May 16, 2024

Building vs buying: test data infrastructure for development environments

Building vs buying: test data infrastructure for development environments

Managing test data efficiently is crucial in today’s rapidly evolving DevOps landscape, especially in Kubernetes-backed environments. Synthesized offers robust data masking, subsetting, and generation solutions, ensuring your test and pre-production databases remain secure and up-to-date. This article explores the significance of streamlined test data infrastructure and highlights the methods employed by Synthesized to optimize data loading and management in Kubernetes setups.

Brief Overview of Synthesized  

Synthesized is a versatile tool for database masking and data generation. It integrates seamlessly with CI/CD pipelines, ensuring that test and pre-production databases remain up-to-date without exposing sensitive information. The tool supports multiple databases, including PostgreSQL, MySQL, Oracle, MSSQL, and DB2, providing a broad range of use cases from load testing to cloud migration.

Key Features of Synthesized  :

  • Supports multiple databases (PostgreSQL, MySQL, Oracle, MSSQL, DB2)
  • Integrates with CI/CD pipelines
  • Provides AI-driven intelligent data masking, data subsetting, and data generation

Importance of Efficient Test Data Infrastructure in Kubernetes-Backed Environments

"Kubernetes has become the de facto standard for container orchestration", making it essential to have a test data management solution that can keep up with its dynamic nature. Efficient test data infrastructure ensures that databases can be quickly provisioned, tested, and torn down, facilitating faster development cycles and more reliable deployments.

Efficient Data Loading

Challenges of Traditional Data Loading Tools

Traditional data loading tools like pg_restore and impdp often fall short in Kubernetes environments due to their inefficiency and inability to scale effectively. These tools can be slow, resource-intensive, and prone to errors, making them less suitable for large-scale, dynamic Kubernetes setups.

Advantages of File-System Level Operations for Data Loading

Synthesized   leverages file-system level operations to enhance data loading efficiency. By operating at the file-system level,   can bypass some of the bottlenecks associated with traditional tools, resulting in faster and more reliable data-loading processes.

Explanation of the Method and Its Benefits

File-system level operations involve directly manipulating database files, allowing for quicker data import and export. This method reduces the time required to restore databases, minimizes downtime, and ensures that large datasets can be handled efficiently.

Considerations and Risks

While file-system-level operations offer significant advantages, they also come with risks. Care must be taken to manage database file paths correctly to avoid data corruption. Ensuring data integrity during these operations is critical to preventing potential issues.

Automatic Database Shutdowns

Importance of Shutting Down Unused Databases to Save Costs

In Kubernetes environments, resource optimization is crucial. Shutting down unused databases can significantly reduce costs by freeing up resources that would otherwise be wasted.

Key Factors to Consider: Connection and Query Activity

When implementing automatic shutdowns, monitoring connection and query activity is essential to ensure that only inactive databases are shut down. This prevents unnecessary interruptions and maintains the availability of active databases.

Methods Used in Synthesized  

Inactivity-Based Shutdowns

Synthesized implements inactivity-based shutdowns by monitoring database usage patterns. If a database shows no activity over a specified period, it is automatically shut down to conserve resources.

Ensuring Active Databases Aren’t Shut Down Prematurely

To avoid shutting down active databases, Synthesized includes safeguards that continuously monitor ongoing activities. These safeguards ensure that only genuinely inactive databases are targeted for shutdown.

The Last Mile

Beyond solving technical challenges, Synthesized emphasizes user experience and additional features that enhance usability and effectiveness.

User Interface (UI)

Need for an Intuitive and Easy-to-Use Interface

A user-friendly interface is synonymous with modern DevOps. Synthesized provides an intuitive UI that balances simplicity and flexibility, making it accessible to novice and experienced users.


Role in Automation and Ease of Integration

APIs are critical in automating test data management and integrating with other tools and systems. Synthesized offers robust APIs that facilitate seamless automation and integration.

Access Controls and Auditing

Essential for Enterprise-Grade Software

Stringent access controls and auditing capabilities are vital for enterprise environments. Synthesized includes comprehensive access control features and audit logs to monitor and control database access.

Monitoring and Controlling Access to Databases

Providing detailed audit logs and access controls,  Synthesized ensures that all database interactions are tracked and managed, enhancing security and compliance.


Ongoing Updates with Evolving Database and Cloud Technologies

Synthesized is committed to continuous improvement, providing regular updates to keep pace with evolving database and cloud technologies. This ongoing maintenance ensures that it remains a cutting-edge solution for test data management.

Long-Term Commitment to Software Upkeep

Synthesized is dedicated to its long-term development and continuing to pioneer the way forward for test data provisioning, ensuring that the platform evolves to meet the changing needs of its users.

We did it so you didn't have to

Building Synthesized has been a complex yet rewarding journey, reflecting the team's commitment to innovation and solving more and more complex problems. For readers interested in leveraging production-like test data, delivered fast and in compliance, without the hassle of building and maintaining it themselves, we think we’ve delivered. Embrace the future of test data management with Synthesized and experience the benefits of an on-time, automated, and afforable test data provisioning.