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...