platform, combining the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software with the simplicity and reach of the open web. With staff in 10 timezones, Isomorphic provides a global network of services related to our technology, with offerings ranging from turnkey application development to SLA-backed enterprise support. Leadin...
On-premise or off, you have powerful tools available to maximize the value of your infrastructure and you demand more visibility and operational control. Fortunately, data center management tools keep a vigil on memory contestation, power, thermal consumption, server health, and utilization, allowing better control no matter your cloud's shape. In this session, learn how Intel software tools enable real-time monitoring and precise management to lower operational costs and optimize infrastructure...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
Every organization is facing their own Digital Transformation as they attempt to stay ahead of the competition, or worse, just keep up. Each new opportunity, whether embracing machine learning, IoT, or a cloud migration, seems to bring new development, deployment, and management models. The results are more diverse and federated computing models than any time in our history.
Andrew Keys is co-founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereum.