Welcome!

Blog Feed Post

How Much should a Cloud-based Test Environment Cost?

How much should you be spending on your test environments? How much is too much? How much should test environment cost? In this post, we outline a simplified model of a generic application running in the cloud. Using Amazon Web Services (AWS) on-demand prices we calculate some price points and explore the cost of QA relative to production.

It is impossible to come up with a number that will make sense to all readers. IT budgets vary widely and depending on the scale of an organization one CIO’s budget-killing production system may have the price tag of a larger company’s smaller testing environment. The goal of this post is to illustrate the relative costs and make a comparison between what it costs to run production and what it costs to run test environments.

In this post we’re going to ignore the costs associated with environment management staff and software licensing. Our focus is on the cost of infrastructure for a generic application. Assume you are running a banking application using open source software running on Linux backed by a commercial database.

The Cost of Production

We assume cluster sizes for a production application that needs to support 2500 simultaneous transactions on a platform that can handle 50 transactions per second per VM. This translates to a 50 machine cluster of application servers distributed across two data centers in production. You have an active database in one datacenter and a standby database in another. Your average monthly cost for 50 application servers based on AWS pricing for an m4.2xlarge @ $0.479/hour is $17,800 / month.

The production system depends on two clustered database pairs each with 61 GBs of memory and 8 vcpus. Since each data center has a cluster of two we will use the AWS pricing for four db.r3.2xlarge RDS instances in a Multi-AZ deployment @ $3.640/hour – four of these would cost $11,600/month including the Oracle licensing fee.

Assuming cloud prices for infrastructure and ignoring additional charges for bandwidth and other components such as load balancers, web servers, bandwidth usage, and storage. This production application would cost $352,800 to run every year.

The Cost of a Test Environment

In QA and Staging, you can scale down both cluster sizes and VM footprint. Instead of 50 application servers, you need 4 smaller machines (a m4.large @ $0.12/hr) to test clustering within a data center as well as across two data centers. You’ll also be able to run a much cheaper database (a db.m4.xlarge @ $1.645/hr) and you may only need one instance.

The monthly cost of running a test environment’s application servers is $350/month, and the cost of running a QA database is $340/month. Assuming that each of your QA environments is a simple copy of this pattern each QA environment would cost $8,300 to run for a year.

In this scenario your QA environment’s annual cost weighs in at 2.4% the annual cost of your production system.

QA Cost as a Percentage of Production

Is this reasonable? Yes, in fact, it may be a bit on the low end given some of our simplifying assumptions. If you ever need to test clustered database configuration in staging or QA then you may want to increase the size of your databases, and if you really want a pre-prod environment that matches production you should use the same level of hardware available in production. For an application of this magnitude spending between 2 and 5% of the cost of production on a QA environment is a reasonable expectation. Note: that this is a price per test environment, so if you needed three QA environments you could easily spend between 6-15% the cost of production.

This metric and the assumptions made in this post are relevant to a system that has to reach a certain level of production scale. If your application operates at a smaller scale than 2500 user interactions per second then the cost of QA as a percentage of production may be much higher. If your production application operates at a larger scale then there’s a good chance your QA environments may weigh in at 1 or 0.5% the cost of production. The size of your production cluster is highly variable and depends on the number of customers you are serving with an application, but a system running 50 application servers backed by a hefty, mission-critical database represents the kind of system that can scale to meet the demands of a medium-sized software-as-a-service company.

Use Plutora to Track Test Environment Cost

Whatever your cost for test environments these are just the kind of metrics you need to start keeping track of as you plan and justify the expense of test environment management. Using Plutora you can keep track of test environment allocation and you can track the work effort required to setup and teardown test environments. With Plutora your test environment management team can help the business understand both the cost and the value of test environments to ensure that you’ll always be ready to answer the question: “Are we sending too little or too much on our test environments?”

The post How Much should a Cloud-based Test Environment Cost? appeared first on Plutora.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Plutora Blog

Plutora provides Enterprise Release and Test Environment Management SaaS solutions aligning process, technology, and information to solve release orchestration challenges for the enterprise.

Plutora’s SaaS solution enables organizations to model release management and test environment management activities as a bridge between agile project teams and an enterprise’s ITSM initiatives. Using Plutora, you can orchestrate parallel releases from several independent DevOps groups all while giving your executives as well as change management specialists insight into overall risk.

