Automation Starts with Testing
October 15, 2020

Dennis Damen
Login VSI

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There is no doubt that automation has become the key aspect of modern IT management.

The end-user computing market is no exception. With a large and complex technology stack and a huge number of applications, EUC specialists need to handle an ever-increasing number of changes at an ever-increasing rate.

Many IT organizations are starting to realize that they can no longer control the flow of changes. It is time to think about how to facilitate change.

Speeding Up Change

Automation is essential in speeding up the delivery of change in more than one way. I frequently hear people talking about how they wish they could reduce the number of repetitive tasks or speed up their ability to deploy. While these are most assuredly benefits of automation, they are certainly not the only ones.

My personal favorite is the consistency with which you can maintain your systems and repeatedly generate the same results. Having a consistent environment makes testing, troubleshooting, and even root cause analysis much more effective.

It feels liberating when you are confident that you can build consistent virtual desktop platforms and golden images with the press of a button. You can now direct your full focus on preparing, testing, and deploying changes.

Fail Faster

As any software engineer will tell you; if you want to speed up your development and get your number of support calls down, you need to get your testing in order. "Test-Driven Development" even states that you should write tests before you write your code.

I remember learning the hard way. We did not think we would need to test a simple Microsoft security fix before automatically deploying it to production. What could go wrong? Surely Microsoft would test their hotfixes … right? This simple security fix brought down a 5,000 user Citrix XenApp Farm. And, as I am sure you realize, restoring it felt like it took forever.

The point is that the sooner you find out a change is going to cause you (performance) issues, the faster you can fix them and prevent time-consuming repairs afterwards.

There's a solution for end-user computing experts who are serious about speeding up their change process while delivering exceptional end-user experience: testing the impact of planned changes on performance and compatibility in pre-production and catching disruptions due to unplanned changes early in production.

We want to hear your experiences with change — the good, the bad AND the ugly. What were your worst problems and how did you solve them? Don't hesitate to get in touch with us!

Dennis Damen is Sr. Product Manager at Login VSI
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