Database Cloning

A preproduction environment is a data store that is a complete representation of the production environment, which serves to reduce impact on production systems for the repeated refreshing of test data stores. Cloning tools provide a rapid and low impact method to regularly provide a 1:1 clone of production environments for QAT, which also is used as the source for fresh test data for testing. Normally this is a scheduler-based process that runs during night-shifts or on weekends.
Apart from the improved operational reliability and availability, an improved flexibility, productivity and quality of QA and test can be realized. The preproduction is managed by the QA departments. Thus it can be regarded as an ideal base to supply all test and development environments with consistent test data. The preproduction has its limitations to serve as a test environment, as it is overwritten entirely by data coming from the production. Of course DBMS upgrade testing and acceptance test can benefit from a clone created in this way.

Is a preproduction costly?
Occasionally it is mentioned that the creation of a preproduction and especially the periodic refresh is an added expense. In fact this is no longer the case as the cost for storage has decreased considerably. Therefore the building of a preproduction and its regular refresh becomes a fast, fully automated and cost justified process.

New cloning tools on the market today eliminate the laborious task of maintaining a preproduction environment by making the process an automated, scheduled or on-demand ‘push of a button’ process.