Release Management

Service Description

Release Management is an ITIL-based service, which is used for platform-independent and automated distribution of software and hardware. Proper software and hardware control ensures the availability of licensed, tested, and version-certified software and hardware, which will function as intended when introduced into the existing infrastructure. Quality control during the development and implementation of new hardware and software is also the responsibility of Release Management. This guarantees that all software meets the demands of the business processes. The goals of Release Management are:

  • Plan the rollout of software Design and implement procedures for the distribution and installation of changes to IT systems Effectively communicate and manage expectations of the customer during the planning and rollout of new releases
  • Control the distribution and installation of changes to IT systems

Technologies and processes used by AITS to support this service include:

  • In-house developed batch, shell, and SQL scripts
  • Subversion
  • Microsoft Excel for managing rollout planning
  • Clarity
  • CA Unicenter
  • SharePoint
  • Active Directory Policy Management
  • Various applications build tools 

Benefits

  • Increased success rate in the Release of hardware and software and improved quality of service delivered to the business
  • Consistency in the Release processes of hardware platforms and software environments
  • Minimize disruption of service to the business, via synchronization of Releases within packages involving hardware and software components from different platforms and environments
  • Assurance of hardware and software in live use is of known quality, as Releases built properly, components subject to quality control and effective testing, constructed under ITIL Change Management
  • Stable test and live environments, as Changes normally combined into Releases with fewer individual implementations
  • Efficient use of User resources as efforts combined when testing new Releases - easier to justify cost of system-wide regression testing
  • Minimizes regression-testing requirements, offering greater coverage than possible with small Changes that occur frequently or are too close together
  • Improved expectation setting within an organization on publication of Release schedule in advance
  • Error reduction via controlled Release of hardware and software to the live environment
  • Audit trail of Changes to the live environment is maintained, both for software distributions and hardware Changes
  • Control and safeguarding of hardware and software assets, on which organization are heavily dependent
  • Ability to absorb high rates of Change to live systems, effectively and without adversely affecting IT service quality. Achieved by releasing large number of Changes together as a single, controlled and well-understood Release
  • Ability to build and control software used at remote sites from a central location Reduced support costs through ability to maintain consistent software over a large number of locations
  • Reduced likelihood of illegal software copies in use at any location
  • Easier detection of incorrect versions and unauthorized copies of software
  • Reduced risk of unnoticed introduction of viruses and other malicious software
  • Reduced time to Release with fewer delays
  • Fewer Releases rolled out to Customers
  • Smoother transitions of Releases from development activities (projects) to Customer's business environment

Hours of Availability

This service is provided for all technologies hosted by AITS. Production changes occur during maintenance windows. Maintenance windows are used only when needed for planned changes that have gone through the AITS Change Control Process. In addition to the standard AITS maintenance windows, site-specific and service-specific changes may be coordinated with customers at non-standard times.

Standard maintenance windows are defined as:

  • 6:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. each Sunday when application usage is at its lowest
  • After 5:00 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday, unless business needs to make a change during business hours
  • 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. three Sundays a year for routine Solaris and Linux maintenance

How Do We Charge?

Pricing will be based on the number of hours needed to implement the customized solution as well as any associated software licensing costs depending on the chosen monitoring solution.