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TestingBot has moved to its own cloud!

2013-12-06
private cloud

Ever since we started TestingBot (almost 2 years ago!) we've been running TestingBot on Amazon AWS (EC2 + S3 + other services).


These last few months however, we've been moving everything from Amazon to our own private cloud.


Originally Amazon AWS seemed like a good fit for us: easy to setup, manage and maintain. We'd scale up and down, depending on the number of tests our customers were running. As it turned out, AWS has its disadvantages:

  • Noisy neighbours: sometimes instances would behave much slower than usual, because other people on the same hypervisor were using all the hypervisor's resources.
  • Expensive: AWS is expensive, as soon as we start an instance, we're billed for the entire hour, even if we only need to run a 2 minute test on it.

In July we started looking into running our own private cloud on a bunch of dedicated servers. Originally we planned to use VMWare's vSphere and vCenter, but after testing VMWare for 2 weeks we concluded it would not satisfy our needs:

  • Expensive: complicated/expensive licensing + expensive support
  • Black box: whenever something went wrong it was hard to troubleshoot since we can't look at the code. VMWare does have good documentation though.
  • Complicated API: we needed an API that would help us automate launching/destroying VMs. VMWare's APIs are complicated to test and use.

After we ditched VMWare, we decided to look into an open-source solution: KVM + QEMU.


This turned out to be an instant success: easy to install, setup and use. Together with libvirt we quickly had a proof of concept system where we could easily launch and destroy virtual machines.


Now we're running our own cloud; as soon as a customer wants to run a test we spin up a VM in less than 10 seconds, run the test and destroy the VM after the test has finished. This way we guarantee pristine VMs, fast tests and a secure environment.


Together with these changes, we've changed some more things on TestingBot:

  • Updated our OSX VMs to OSX Mavericks
  • Added IE11 to our grid
  • Created a "prerun" capability to download and run any program you specify before running your test so you can customise the VM to your liking.

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