In 2019, IBM made the exciting announcement that you could now manage IBM i instances in the Public Cloud (eg. the IBM Cloud, Microsoft’s Azure Cloud) just like you could manage any other server. Now with just a few clicks of a mouse, you can make a complete copy of an existing IBM i instance, including all of its installed applications and data and any non-IBM i machines that might be connected to it. That new capability provides great opportunities to improve how we test applications on the IBM i.
This instant cloning capability opens up new ways of testing your IBM i environments and applications. For example, if you are ready to upgrade from one version of the IBM i OS (say 7.3) to a newer version (say 7.4), you can instantly clone your existing production 7.3 environment with all its applications and data, activate the copy and run your upgrade there. If everything works, you know you are safe to run the upgrade on your actual production machine because you’ve already run it on an exact copy. Similarly, if you want to test an upgrade to your application you can use the same process. Since you are running in a copy, you don’t need to change any library names or library lists to perform your tests.
As a developer, you might want to work on some code changes without being affected by changes other developers are making. To do that, you can simply clone your existing test or production environment. Your new clone will include all of the application programs and data. Now you can make your code changes and test them in isolation without worrying that another developer’s changes will affect your results. When you are done, you can copy your changes over to the main development system to test with the work of other developers or to move into production.
Testers can easily do checkpoint restart testing. Just create a clone of the environment you want to test. You can then run your tests in the original environment. When you complete the testing, you can destroy the environment you tested with and activate the clone. You will then be ready to start the process over and retest with the data in its original state.
Managers can identify who is allowed to create these clones and can set limits on the amount of resources each user can take. That way, they can ensure that their staff does not get too excited about this great new way of working and use way too many resources.
Using the new “true cloud” capabilities of the IBM i can make your whole team more productive and more effective in delivering new capabilities for your IBM i applications. To find out how you might use true cloud for the IBM i in your organization, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.