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EC2, Build Farms

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Mar. 24th, 2007 | 12:34 am

When I work on Apache I need to normally run my regression tests against many different versions of Apache, and I do this across Linux, OSX, and Solaris. I commit, and the bots on different hosts poll the repository for pushes to build against (and the data on the results is then sent via HTTP/XML back to my logging host for me to see).

I had a request this week to add Solaris X86 for testing... now I don't have Solaris X86 and I am not too inclined to add a new machine for it (even if the hardware was to be a donation). But... I do have an EC2 account, and access to a Solaris Omni. It would be easy for me to kick it on long enough in the EC2 cloud, to run through a test and get a result back.

My cost for a test build? 10cents? The Electricity is more then that for me to keep the machine running at home.

Now my regression test for my Apache modules is only about half of what the MySQL regression test is (if that).

At MySQL we keep adding hosts to our build farms in Sweden where we end up paying for machines to idle. Our pushbuild system, which is a large automated regression system, is only run for teams. Our developers, each of them, could use to have a personal pushbuild, but frankly today we can't do that since the hardware for this would just be too expensive.

What if the cost was 10cents a build, or less?

As I sit here tonight waiting for one of the load tests to finish it is something I am thinking about. There is no reason we couldn't be scaling out with EC2. The EC2 backed build system would be a lot cheaper then what we do today. No cost for maintenance, electricity, cooling... and idle time.

Something to think about...

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Comments {3}

Roy Corey

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from: xerhino
date: Mar. 24th, 2007 01:59 pm (UTC)
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I can't speak to your main concerns, but opensolaris has been pushing the "open" aspect of their OS and making some pretty nice features available. It might be worth it to have an opensolaris server just to get dtrace ability. For a developer, dtrace is a very valuable tool. It gives you the ability to watch what a program is doing from the system level, not just like truss or strace, but with a scripting language to control what is monitored and how it's presented. Anyway, something to consider, though peripheral to your actual concerns.

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Brian "Krow" Aker

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from: krow
date: Mar. 24th, 2007 03:35 pm (UTC)
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I have a Sun Sparc, just not an x86 running Solaris sitting around.

What I am hoping is that Apple adds some sort of funky support for DTrace into XCode. The Sun developers tools are a bit shabby, but XCode is pretty awesome.

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dormando

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from: dormando
date: Mar. 24th, 2007 08:11 pm (UTC)
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I'm using KVM to get cross-platform testing on fewer machines. VMware/anything would be just as good. EC2 might be fun...

(granted we don't have a complicated build-test system, but...) After we finish migrating, all development will be on four machines. Two primary, two failover. Currently it's a lot more.

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