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Release and Deployment Management
                        
We frequently hear about a small, standard set of core Information Technology processes. They include things like Change, Incident and Configuration Management.  Look at any of the most popular ITIL or IT Operations tool and they spend an extensive amount of time on a common set of functions. Buried inside of ITIL is a process rarely discussed, wildly misunderstood, and yet could be argued is one of the most critical elements to a successful IT deployment - be it hardware, software, infrastructure or application. 

That process is Release Management.  


   
Your company may already have some flavor of Release Management although it may be reserved for an application development environment.  SDLC or CMM for example both contain the processes to release changes in code into production. Managing releases to your infrastructure, particularly in the increasingly application-like nature of the infrastructure is no different than managing the release of an application.  It has been our experience, however, that infrastructure groups tend to overlook the vital need for a good Release Management program.  

The BAIX Framework incorporates methodologies traditionally found in application release management programs into our overall infrastructure approach and incorporates elements of CMM and SDLC into an Infrastructure Engineering Lifecycle process.
   
Why Release Management in Infrastructure?  
   
Release Management is one of those topics about which we are passionate at BAIX and for some really good reasons.  A properly executed Release Management program in Infrastructure reduces the risk of failure during a change control.  It also reduces the risk of anomalous behavior occurring after the installation.  It ensures that everyone knows what is changing, and it further ensures that the change is absolutely consistently applied. This level of consistency makes troubleshooting the environment much easier and can actually reduce both the number of incidents and the amount of time that it takes to resolve an incident.   
   
BAIX provides the following services related to Release Management:  
  
  Architecture and Design of Lab and Lab Processes
  Define and Document Release Management Processes
  Develop Release Communication Plan 
  Define and Document Acceptance Criteria
  Establish Configuration Standardization processes 
  Develop Automated Configuration Scripts
  Tested Install Procedures and Back-out Plan 
  Document Known Errors for given installation 

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