Before we go any further with Release & Deployment Management, we first need to understand their definitions.
A Release is a collection of hardware, software, documents, processes or other components required to implement one or more approved Changes to IT services. The contents of each Release are managed, tested and deployed as a single entity.Deployment:
Deployment is the activity responsible for the movement of new or changed hardware, software, documentation, process etc. to the Live Environment.
A Release Unit:
A Release Unit typically includes sufficient components to perform a useful function. For example, one Release Unit might be a desktop PC, including hardware, software, licences, documentation etc. There might be standardized units for different roles or departments, or the desktop might be customised for each new recruit (where each instance is a separate Release Unit). Another Release Unit might be a complete application, including IT Operations procedures and user training.
It is possible that a Release will consist of more than one Release Unit. A Release Package is one or more Release Units that are required to implement a new or changed service.
A Release Policy should be defined as part of the management control over releases. In fact, it is unlikely that an organization will have a single Release Policy; it is more likely to have several, each covering one or more services. Each Policy should cover Identification, Roles and Responsibilities, expected frequency, change acceptance criteria, automation, configuration verification, entry and exit criteria through phases, and handover from Early Life Support to Operations.
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