Ephemeral data environments in Azure, leveraging the cloud

Shaun Roberts
July 1, 2024
Ephemeral data environments in Azure, leveraging the cloud
In this article

    Our test data infrastructure solution, Tonic Ephemeral, streamlines data provisioning to eliminate lags in your testing workflows. Today, we’re going to look at the expanded benefits you can reap when deploying Ephemeral self-hosted in Azure.

    Ephemeral is a test database management system (API + UI) that 100% relies on Kubernetes to enable its features. The managed Kubernetes service in Azure (AKS), along with supporting Azure services for disk storage and VMs, can provide an ideal hosting environment for enabling Ephemeral’s fast database provisioning, efficient data management, and intelligent resource optimization.

    Azure Services

    Tonic Ephemeral utilizes three key Azure services to deliver its capabilities:

    Let’s look at each of these services more closely to define their uses and benefits.

    AKS: Deploy and orchestrate

    Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) is Microsoft Azure’s managed Kubernetes (k8s) offering, and it serves as the platform for hosting the Tonic Ephemeral API and managing your ephemeral database ecosystem.

    • Node management: AKS automates critical tasks such as scaling and patching, allowing seamless management of your containerized applications.
    • Simplified operations: AKS integrates with Azure services like Azure Monitor and Azure Security Center to provide out-of-the-box monitoring and security, making cluster management simpler and more effective.

    Disks: Read, write, and snapshot

    Azure Disk Storage provides high-performance block storage with various sizes, speeds, and features that enable the efficient data sharing capabilities of Tonic Ephemeral.

    • Rapid read/write operations: Azure Disks deliver high-speed read/write capabilities, ensuring quick data access and efficient performance for your test databases.
    • Snapshot integration: Azure Disks support snapshotting, which seamlessly integrates with Kubernetes volume snapshot features, enabling rapid and reliable creation of database clones for testing purposes.

    VMs: Flexible resource allocation

    Azure Virtual Machines (VMs) offer on-demand and scalable compute resources that provide a secure, customizable, and cost-efficient solution for managing Tonic Ephemeral resources.

    • Secure: VMs come with built-in security features, including encryption and threat detection, providing a secure environment for your test databases.
    • Customizable: With VMs, you can tailor your resource allocation precisely, avoiding the pitfalls of overprovisioning.
    • Cost-efficient: VMs operate on a pay-as-you-go model, ensuring that you only pay for the resources you use, eliminating unnecessary expenses.

    The Tonic Ephemeral advantage: bringing it all together

    By leveraging these Azure services, Tonic Ephemeral offers a seamless, efficient solution for managing test databases:

    • Rapid Provisioning: Ephemeral utilizes AKS as a Kubernetes provider to orchestrate quick database deployments, minimizing setup times and providing containerized test databases in seconds.
    • Efficient Dataset Management: Ephemeral leverages Azure Disks to enable fast data loading and reliable storage, reducing delays in your development process.
    • Flexible Resource Management: Ephemeral utilizes Azure VMs to provide the underlying compute resources for its Kubernetes nodes, relying on their resiliency and scalability in providing the resources for isolated test databases.

    Practical benefits for your development cycle:

    • Speed: Ephemeral’s automation of test database management through AKS keeps your development on track with instantaneous deployment capabilities.
    • Efficiency: Ephemeral can ensure optimal performance of your automated dataset and resource management by leveraging Azure Disks and VMs
    • Cost-Effectiveness: Ephemeral’s efficient resource usage, combined with Azure’s  pay-as-you-go models, helps to reduce your overall costs.

    Conclusion: Azure powers Tonic Ephemeral’s efficiency

    Deploying Tonic Ephemeral in Azure empowers you with a robust, scalable, and economically efficient solution for test data management. With the integration of AKS, Azure Disks, and VMs, you get a solution that’s tailored for the fast-paced demands of modern development.

    Shaun Roberts
    Senior Software Engineer

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