Quick overview of Azure DevTest Labs

Introduction

Challenges in process of delivering the project

Benefits of Azure DevTest Labs

Conclusion


Introduction

Azure DevTest Labs is a service that helps developers and testers quickly create environments in Azure while minimizing waste and controlling cost. In other words, it is known also as self-service sandbox environment in Azure for quick creation test environments while minimizing waste and controlling costs. Users can test the latest version of application by provisioning Windows and Linux environments through reusable templates and Artifacts. Azure DevTest Labs allows users to easily integrate their deployment pipeline with DevTest Labs to provision on-demand environments. Users can scale up their load testing by provisioning multiple test agents, and create pre-provisioned situations for training and demos.

Azure DevTest Labs is a free service. However, you will be charged for other Azure resources that are created in the Lab. For example, you will be charged for the Virtual Machines that are created in the DevTest Labs in accordance with Virtual Machine pricing. More about pricing is available on https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/details/virtual-machines/. The cost of Virtual Machine can be reduced with Scheduled VM Shutdown with Azure Automation.

The service is available in all 15 public regions that support the required Azure resources used in the Labs —including Australia, Brazil, and more regions in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

This post will introduce main advantages of using Azure DevTest Labs as service for developers and testers, in which areas can help you improve your team projects and how to achieve very high quality without time consuming tasks.

1-Azure DevTest Labs

Challenges in process of delivering the project

Many developers and testers are facing many challenges in process of delivering the project on time and with high quality. Using Azure DevTest Labs is a service means for developers that they can overcome their challenges, such as:
• Time-consuming settings of environment;
• The delays in delivering environments to developers/testers that are introduced by the traditional environment-request model;
• Production devotion issues;
• The high cost of cloud resource management in order to optimize resource usage.

2-Azure DevTest Labs Challenges in process of delivering the project

Benefits of Azure DevTest Labs

Azure DevTest Labs solves developer’s problems with providing self-service sandbox environment, which allows them to quickly create DevTest environments with minimum input of time-consuming tasks and control over the costs.

Ready to test in just few clicks:
DevTest Labs enables developers and testers to quickly create pre-provision environment with everything that their team need to develop and test the project. Depending on the project needs, you can start with base images from the Azure Marketplace or Custom images from your own VHD. Reusable artifacts are available to install tools, to run VM extensions, deploy applications, to run some other custom actions on demand, once when VM is created. It enables you to have an environment with already installed builds in just few clicks so that you can start on your project immediately.

Self-administration stress free tool
Developers and testers can provision their own environments without any unpredictable cost which could cause high expenses. This is enabled because of DevTest Labs policies and Azure Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) model. Users can set many different policies for their own lab, such as number of virtual machines per each lab user, VM sizes allowed for VM creation. Developers can even create policies for automate shutdown of Virtual Machines, which can be based on a schedule or even some other criteria. For each policy user can set threshold and receive alerts.

One-time creation, non-limited usage anywhere
Azure Resource Manager templates and Artifacts are designed in a way that user can share them with the team or even with other organization. Custom images and formulas are created for repetitive usage and they can be created also from existing Virtual Machine. Developers can use of Azure Resource Manager templates to enable lab automation or for environment provisioning. Artifacts which are loaded from source control repository, such as Visual Studio Team Services Git or GitHub repositories can be used across different labs.

Integration with already existing toolchain
Users can use predefined plug-ins or Azure’s API to provision test environment directly from their preferred continuous integration (CI) tool, integrated development environment (IDE), or automated release pipeline. Also the service allows users to use their comprehensive command line tool.

In addition to API’s and command-line tools, Azure DevTest Labs Tasks is available in Visual Studio Marketplace to better support your release pipeline in Visual Studio Team Services. There are three tasks that you can use to (respectively) create a Lab VM to run the tests, save the VM with the latest bits as a golden image, and delete the VM when it’s no longer needed after the testing is done.

3-Benefits of Azure DevTest Labs

Conclusion

All contemporary DevOps teams are in constant search for different kind of environments while they are implementing their software systems. It’s very important that this environment is on time and well configured, otherwise the team can face frustration and late deliveries. With Azure DevTest Labs teams can access their environments in minutes instead of days or weeks. It is designed specifically for team usage on demand. It offers great support for all teams and it will make teams more efficient and adjustable. The development of Azure DevTest Labs is ongoing process, the output will continuously bring new supported types for Azure resources and adaptive policies.

 

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