Ravello Systems, the leaders in nested virtualization, today announced an innovative new way to snapshot and share development and test environments in fully fenced capsules on leading public clouds. The result is significantly faster bug reproduction and better collaboration.
“We are excited to release our new Ravello feature allowing users to easily create and share ephemeral access to environments. The ability to snapshot and share multi-tier environments has often been compared to Instagram. When you make it simple to capture and instantly share something, it quickly becomes part of the user’s life,” said Rami Tamir, CEO of Ravello Systems. “By allowing development and test environments to be saved and shared in popular issue tracking tools, Ravello is fast becoming an integral part of the development lifecycle at leading agile software development firms.”
Using Ravello, software developers and testers can save custom datacenter testing environments as blueprints for rapid sandboxes that can be deployed in public clouds, including AWS and Google Cloud. Ravello’s latest technology release allows users to share links to live environments using ephemeral access tokens or share snapshots of entire multi-tier application environments. Entire environments can now be saved and shared as links in issue tracking tools, such as JIRA, Bugzilla, or in real-time messaging tools, including Slack.
“We believe the best collaboration happens not over slide decks but over working environments. Ravello allows our teams to move fast by taking stock blueprints of complex environments, modifying them, snapshotting them and demonstrating them,” said Jody Scott, services engineer for Arista Networks. “We can make quick changes to an application and share it with our customer or internal team before the meeting is even over.”
Fixing a problem in software usually starts with reproducing it – this is what Steve McConnell, author of Code Complete and Rapid Development, calls stabilizing the error. “Debugging consists of two parts: finding the error and fixing it. Finding the error (and understanding it) is usually 90 percent of the work.”* But, it’s not always practical or even possible to reproduce a problem. Lots of bug reports don’t include enough information for one to understand what the problem actually was, not to mention the exact configuration of the environment in which it occurred.
*Steve McConnell (1993). Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction. Retrieved from http://www.stevemcconnell.com/ccdebug.htm
Most users are already familiar with the concept of snapshotting and cloning a single virtual machine running on VMware. Ravello uses nested virtualization technology to extend that concept and allow users to take a snapshot or a blueprint of an entire application environment running on Ravello technology.
The state of the disks, memory, network, firewall settings, as well as topology metadata, are saved as a “blueprint,” which then allows enterprises to spin up as many isolated copies of the environment as they need with the click of a button or a simple API call. The application environments created from a blueprint are identical, down to the same IP addresses, MAC addresses and other networking configuration. This makes it easy for developers and test engineers to share blueprints with each other and create their own identical clones of the same environment, which accelerates and streamlines the application development cycle.
In addition, Ravello’s new capability, available today and called Ephemeral Access, gives temporary access to live environments that self-destruct after a period of time, relieving teams of the worry associated with the costs of zombie environments or runaway resources.