We happened to start few projects over the last few months and while talking to the team about the instance management strategy I realized there was a lot of confusion on how to approach the decision to decide which instance should be development and which should be quality/testing within a 2 tier or 3 tier setup.
So after approximately 7 years of SuccessFactors consulting i finally decided to write my first blog and it wasnt too difficult to decide on the first one.
In order for us to place the instances correctly, we need to take one step back and understand the difference between a Preview & Productive data center (DC).
Like we have a Development (DEV) Instance and Production (PRD) Instance, Similarly we also have very similar logic for our Data Centers.
Preview Data Center: Preview Data Centers act as our Quality Assurance/Testing (QA/TEST) Instance for the Preview data center because We get the updates of the planned quarterly/half yearly (Going forward) releases a month in advance. Till we had the quarterly updates we used to get the updates in the preview instance a month in advance. However, With the half yearly releases it is 2 months before the Productive DC release date.
Once partners & customers have the release updates in the Preview instance before the Productive Instances then they can test the new features here.
With the early releases from Preview DC’s, the Productive instance will not be in Sync with the Preview instances for at-least 4 months because of which it will be a challenge to have the preview instance as a QA instance within a 3 tier design. QA Instance needs to be an exact copy of the Production Environment to facilitate smoother testing cycles.
Productive Data Center: Productive Data Centers not only accommodates your Production (PRD) instance, it also has your Quality Assurance /Testing (QA/TEST) instance as well. This instance is always going to be in sync with the updates available in your Production (PRD) instance considering the release schedule.
I managed to put together few images which could help explain the recommended approach with and without Employee Central
Recommended Landscape (Without Employee Central)
Recommended Landscape (With Employee Central)
Do let me know your views/suggestions on this blog. Do not hesitate to write back if its adding on to your confusions as well !