Using the Amazon cloud for Dev/Test in 5 easy steps
December 6, 2011 Comments Off on Using the Amazon cloud for Dev/Test in 5 easy steps
Recently, I explained why the software development and testing process (Dev/Test) is a fantastic use case for cloud computing. At first glance, getting started might be a bit daunting, but it’s really quite simple.
- Determine whether you want to use the cloud for development, testing, or both. If you’re building an Internet-based solution (with or without a user interface), the cloud is particularly adept at letting you quickly set up distributed load tests. These tests – which can be provisioned globally – provide much more accurate metrics about the true response times that your users will experience than if you tried to run load tests from a single location, usually within your firewall!
- Identify the cloud that you want to use. I’ll describe the major cloud computing platforms in a series of upcoming posts. For now, the Amazon cloud – specifically Elastic Compute Cloud – is a great place to start, especially for Dev/Test.
- Assuming you’ve chosen Amazon, set up a single instance of a virtual machine either on your computer, or select from one of the hundreds of pre-configured Amazon Machine Images. On the other hand, if you’ve created your own virtual machine you can then upload it to Amazon.
- Once you’ve set up your base virtual machine and it’s running on Amazon, add all of the ancillary software and technology necessary to complete your Dev/Test environment. These can include:
- Software development tools
- Database engines
- Application servers
- Web servers
- Security software
- When your virtual machine is fully and properly staged, you can easily clone it as many times as you need.
Going forward, if your Dev/Test cloud experience is positive, consider implementing specialized software that automates many of the manual steps that were necessary to create the cloud-based environment. I’ll describe this specialized software in a future posting.