What is an Elastic Sandbox Environment?

June 7, 2023
10 min

An elastic sandbox environment is an environment that you can use to acquire and release resources as needed. However, unlike elasticity in the cloud—which is dependent on provisioning and auto-scaling (and remembering to turn off resources when you’ve finished using them)— an elastic sandbox environment uses automation to deploy, orchestrate, and decommission resources.

The benefits of an elastic sandbox environment are similar to the benefits of elasticity in the cloud. When you create an elastic sandbox environment, you can accomplish it with minimal infrastructure. If more infrastructure is subsequently required, the sandbox scales up automatically. Once you’ve finished with the sandbox, a blueprint of the sandbox is saved, and the resources used in the infrastructure are automatically decommissioned.

Due to developments in Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC) technology, elastic sandboxes don’t have to be deployed exclusively in the cloud. Organizations can deploy elastic sandbox environments in the cloud, on-premises, or in hybrid environments to test applications in development, conduct sales presentations, run proof of concept trials, host hackathons, certify software, and train new employees – among many other uses.

For Every Silver Lining, There Has to be a Cloud

The benefits of elastic sandbox environments have created an unforeseen drawback – everybody wants to use them. Developers want to test their applications, sales want to conduct presentations, procurement wants to run proof of concept trials, and the list goes on. The to-do lists for the engineers creating elastic sandbox environments have grown longer, resulting in long waits for delivery, slower time to market, lost sales opportunities, and delays in operational improvements.

The length of the to-do lists is not helped by developers/sales/procurement/etc. requesting changes to sandbox configurations. Depending on how sandbox engineers work, this could mean hundreds of resources are sitting unused in siloed groups because of the difficulty in sharing infrastructure – driving up costs when elastic sandbox environments are deployed in the cloud and increasing the risk of business units trying to create their own elastic sandboxes in Shadow IT environments.

The risk of business units trying to create their own elastic sandbox environments in the cloud can lead to cost, performance, security, and compliance issues. Furthermore, because sandboxes built “in the shadows” may not have the same quality controls as sandboxes built by trained engineers, they can produce inaccurate results due to environment differences – for example, an oversight results in code working in a non-production environment, but not when transferred to the production environment.

The Solution: Self-Service Elastic Sandbox Environments

The way to eliminate long waits for delivery, unused resources, and unnecessary costs is to implement a self-service infrastructure automation solution. Quali infrastructure automation solutions—Torque for public cloud environments and CloudShell for on-premise and hybrid environments—enable business units to create elastic sandbox environments within minutes using pre-approved infrastructure components that eliminate security and compliance issues.

Both solutions automate the decommissioning of infrastructure components, ensuring costs are kept under control, while the ability to share infrastructure components further reduces wait times and costs. Additionally, organizations can apply guardrails to resource usage, cost, and security to govern how each elastic sandbox environment is utilized, while accessing real-time data that helps extract enhanced business information.

Torque and CloudShell simplify and accelerate elastic sandbox environment provisioning
by enabling business units to create self-service, on-demand replicas of full-stack infrastructure environments.

To learn more about how self-service elastic sandbox environments can benefit your business, visit www.quali.com. And to experience for yourself the power of infrastructure automation, start a free, 30-day trial of Torque.