Supporting the largest releases for the largest organizations throughout North America, EMEA, and Asia Pacific, Plutora provides proof that large companies can adopt DevOps while managing the risks that come with wider adoption of self-service and agile software development in the enterprise. Aligning process, technology, and information to solve increasingly complex release orchestration challenges, this Gartner “Cool Vendor in IT DevOps” upgrades the enterprise release management from spreadsheets, meetings, and email to an integrated dashboard giving release managers insight and control over large software releases.

Latest Stories
Continuous Delivery makes it possible to exploit findings of cognitive psychology and neuroscience to increase the productivity and happiness of our teams. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Daniel Jones, CTO of EngineerBetter, will answer: How can we improve willpower and decrease technical debt? Is the present bias real? How can we turn it to our advantage? Can you increase a team’s effective IQ? How do DevOps & Product Teams increase empathy, and what impact does empath...
"I focus on what we are calling CAST Highlight, which is our SaaS application portfolio analysis tool. It is an extremely lightweight tool that can integrate with pretty much any build process right now," explained Andrew Siegmund, Application Migration Specialist for CAST, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone inn...
As many know, the first generation of Cloud Management Platform (CMP) solutions were designed for managing virtual infrastructure (IaaS) and traditional applications. But that's no longer enough to satisfy evolving and complex business requirements. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Scott Davis, Embotics CTO, explored how next-generation CMPs ensure organizations can manage cloud-native and microservice-based application architectures, while also facilitating agile DevOps methodology. He expla...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
DevOps promotes continuous improvement through a culture of collaboration. But in real terms, how do you: Integrate activities across diverse teams and services? Make objective decisions with system-wide visibility? Use feedback loops to enable learning and improvement? With technology insights and real-world examples, in his general session at @DevOpsSummit, at 21st Cloud Expo, Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate at Splunk, explored how leading organizations use data-driven DevOps to close th...
Most technology leaders, contemporary and from the hardware era, are reshaping their businesses to do software. They hope to capture value from emerging technologies such as IoT, SDN, and AI. Ultimately, irrespective of the vertical, it is about deriving value from independent software applications participating in an ecosystem as one comprehensive solution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kausik Sridhar, founder and CTO of Pulzze Systems, discussed how given the magnitude of today's application ...
Modern software design has fundamentally changed how we manage applications, causing many to turn to containers as the new virtual machine for resource management. As container adoption grows beyond stateless applications to stateful workloads, the need for persistent storage is foundational - something customers routinely cite as a top pain point. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Bill Borsari, Head of Systems Engineering at Datera, explored how organizations can reap the bene...
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, examined the regulations and provided insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence arou...
You know you need the cloud, but you're hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You're looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you're concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies. What do you do?
Sanjeev Sharma Joins June 5-7, 2018 @DevOpsSummit at @Cloud Expo New York Faculty. Sanjeev Sharma is an internationally known DevOps and Cloud Transformation thought leader, technology executive, and author. Sanjeev's industry experience includes tenures as CTO, Technical Sales leader, and Cloud Architect leader. As an IBM Distinguished Engineer, Sanjeev is recognized at the highest levels of IBM's core of technical leaders.
Recently, WebRTC has a lot of eyes from market. The use cases of WebRTC are expanding - video chat, online education, online health care etc. Not only for human-to-human communication, but also IoT use cases such as machine to human use cases can be seen recently. One of the typical use-case is remote camera monitoring. With WebRTC, people can have interoperability and flexibility for deploying monitoring service. However, the benefit of WebRTC for IoT is not only its convenience and interopera...
In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Dumas, Calligo’s Vice President and G.M. of US operations, discussed the new Global Data Protection Regulation and how Calligo can help business stay compliant in digitally globalized world. Greg Dumas is Calligo's Vice President and G.M. of US operations. Calligo is an established service provider that provides an innovative platform for trusted cloud solutions. Calligo’s customers are typically most concerned about GDPR compliance, application p...
Mobile device usage has increased exponentially during the past several years, as consumers rely on handhelds for everything from news and weather to banking and purchases. What can we expect in the next few years? The way in which we interact with our devices will fundamentally change, as businesses leverage Artificial Intelligence. We already see this taking shape as businesses leverage AI for cost savings and customer responsiveness. This trend will continue, as AI is used for more sophistica...