We have a new addition at work – a server for testing and development (mercifully, my suggestion to name it “dev-ergreen” didn’t stick). There were some initial ideas for this new server, including:
- allowing staff to test out new features and upcoming versions of Evergreen; and
- providing us with a proper place to test our own enhancements and developments.
While those forward-looking objectives are still planned, the first thing I did was rather more conservative: I tested our backup recovery procedure. If our production server spontaneously combusted, how quickly would we be able to restore our services? (After e-mailing the fire department, of course.) Although we have backed up our data from day one, we had not yet tried the backup restore procedure from bare metal.
We restored our data to the development server without a hitch. While doing so, it occurred to me that this is something that open source software makes incredibly straightforward. There’s no concern about obtaining permission from a vendor to install another copy of the ILS on a second server, or moving the data from the production to the development server. Both can be running copies of the ILS without any extra money being spent on licenses. Additionally, new versions of the ILS can be tested without having to sign NDAs and obtaining vendor permission.
As a result, we now have a separate system with a copy of our production data, ready for testing by us and our staff…and I can sleep a little bit more soundly.