Automating the Automation – No Code ‘Environment Synthetics’


February, 2018

by Niall Crawford

The intention of environment synthetics is to provide ‘high-level of confidence’ applications (your system instances e.g. UAT Home Loan System) and their underlying component services (e.g. IIS, MSQL, Oracle, LDAP etc.) are operational and available for testing.

An ongoing activity that is laborious and surprisingly still completed manually in many organizations.

An approach that is suboptimal and quite costly.

As a way of example:  a medium to large company.

The Cost of Manually Testing your Environment Health

  • I need to test each test system (maybe production) every morning.
  • I have 100 systems (each with 5 instances), that is 500 test system instances.
  • The average manpower of testing each instance is 15m.
  • Daily cost = 15m/60 (hour) x 500 x $100 (hourly charge rate) = $12,500 per day.
  • Annual cost of manually testing health of our Test Environments

240 (business days) x $12,500 = $3M pa.

Note: This example excludes potential saving from cost avoidance due to delays & outages.

So, even without considering the saving in broader areas like delay and outage avoidance, we can see a compelling reason to automate. I think we can probably agree that some form of test automation is good.

As an example:

ROI of Building a Test Automation Synthetics Framework

  • 500 Scripts
  • Time to build each script originally is 16 hours (inc analysis, design, build & test).
  • Estimated maintenance & execution of script 16 hours pa.
  • Annual Cost of Automated Testing

500 x 32 hours x $100 (hourly charge rate) = 1.6M Year-1 ($800K Y2 onward).

  • ROI (compared to Manual) = 1.6M (Year1) and 2.4M (Year2+)

Pitfalls of Test Automation

However, there are pitfalls with this approach,

  • There is the cost of the tools (often expensive).
  • The likelihood of resources (SMEs) being more expensive.
  • The ongoing need to coordinate, build, maintain, and execute the artefacts (refer above).
  • The reality that mileage so often varies due to the quality and efficiency of the resources involved.

So, can we do it better?

Well potentially yes, but it would require you to somehow displace the automation described above or potentially automate the creation of the automation. This method would displace automation build costs, resourcing costs, and ensures standardisation.

Enter Enov8

Enov8 is pleased to announce its latest environment management ‘innovation’ with the introduction of:

  • No Code Lean Synthetics.
    A perfect and immediate complement to organizations existing test environment health techniques.

Enov8 ‘no code’ synthetics allows you to automatically, without scripting (or record & playback):

  1. Determine the health of your test systems using ‘silver thread’ transactions.
  2. Analyze the underlying component services.

A solution that will allow even ‘mature’ (automated) organizations to find a significant ROI.

ROI of Enov8 “No Code Lean Synthetics” Framework

  • Time to build each script originally is 30m (inc analysis, design, build & test).
  • Estimated maintenance and execution of script 30m pa.
  • Annual cost of Lean Synthetics:
    500 x 1-hour x $100 (hourly charge rate) = $50K Year-1 ($25K Y2 onward).
  • ROI (compared to Manual health checks) = 2.95M (Year1) and 2.975M (Year2+)
    A significant ROI would also be found if we were comparing it to a test automation framework.
  • ROI (compared to test automation health checks) = 1.55M (Year1) and 775K (Year2+)
    Enov8 Lean Synthetics is now available to Enov8 Environment Manager customers.

Innovate with Enov8

If you are interested in learning more about IT & Test Environment Management and IT Release Management, contact us about EcoSystem.

Enov8 EcoSystem is the worlds leading IT Enterprise Intelligence platform.

Ecosystem is a fully configurable and easily integratable solution that comes with out of the box “enterprise management” functions that support IT & Test Environment Management, Release Management, Data Management, IT Operations Management, Configuration Management & Service Management.

Niall Crawford

Niall is the Co-Founder and CIO of Enov8. He has 25 years of experience working across the IT industry from Software Engineering, Architecture, IT & Test Environment Management and Executive Leadership. Niall has worked with, and advised, many global organisations covering verticals like Banking, Defence, Telecom and Information Technology Services.

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