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How do folks handle their Release Management?

Question asked by chenjenn on May 10, 2011
Let me make apologies first if I've done this wrong, but I'm new to the community (and fairly new to managing our Introscope Deployment)...if there's already a thread on this topic, I didn't find a search box for the forums, but I'd gladly review those threads if someone could redirect me..

Ok, on to my question...

Background, we're a fairly large installation, 30 distinct 'platforms' that we support through the various environments (DEV, QA, PTE, Staging, and finally Prod), we operate a clustered environment for each and have been attaching the Agent installation to the platform's regularly scheduled installs.
Basically what we’ve gotten to is a single content repository for all of our platforms – this is significant since this means that different app server types: weblogic, tomcat, jboss, basically any java application are all getting the same build ( we use clearcase for the content management and N1 for our installation) It’s been our understanding that Custom PBDs are sort of ‘do no harm’ types of files, so we can deploy different Platform’s Custom PBDs to everyone w/o worry that it will do anything adverse to their installation. So that’s not a problem. I do have question though on the configuration customization that occurs within the IntroscopeAgent.profile… if we have one master copy of that (per app server type) then one platform requesting changes to say their IntroscopeAgent.profile (Tomcat) would affect another platform also using that profile. We also are deploying an EPAgent with our installation.

If all of that is ok, then making additions/changes to the base build while a platform is ‘inflight’ (i.e. mid way through their environments of testing) should not be a big deal requiring them to restart their testing from the DEV/QA environment?

Are we ok w/ this model or are there other ‘gotchyas’ that I haven’t even addressed with this type of combined build?

How do you folks deploy to your users and/or what would you suggest we try?

Thanks in advance for reading my post and for your consideration!