Overview of the Alation Sandbox Program¶
The feature on this page is no longer offered, but you can reference the legacy documentation below. See Non-Production Environments in the Cloud for details about our current offering for Alation Cloud Service customers.
Applies to Alation Sandbox versions 184.108.40.206180 and newer
What is Alation Sandbox?¶
Alation Sandbox is complementary software developed by Alation that provides a way to install and upgrade Alation builds in a semi-automated fashion. Alation Sandbox can be deployed separately from the Production version of the Alation Catalog in the Customer’s environment. A Sandbox instance of the Catalog can be used to validate that changes in the new build are ready for Production. It can also be used for any other testing purposes to give early feedback about a product release.
Alation Sandbox is free to use if you are an Alation customer. The infrastructure costs associated with Alation Sandbox may be the same or similar to those of the main environment you are cloning. Alation Sandbox can be run on demand: run your tests and then destroy the Sandbox instance.
What are the benefits of using Alation Sandbox?¶
Create a Production-scale environment for testing:
Sandbox uses an Alation backup to reproduce the main Alation instance as a sandbox environment. For example, you can use a Production instance backup to create the corresponding Sandbox instance. This makes testing on Sandbox as close to testing on Production as possible.
Equip your admin team with an efficient tool:
Semi-automated deployment of the Sandbox instance makes it easier to test a patch or a new release at the required scale, in the Customer’s environment.
The processes of installation, backup restore, and upgrade are automated using a single command.
Give feedback early, get confidence fast:
Sandbox provides a way to test new features and bug fixes ahead of an official release and get confidence that the changes work on Production and meet the company’s expectations.
Fixes and changes that are validated by customers sooner can be released sooner.
How to get started with Alation Sandbox¶
Contact your account manager and book a meeting to understand the benefits of using Alation Sandbox. Ask for a demo.
Receive the Alation Sandbox installation package from Alation.
Receive a valid license for Alation Sandbox from Alation. This license is free for Alation customers.
Prepare the infrastructure for Alation Sandbox.
Talk to your account manager for Alation to assist in onboarding, training, and using Sandbox.
Review the Alation Sandbox documentation to understand the setup, configuration, and usage process.
Install, configure, and run the Alation Sandbox executable following the instructions.
How Does Alation Sandbox Work?¶
Alation Sandbox works in 2 modes:
The run time mode is defined in the Sandbox configuration file that becomes available after installation.
The Connected mode requires a connection to the main Alation instance on port 2022. As the Sandbox executable runs, it connects to the instance that is being replicated, - or the main instance, - fetches its current Alation version and downloads a backup file. Then it automatically installs Alation on the Sandbox host, restores the backup, and upgrades the instance to the new Alation version specified in the configuration file. If the host has Internet connection, the builds for the install and upgrade can be downloaded from the Alation Customer Portal during the run time. Alternatively, the builds can be placed onto the Sandbox host to save some execution time later. After the update is completed, Sandbox collects all the logs into a compressed file. You can choose to allow Sandbox to automatically upload the logs to the Alation Cloud. This option requires Internet connection and can be set in the Sandbox configuration file before running the Sandbox executable.
Connected Mode Flowchart:
In the Connected mode, Sandbox does not perform any processing or make any changes on the main instance.
In the Standalone mode, Sandbox does not use a connection to the main instance. In this mode, the backup file must be placed onto the Sandbox host beforehand, and the Alation version to be installed must be specified in the configuration.
If the host has Internet connection, the builds for the upgrade can be downloaded from Customer Portal during the run time. Alternatively, the builds can be placed onto the Sandbox host to save some execution time later.
As the Sandbox executable runs in the Standalone mode, it automatically installs the Alation version from the Alation package located on the host. It restores the backup located on the host, and then upgrades the instance to the new Alation version from the Alation binary that is also located on the host. You can choose to allow Sandbox to upload the logs from its run time to the Alation Cloud. This option requires Internet connection and can be set in the Sandbox configuration file before the Sandbox command is run.
Standalone Mode Flowchart:
Proceed to Install Alation Sandbox