On-demand Test Environments

By leveraging on-demand environments and cloud infrastructure, developers can rapidly iterate and test their applications, leading to faster software delivery.

Reason for Topic

A great deal of today’s underlying compute and data storage resources still reside in traditional data centers. However, more and more of it is being migrated to cloud-based resources. Rarely are enterprises completely and only “in the cloud”, especially those who’ve been in business before 2010. But why is there a switch to cloud infrastructure? 

In a data center environment, servers, storage, and networking hardware are typically pre-provisioned and configured manually. This can make it time-consuming and error-prone to add new resources or modify existing ones. Additionally, these resources may not be easily reproducible, which can lead to issues when attempting to deploy applications in different environments. 

To overcome these challenges, be it in data centers or in managed clouds, on-demand infrastructure has risen in popularity over the past decade to be a modern good practice. 

Introduction / Definition

An on-demand environment is a deployment environment that is created temporarily so that one feature or bug fix can be tested in isolation without worrying about its dependency on other development work. An on-demand environment can be a replica of production, staging, UAT, or any other environment you define. Similar to Testing At Scale, the on-demand environment allows for rapid integration testing. 

On-demand environments and cloud infrastructure have revolutionized the way software is delivered by enabling organizations to develop, test, and deploy applications more quickly and efficiently. With on-demand environments, developers can easily create and configure environments that mimic their production infrastructure, without the need for physical hardware or infrastructure setup. Cloud infrastructure enables organizations to provision resources in real-time, which eliminates the need for manual setup and maintenance, thereby freeing up time for developers to focus on writing code. 

By leveraging on-demand environments and cloud infrastructure, developers can rapidly iterate and test their applications, leading to faster software delivery. Testing and deployment can be automated, which further accelerates the delivery process. Developers can run tests in parallel, and quickly identify and fix bugs, which reduces the time required to release software. 

Cloud infrastructure also provides the flexibility to scale resources up or down based on demand, which ensures that applications perform optimally under all conditions. This scalability allows organizations to quickly respond to changing customer needs and market demands, and deploy new features and functionality quickly. 

Drawbacks / Gotchas

Another challenge with static infrastructure is that it may not be optimized for modern application architectures such as microservices or containerization. This can limit the ability to efficiently deploy and manage applications at scale. 

Additionally, static infrastructure can be costly and difficult to maintain. Hardware must be purchased and installed, and ongoing maintenance and upgrades can be expensive and time-consuming. 

In contrast, on-demand infrastructure and cloud services provide a more flexible and scalable approach to software delivery. By leveraging cloud services, organizations can quickly provision and scale resources as needed, reducing the time required for infrastructure setup and maintenance. Additionally, cloud services are designed to support modern application architectures, providing organizations with the tools they need to quickly deploy and manage applications at scale. 


In summary, on-demand environments and cloud infrastructure have greatly accelerated software delivery by enabling rapid iteration, testing, and deployment of applications. By eliminating manual setup and maintenance, and providing automated testing and deployment, developers can focus on writing code and delivering software faster. This enables organizations to be more responsive to market demands, deliver higher-quality software, and ultimately achieve a competitive advantage.