Test environment virtualization is an innovative solution that will enable development and testing teams to simulate and model the environments that would otherwise not be available until a later point in the SDLC.   Test environment virtualzation will remove constraints and wait times of the testing organization that need the ability to access services, databases, and test infrastructure.  Connecting applications and through the various interfaces is complicated, and test environment virtualization which help minimize the setup required compared with following the conventional infrastructure approach.

Test environment virtualization with remove the following constraints for applications:

  • ƒIncomplete or undergoing significant changes
  • ƒControlled by a partner or third-party
  • ƒUnavailable at the time required by either the development or testing team
  • ƒInaccessible for the full duration of time required to test, especially for load testing
  • ƒDifficult to provision or configure in a test environment
  • ƒNeeded concurrently by multiple teams with different test data

Test environment virtualization will reduce reduces the following risks and costs:

  • ƒDeliver the necessary environment or service for development or testing
  • Enhance testing through more code coveration and platforms
  • Reduce the use of high-cost infrastructure for testing
  • Remove the constraint of waiting for services or components to test
  • Improve speed to market 

Service virtualization fosters true development and test team productivity and reduces constraints impacting cost, quality, and schedule.  Test organizations are starting to take a pretty hard look at test environment virtualization. There is a pretty significant savings for those companies who are willing to invest in getting the additional infrastructure and gaining the proper training.  The ROI looks really good, especially for large testing organizations.  If you can cut 1-2 weeks out of the testing window, that is pretty significant savings, especially since most test organizations have 3-4 major releases per year.

There are three major players in the test virtualization space. There are pros and cons to each one of these products, so it is important to do the research and see if you can get them to do a POC before you buy the server and licensing.  Costs range from $150K to $600K depending on what you are looking for for the initial setup.  ROI is typically a year or less.  Here is a list of the vendors along with the product name and some additional background information.

Vendor Product Background
CA Technologies LISA CA acquired ITKO in August 2011.ITKO introduced service virtualization in 2007.
HP HP Service Virtualization HP introduced its HP ServiceVirtualization product in July 2011.
Parasoft Parasoft Virtualize Parasoft introduced its Parasoft Virtualize product in 2011, which was previously part of Parasoft SOAtest.