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Use Terraform and Delphix together to automate your data for DevOps

By Brian Muskoff posted 09-27-2022 09:00:37 AM

The new Terraform Provider for Delphix allows users to automatically provision
Use Terraform and Delphix together to automate your data for DevOps
fresh, compliant, and complete test data environments.

This article was originally published on the Delphix website here September 08, 2022.

Introducing the new Terraform Provider for Delphix

Over the last decade, almost all parts of the enterprise application stack have been automated.  Today, APIs can be used to provision software, servers, storage, and networks in private and public clouds. Terraform, backed by HashiCorp, has played a significant role in enabling that automation and has become a near-ubiquitous tool for managing infrastructure-as-code.  But data is often left out, and the absence of data-ready environments impedes testing and inhibits timely releases.

The Delphix DevOps Data Platform solves the modern challenges of test data management by automating data delivery with test data APIs to enable quick, high-quality software releases. And now you can deliver data-as-code along with the rest of your infrastructure using Terraform and Delphix. The new Terraform Provider for Delphix allows users to automatically provision fresh, compliant, and complete test data environments.

Why Deploy Data Using Terraform?

Diagram illustrating Terraform Provider for DelphixThe benefits of provisioning data alongside infrastructure through Terraform include:

  • Increasing speed -  Moving from slow to fast application releases requires eliminating manual activities such as ticketing systems to request database administrators to refresh test data environments.  With Terraform and Delphix, manual processes can be streamlined by automating test data environment availability through existing enterprise DevOps toolchains. Ultimately, having the right data at the right time is no longer a painful bottleneck.
  • Improving quality - Many development programs lack adequate amounts of time or coverage to fully test a new release, and errors discovered late in the process can either delay releases or cause production setbacks. With data-as-code, you can automate the hardest environments and tests and run them earlier.  When errors or “shift left” testing are discovered earlier, developers get fast feedback to quickly address issues. That improves development productivity and keeps programs on time and on quality.
  • Reducing cloud waste - For many QA teams, actual test time and/or environment utilization is only 5%, which means paying a high cost for idle infrastructure.  Moving to ephemeral test runs can lower cost by 20x or increase utilization by 20x.  In just a few minutes after a successful build, an ephemeral test data environment can be spun up, tests executed, results logged, and then the environment retired.  Leveraging Delphix’s virtualization technology also ensures that the footprint of the data is a fraction of a physical clone, further compressing infrastructure costs.
  • Standardizing multicloud infrastructure - Since Terraform and Delphix are both cloud agnostic, users can quickly plug solutions into their enterprise toolchains and support application modernization to the multicloud.  Many enterprises have standardized policy to require all cloud infrastructure changes to be deployed through Terraform— and now data can be part of that approach.

How It Works

Diagram illustrating Terraform Provider for DelphixIncorporating data-as-code with Terraform and Delphix will help at every point along the DevOps journey.  Our most advanced mutual customers dynamically deploy fresh test data as part of their CI/CD pipelines.  When developers commit code, it triggers a build through an automation server like Jenkins, and then Terraform provisions test data using Delphix.  Once the test is successfully executed, the results are recorded and the environment can be destroyed.  In less automated environments, Terraform and Delphix can still be leveraged in a self-service model that allows users to manually trigger new and/or refreshed data environments on demand.

While Delphix is primarily used for DevOps test data management in a continuous delivery model, it can also be applied to many other scenarios.  For example, if an issue is found after a release in production, site reliability engineering (SRE) tools can be integrated with Delphix to automatically build an environment with the right data to reproduce and root cause an issue.  Many other uses exist, including data recovery, analytical environments, and data catalogs.

We will be sponsoring HashiConf Global in Los Angeles on October 4-6. Visit our booth to learn more about our joint solution for Terraform. Or schedule a meeting with me at HashiConf.

Not attending HashiConf? Please contact us to learn more about how our solution for Terraform can benefit your DevOps initiative.