Saving money on development environments in the cloud

The typical development project buys dedicated IT resources whether they are in the cloud, hosting data center or bare metal stored in a closet to support testing and building their applications.  We have seen purchase in the numbers of hundreds of machines to support the development lifecycle for a large development project.

There are a couple of technologies that can save an organization money on development environments.  We have seen savings as large as 80 or 90% on the development support infrastructure.

Using the auto scaling and provisioning capabilities provided by most cloud providers like Amazon Web Services in combination with a Build Server like Hudson triggering server provisioning for a build, a team can now just rent hardware resources on demand.  If a development team needed to perform a build and it takes an hour a day only on weekdays, the team can rent the server resources for ~20 hours a month.  Buying a server full time is around 720 hours.  Just in this instance it is a savings of almost 93%.  This is one of the most simple use cases with the best return, but overall, you can almost always assume that a server doesn’t get used 24×7 for a development team.

Using the Amazon Web Services Calculator we came up with the cost of the single build server with a dedicated instance as well as on demand instance.  Here are the calculators:

 

 

Using the AWS Cost Estimator tool, we compared the cost of a build server used on demand for 1 hour a day to a fully dedicated server.

Using the AWS Cost Estimator tool, we compared the cost of a build server used on demand for 1 hour a day to a fully dedicated server.

 

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