Redgate Clone: exclusive early access to next-gen database provisioning

At the end of last year, we announced that Redgate’s database cloning technology was getting an upgrade: Multi-RDBMS, instance-level clones, and support for containerized workflows. This next generation of database provisioning provides DevOps test data to more teams for fast, quality releases across your software organization. 

Today, we invite you to join the early access program (EAP) for Redgate Clone. 

The Bottleneck of Database Provisioning  

One of the biggest challenges in software development is achieving proper alignment of application and database workflows. DevOps has transformed the way we handle infrastructure and approach application development. By utilising the right tooling to automate as much as possible, teams can focus their time on value-added work. Yet when it comes to databases, we often put up with practices that are less than ideal, and which inevitably become a drag on the delivery cycle. A particular problem area is provisioning database copies, whether that’s for developers, testers or within CI pipelines. 

Databases are usually large and complex, so provisioning copies takes time, and often several databases need to be provisioned at once to preserve dependencies. Without the help of tooling, it’s a slow and tricky process for all but the smallest of instances. This is why teams often end up sharing development instances, get a refresh of new data only a few times a year, or work with dummy data. 

Shared environments limit our teams’ ability to rapidly iterate for fear of breaking things, and mean developers must keep constant watch on each other to dodge potential conflicts. Old data or dummy datasets may not provide comprehensive test coverage, causing reworks further down the line to resolve data-related issues that are unintentionally shipped to customers. The costs here are limited innovation and slower release cycles. 

To make things more complex, teams must tread carefully when working with sensitive data and customer’s personal information, and rightly so – fast, quality releases can’t be at the expense of regulatory compliance.

To make database manager’s jobs easier, while boosting productivity and therefore release success, a solution is needed that;

  1. quickly and safely provides up-to-date, isolated, copies of database instances,
  2. allows developers to self-serve, or bring these instances up automatically in CI pipelines, and
  3. rapidly create branches and rollback and roll forward changes.

Introducing Redgate Clone  

Redgate Clone is the newest component in our Database DevOps solution, providing a fast, scriptable way to create clones of your full database instances. If you’re familiar with SQL Clone, you may already have an idea of how the technology works, but Redgate Clone brings some brand new capabilities. These are:

  • Multi-RDBMS: Support for SQL Server, Oracle, PostgreSQL and MySQL to standardize test data management processes across teams
  • Instance-level clones: Faster provisioning for development and CI, with whole instance clones providing a complete back end for your application testing
  • Support for containerized workflows: Clones spun up in containers enable teams using Kubernetes to align application and database workflows 

Redgate’s DevOps solutions, led by Flyway, are delivering value for teams working with multiple RDBMSs. Redgate Clone enables clones of Oracle, PostgreSQL, MySQL, or SQL Server instances to be spun up in under 60 seconds, providing safe, compliant test data on demand and transforming the way we think about working with databases in our development and testing processes. 

Clones are fully isolated instances so developers can spin them up and tear them down as they need to without fear of disrupting each other, and have their CI tests hit a real database instance with full production data. This means no more conflicts in shared environments and vastly improved testing. When combined with a tool such as Data Masker, special control can be put on sensitive data, so while developers are benefiting from working with production-like data, they’re doing so in a compliant way.

For Architects and DevOps managers, clones ensure consistency of development and testing environments, avoiding problems where small differences in the database version, configuration or test data lead to bugs being missed, or being difficult to reproduce. If you’re familiar with SQL Clone you may also be interested to learn that Redgate Clone runs as a central cluster, removing the need to manage local instances and handle clone-image connections over a VPN! 

If you’re working with Kubernetes, you may’ve considered how to have your database instances running inside containers. Given that containers are designed to be lightweight and ephemeral and database instances are large and stateful, it presents a challenge. Redgate Clone is a containers-first solution bringing data virtualization to your Kubernetes cluster. We’ve solved the data challenge so that you can connect to containers that, while they represent your full database instance and all its data, remain lightweight.  

Join the Early Access Program 

If you’re interested in exploring how Redgate Clone can help you to deliver DevOps test data at speed across your software teams, we invite you to join the early access program for Redgate Clone by signing up here!  

Tools in this post

Redgate Clone

Provision virtualized clones of databases in seconds

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SQL Clone

Create SQL Server database copies in an instant

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