Release and Deployment Management
Release Management processcontrols productions of software and hardware within the IT infrastructure and arranges their distribution within the operational environment.
“Release and Deployment Management aims to build, test and deliver the capability to provide the services specified by service design that will accomplish the stakeholders’ requirements and deliver the intended objectives.”
Purpose and Objectives
The purpose of the release and deployment management process is to plan, schedule and control the build, test and deploymentof releases and to deliver new functionality required by the business while protecting the integrity of existing services
The objectives of Release and Deployment Management are to:
• Ensure that there are clear and comprehensive release and deployment plans
• Ensure that a Release Package can be built, installed, tested and deployed efficiently
• Ensure that a new or changed service is capable of delivering the agre
ed service requirements
ed service requirements
• Ensure that there is knowledge transfer to customersand users
• Ensure thatskills and knowledge are transferred to operations and support staff
• Ensure that there is minimal unpredicted impact on the production services, operations and support organization
• Ensure that customers, users and service management staff are satisfied with the Service Transition practices
The scope of release and deployment management includes the processes, systems and functions to package,build, test and deploy a release into live use, establish the servicespecified in the service design package, and formally hand the serviceover to the service operation functions.
The scope also includes:
• Physical assetssuch as a server or network
• Virtual assets such as a virtual server or virtual storage
• Applications and software
• Training for users and IT staff
• Services, including all related contracts and agreements.
The Release and Deployment Management manages release and deployment plans, packages and knowledgetransfer internally and externally.
Concepts applied in Release and Deployment Management are:
• Release: Defined as the collection of hardware, software, documentation, processes or other components required to implement one or more approved changes to IT services.
• Release unit: Describes the portion of a service or IT infrastructure that is normally released together.The following factorsshould be taken into account when deciding the appropriate level for Release Units:
o The ease and amount of change necessary to release and deploy a
o The amount of resources and time neededto build, test, distribute and implement a Release Unit
o The complexity of interfaces between the proposedunit and the rest of the services
• Release Package / Release Design: Used to upgrade an IT Service froma current situation to the desired situation. It contains software, hardware, documentation and training.
• Big Bang or Phased approach:
Big Bang option: The new or changed service is deployed all at once, in one operation.
Phased approach: The service is deployed in stages via a scheduled rollout plan.
• Push and Pull Approach:
Push approach: The service component is deployedfrom the centre and pushed out to the target locations.
Pull approach: The software is made available in a central location.
Users are free to pull the software to their locationwhen they choose to do
so. This approach is used for software releases.
so. This approach is used for software releases.
• Automation vs. Manual: Automation helps to ensure consistency and repeatability. If using manual, it is important to measure and monitor the impact of many repeated manual activities because they are likely to be inefficient and error-prone.
The release policy should be defined for one or more servicesand include:
• The unique identification, numbering and naming conventions for different types of release together with a description
• The roles and responsibilities at each stage in the rel< /span>ease anddeployment process
• The approach for accepting and grouping changes into a release
• The mechanism to automate the build, installation and release distribution processes to improve re-use, repeatability and efficiency
• How the configuration baseline for the release is capturedand verified against the actual release contents
• Exit and entry criteria and authority for acceptance of the release into each
Service Transition stage
• Criteria and authorization to exit early life support and handover to Service
The types of release shouldbe defined as this helps to set customer and stakeholder expectations about the planned releases. Types of releases are:
• Major releases: Contains large areas of new functionality, some of which may eliminate temporary fixes to problems. A major upgrade or release usually supersedes all preceding minor upgrades,releases and emergency fixes.
• Minor releases: Contains small enhancements and fixes, some of which may already have been issued as emergency fixes. A minor upgrade or release usually supersedes all preceding emergency fixes.
• Emergency releases: Contains the corrections to a small number of known errors or sometimes an enhancement to meet a high priority business requirement
There are several key roles in Release and DeploymentManagement that are vital to the success of this process.
• Release andDeployment Manager: Responsible for planning, design, build, configuration andtesting of all software and hardware to create the release package for the designated service.
• Release Packaging and Build Manager: Responsibilities include establishing the final release configuration, delivery, testing, producereports and input for the sign-off process.
• Deployment Staff: Responsibilities include final physicaldelivery of the service implementation, coordinate release documentation and communications; plan deployment with Change, SKMS and SACM; and provide technicalguidance and record metrics.
• Early Life Support Staff: Helps throughout the release and deploymentphase and the first period of operation.
Release and Deployment Model
Release and deployment of a service may be carried out in different ways using suitable release and deployment models. These release and deployment models include various approaches, processes, procedures and resources. The models ensure that deployment is released on time and within the budget.
Release and Deployment Models define the structure, criteria, controlled environments, roles, releases, support and handover activities related to the pre- production stage.
Four Phases of Release andDeployment Management
There are four phasesto release and deployment management:
• Release and deployment planning
Plans for creating and deploying the release are created.This phase starts withchange management authorization to plan a release and ends with change managementauthorization to create the release.
• Release build and test
The release packageis built, tested and checked into the DML. This phase starts with change management authorization to build the release and ends withchange management authorization for the baseline release package to be checked into the DML by service asset and configuration management. This phase only happens once for each release.
The release packagein the DML is deployed to the live environment. This phase starts with change management authorization to deploy the release package to one or more target environments and ends with handover to the service operation functions and early life support.There may be many separate deployment phases for each release, depending on the planned deployment options.
• Review and close
Experience and feedbackare captured, performance targetsand achievements are reviewed and lessons are learned.
Service V Model
Service V Model is a model that can be used to < /span>representthe different configuration levels to be built and tested to deliver a service capability.
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