Time Traveling Containers in your CI/CD Pipeline

SANTA CLARA, CA. Monday, October 17, 2022 at 12:00 PM EDT


Time Traveling Containers in your CI/CD Pipeline

In the current landscape of software development, it is hard to imagine a DevOps CI/CD pipeline without containers. There are multiple reasons for that; they help you build your code, test in literally any environment and easily find and fix bugs before you release your software. The containers are a perfect solution if you want to standardize your deployments, across different servers and platforms.

So, what are containers? They emerged as a solution to the problem of getting software running in a reliable way, when moved from one environment to another. In essence, they present executable units of software that provide the whole runtime environment, including applications and all the required dependencies (libraries, configuration files, etc.) They run on top of host operating system, sharing the kernel with other containers, which makes them lightweight and portable. They will both decrease the development costs and allow parallel testing in safe environments, thus saving time to build your applications.

There are numerous container formats available. Docker is a popular open-source container format that is supported on many platforms. While it is very good at managing single containers, when you use many containers, management and orchestration can be challenging. That’s why orchestration tools, such as Kubernetes, are used. Kubernetes is an open source platform that automates container deployments, eliminating many of the manual processes when scaling your containerized applications. With Kubernetes, you can build application services that run in multiple containers, schedule those containers on different nodes of a Kubernetes cluster, scale them, and check their health over time.

Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD)

In the previous decade, the practice of continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) has significantly changed the traditional application development process. The idea with CI/CD is to introduce automation into different stages of application development. In this practice incremental code changes are made frequently and automated build and test steps are triggered by CI, which allows the code changes which are merged into the repository to be reliable. Finally, the code is delivered quickly and seamlessly as a part of the CD process.

Using containerization in the CI/CD-based application development process can make this method even more flexible and beneficial. Thanks to containers being lightweight and portable, you are making optimal use of the infrastructure and having a much faster application deployment. Also, the actual provisioning and decommissioning of your infrastructure can be done with a single click and at the same time error-free, since you don’t need to worry about such things like library conflicts or driver compatibility. Finally, you are basically getting rid of restrictions with regards to which tools, frameworks or testing tools you are going to use, and what’s most important is that the CI/CD framework with containers can automatically build, package, and deploy applications.

Many developer tools vendors have recognized the importance and the value of the DevOps paradigm, as well as the increasing demand for tools that can be integrated in different CI/CD pipelines with containers, and Solution-Soft is one of them.

Time Machine for Containers

Solution-Soft's flagship product, Time Machine, has a container version that enables you to time travel your containerized applications and databases with software virtual clocks to test your date and time sensitive logic, such as month-end, quarter-end, year-end processing, billing cycle and regulation change date, etc.

Time Machine container solution can be used in any CI/CD tool pipeline, on premise, or in the cloud, it runs as a non-root user to adhere to any security constraints and does not require modifications to your application container images.

Licensing is handled by the Time Machine Floating License Server which provides flexibility to support scaling in dynamic environments. When Time Machine container/pod is created, it automatically obtains a license from TM Floating License Server and automatically releases the license when the container/pod is terminated, facilitating automatic provisioning and decommissioning of environments. Asset management and scaling is easy and efficient, without the manual step of getting the license key from the vendor.

Furthermore, Time Machine Sync Server provides a URL API to enable synchronizing time travelling of containerized applications between multiple clusters, or even with targets outside of the cluster, such as your legacy applications.

The CI/CD regression test scripts are easy to implement with Sync Server API, because after the initial API call to modify the sync group with new identity of the TM container/pod (and the server with the legacy app, if needed), for each time change you need to go through, the script just needs a single call to broadcast a new virtual clock to time travel the test environment. Finally, one more call is made to remove the last virtual clock at the end, when the testing cycle is done.

Many of our customers enjoy this approach in 100% regression test automation in their CI/CD pipelines today.

Adopting the DevOps paradigm is obviously the new standard in software development, and introducing containers in the CI/CD pipeline allows even more flexibility and benefits. If your containerized application has date and time sensitive logic, you’ll find that using Time Machine container solution is a perfect choice to achieve full test automation.

The best way to check this is to take advantage of the free trial of Time Machine with full functionality. In no time you’ll be able to set up your CI/CD pipeline and automate time travelling your containers with ease!


About Time Machine

Time Machine saves ten-fold or more on resources and costs associated with temporal testing of applications. It enables you to finish your large scale software projects on time and under budget. Some other usage scenarios of Time Machine include Cloud migration, time zone adjustment, data aging, Big Data analysis and online training. Time Machine is the original date and time simulation software for Unix and Windows since 1997 and it is Cloud and Containerization ready. Learn more about Time Machine.

About Solution-Soft

Solution-Soft is the leader in virtual clock, time shift testing software solutions for the ever changing digital world. Our flagship and market proven product, Time Machine, opened up brand new possibilities in the application testing landscape upon its release in 1997. Today, thousands of applications have been tested with Time Machine, and IT professionals recognize that using a virtual clock is the ideal and safest way to conduct date and time testing. As pioneer in our field, we've created the Time Machine Product Suite, a collection of cutting-edge testing software that augment Time Machine to further streamline enterprise cloud initiatives and IT simplification. The product suite offers a complete solution for end-to-end application testing, cloud migration, test automation, Agile/DevOPs, Continuous Operation, and Test Data Management. We proudly provide our 2000+ domestic and international customers, including 47 of Fortune 100 companies, our advanced solutions to optimize their testing and help deliver projects on-time. Solution-Soft's customers are across all market sectors including 3M, AMEX, Australia Tax Office, BBC, Boeing, British Gas, Covered California, Discover, Fed Ex, Federal Reserve Bank, French Telecom, National Australia Bank, and Zurich Insurance. We bolster our market presence through robust partnerships with companies including Accenture, Capgemini, Citrix, Delphix, DXC, FICO, HPE, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Red Hat and SAP.

Founded in 1993, Solution-Soft is privately held and based in Santa Clara, CA, for more information visit http://www.solution-soft.com or call +1.408.346.1400.

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