Your options for having a software development lab in the cloud are increasing. Here’s how to get your dev lab there.
Public cloud environments like those from Amazon, Microsoft, Joyent, and soon Hewlett-Packard let developers rapidly scale lab infrastructure and deploy the needed tools without making big up-front capital investments. But if they're not carefully managed, public cloud lab costs can escalate, ratcheting the total cost of ownership higher than for on-premises or private cloud labs.
We found this out with a lab we ran in the Amazon Web Services cloud. At the beginning of the month, one of our developers stood up a new application that used a lot of CPU and storage, and he accidently left it on. Lab costs that month were up tenfold. Amazon kindly sent a note thanking us for relying on AWS for more of our needs, but more proactive management was what we really needed.
But private cloud labs are complicated and can be costly to set up. Ultimately, your organization's security requirements, budget constraints, and ability to deal with complexity will determine which way you go.
Why A Cloud Lab
From a business perspective, organizations can set up public or private cloud labs faster than on-premises labs and shift lab costs from capital to operational expenses. By putting your lab in the cloud, you give developers a self-service portal where they can create, replicate, change, and delete entire software development projects and test stacks on demand. Developers and testing engineers can use various databases, operating systems, browsers, application builds, and middleware combinations for the configurations they need--all without involving the IT ...