How does expertise and experience lead to a successful implementation?
Enbridge operates across North America and beyond. They move about 30% of the crude oil produced in North America, transport nearly 20% of the natural gas consumed in the U.S., and they operate North America’s third-largest natural gas utility by consumer count. Mark Robinson is a Project Manager at Enbridge with more than 25 years' experience in IT. He was assigned a strategic project as PM responsible to upgrade their current LoadRunner professional to LoadRunner Enterprise 2021 and deploy to the entire organisation, it was assumed this would be relatively simple and straightforward implementation. The upgrade from their existing LoadRunner Professional to LoadRunner Enterprise 2021 needed to be done with tight time constraints, the timeline indicated that it shouldn’t take more than 4 to 6 weeks. Micro Focus, the vendor for the product recommended to Enbridge to bring in SQALogic as subject matter experts to ensure success of the implementation. It was settled that SQALogic would be the supplier of the software and provide consulting services to Enbridge during the implementation. In the early discovery phase, it was determined that in addition to standard migration requirements, Enbridge were moving to a cloud and would have a preference for LRE (LoadRunner Enterprise) to be deployed as such into their private cloud environment.
During the design phase and after doing the benchmarking, SQALogic determined that Enbridge were completely undersized, they wouldn’t meet any requirements and had to do something special if they were to hit their load testing objectives. The solution would be to move the load generators to the cloud. This provides the testing team with as many load generators as they need with an "on-demand" type of service. Machines are spun up and torn down as needed with server services billed by the minute. It is a much more modern and efficient solution than to have a series of machines kept online at all times 24/7 365 days a year just to run tests.
Unfortunately, this solution was naturally judged as too costly to run and that’s where SQALogic came up with the Elastic Cloud provisioning proposal. By using elastic dynamic server provisioning, Enbridge could reduce the cost of their LRE infrastructure, support an ever-growing need for sizeable load tests all while reducing costs by implementing an automatic load generator provisioning mechanism on demand eliminating the requirement for these machines to be up all the time.
At this point, the simple and straightforward implementation started to become more and more complex, but they accepted SQALogic’s proposed solution because they trusted our expertise and promise to deliver.
Pushing limits in cloud environments
Entering the deployment phase, some problems started to surface. It was typical problems related to deploying the server environment in the cloud, and Enbridge knew that SQALogic would work through this, and we did. In fact, every time the project was hit by a problem SQALogic came up with a set of solutions and or options.
Enbridge rapidly realized that SQALogic brought another dynamic to the project by, always coming up with a different set of options or solutions in a proactive fashion. This was crucial to the short timeline of the project. Another important part of Enbridge’s success was the dynamic load generators, which, although being more complex to implement, truly are massive cost reducers. This is achieved by allowing Enbridge to only provision on the fly the large quantities of servers required to conduct the scale of tests required, sometimes hitting 30 to 50 enterprise class servers, automatically and spin them back down without intervention. Basically, implementing a pay for what you use only model. Naturally the implementation of this was new to the team at Enbridge their cloud migration being new, and they relied heavily on SQALogic’s expertise.
Concerns were often brought up by the internal Enbridge teams but when they went to the SQALogic experts, answers were always readily available, and the progress of the project was kept on-track. For us, the situation was normal and well under hand. Just as things were starting to become a little fuzzy from the client perspective, the project was hit by another hurdle. The Enbridge cloud support team (Azure Cloud team) was transitioning from one service provider to another. This change unfortunately happened right during important milestones of the project and could have been devastating. We took the matter in our own hands and scheduled a meeting with all the resources we could think of. We gathered the Micro Focus development support, the Cloud Azure Team and the Azure Technical Engineers along with internal networking and server groups. Within 3 hours of intensive talks and information gathering a solution was found. Two days after the final meeting, everything was operational: Enbridge had a fully configured system. They could spin up and spin down load generators on demand and turn on dynamic hosts. Enbridge managed to successfully implement LoadRunner Enterprise with the help of SQALogic.
Time saved and a new partner to work with
Looking back at this project, Mark Robinson is impressed by what the Enbridge team accomplished and the way the team banded together to rise to the challenge. A great part of the project was complex and new to them, but with the resources of SQALogic and their expertise they were able to navigate through these challenging waters. The expertise of SQALogic brought on the solution along with their deep experience truly helped the project management team feel in good hands and alleviate stress.
In the end, Enbridge has their new cloud in place, properly sized and their LRE is installed, running smoothly, and delivering its benefits. Mark was able to complete the project because he selected the right advisor to help him see it through. As for now, Enbridge knows SQALogic can be here for them when they face future challenges.
- Tight timelines to implement
- Limited bandwidth of teams due to ongoing project requirements
- Ongoing Azure implementation tied to desire to move on-premise LoadRunner application to the cloud in conjunction with upgrade to LoadRunner Enterprise version
- Growing load testing requirements causing increased spend on server infrastructure
- Deep solution expertise
- Proactive counselling on path forward
- Deep relationships with the solution vendor
- Outside the box thinking aimed at saving Enbridge ongoing costs