Delphix performed application testing with Skytap on Azure


On a tight timeline, Delphix needed to prove its x86-based DataOps platform worked on a prospective customer’s IBM Power Systems environment.


Within a week, Delphix engineers were able to stand up the Skytap environment on an IBM Power platform and verify that their solution and toolsets worked as expected, moving the sales opportunity forward.

About Delphix

Serving the world’s leading brands in retail, consumer packaged goods, financial services, telecom, and more, Delphix provides a cloud-based data operations (DataOps) platform that makes data readily available to everyone who needs it. Data managers can quickly and directly manage their data, while keeping sensitive data out of the wrong hands and complying more easily with complex data privacy regulations. The Delphix platform virtualizes data from multiple sources, making it easier for users to access large and varied datasets from anywhere in the network.

Delphix’s Challenge

The Delphix platform supports SUSE Linux running on x86 systems, but due to a significant sales opportunity, the company needed to validate its software on SUSE running on IBM Power Systems within Microsoft Azure. The prospective customer uses SAP HANA on IBM Power Systems, and staying on this platform was a critical requirement of the deal. Delphix was confident that its DataOps platform would operate as expected, but needed to perform extensive regression testing to confirm that functionality was identical to the x86 environment and to ensure that it could deliver on its service level agreements (SLAs).

The prospective customer had expectations that Delphix could deliver its solution as promised, working on the requisite platform, and in compliance with SLAs. Delphix wanted to ensure it could meet these expectations. However, the company’s test teams lacked access to the IBM Power Systems they needed to perform regression testing of their software. According to Jeff Zeisler, Global Vice President of Field Services for Delphix, “We had to scramble to find some systems where we could run our full set of regression tests against that computing stack.”

Delphix engineers explored several options for being able to use the same IBM Power platform as their prospective customer. They considered purchasing the systems they needed, but with only one potential customer using the environment, it was prohibitively expensive and not a sensible expenditure.  The few available cloud options did not provide the ease of use, immediate availability, and pay-as-you-go model they sought to validate this unique environment.

Skytap Solution

After doing some research through industry connections, Delphix discovered that Skytap offered exactly what was needed to address its pressing need for cloud-based IBM Power environments on Azure. Skytap on Azure provides complete application environments that are compatible with on-premise data centers, including natively running AIX, IBM i, and Linux on IBM Power workloads, without the need to re-architect or re-platform. Skytap provides capacity on demand, pay-as-you-go pricing, and self-service provisioning and deployment. It combines support for IBM Power Systems with the full array of cloud services available within Azure, and enables IBM Power and x86 workloads to run side by side.

Within a week, test engineers were able to stand up the Skytap environment on an IBM Power platform running SUSE Linux and perform a smoke test to verify that their toolsets such as QA automation would work as expected. They immediately moved into performing the full set of regression testing, quickly confirming that their platform worked in the customer’s environment.

Being able to test in the exact environment the prospective customer uses gave Delphix the confidence that its platform would perform flawlessly and that it could deliver on its SLAs. This was a critical milestone in the progression of the sales opportunity, and without Skytap, the opportunity could well have been lost.

Looking forward, Delphix expects that Skytap will open the door to new business opportunities with other customers who rely on the IBM Power platform for their business-critical applications.

“Until we encountered the Skytap offering, we couldn’t find cloud-based Power systems that we could leverage for the testing. I’m not sure we would have been able to meet the timelines required if we didn’t work with Skytap to get it done.”

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