Electric Cloud, provider of software build automation and testing software, has added pre-configured Amazon EC2 support to its full product line, which includes Electric Commander, Electric Accelerator, and Electric Insight.
Electric Commander, the company's automated build-test-deploy product can now securely connect to a customer’s Amazon EC2 environment and manage it, make machines come and go and then connect those instances to build processes that Electric Commander is already managing, according to Martin Van Ryswck, VP Engineering at Electric Cloud.
Support for the 'external cloud' was a fairly easy transition for the company to make, since Electric Commander already works with the notion of 'machine resource pools' for internal cloud deployments. When a customer writes their build workflow, Commander already abstracts away the machines that they run on.
"Because these machines are seen as being a part of pool of machines versus having distinct IP addresses, we can now just add a machine dynamically that happens to be part of Amazon or happens to be virtual or physical and the workflow does not care or know," said Van Ryswck.
Use Cases for the Cloud
Van Ryswck described three typical use cases he's come across in which a customer would want to manage their build-test-deploy workflows on the external cloud:
- Location-agnostic - A small division of a large company, or a start up consisting of a handful of geographically distributed employees that wants to do everything on the cloud. The physical location of the datacenter is typically not important.
- Cloud Bursting – A company only wants to use the cloud to handle peak load.
- Complete Test Case– Product builds are not running in the cloud at all, but the company want to do testing on the cloud. They need to transfer all executables to the cloud in order to do load testing, system testing, performance testing.
The last scenario is the most common, said Van Ryswick. "Development and testing is one of the biggest use cases we see for using the external cloud."
The Public Cloud Stigma
While tooling support for EC2 and Google App Engine continues to grow, the majority of organizations still harbor the same concerns about whether the cloud can provide adequate and reliable bandwidth and security. Van Ryswck doesn't advocate the public cloud for every customer environment, but says his company's decision to support EC2 was driven primarily by an increased demand from customers that are already benefiting from EC2 today.
"Both products (Commander and Accelerator) will also run completely natively in the cloud, if that’s what you want to do," said Van Ryswick. " Amazon lets you put in your own kernel mode drivers, which works with our Accelerator product."
Electric Cloud offers the following enterprise-class features to support virtual and cloud-based environments:
- Step-level parallel processing – enables customers to break down a large process, such as a build or a suite of tests, into individual steps, so each can run in parallel on separate resources for faster throughput.
- Support for heterogeneous builds and tests with a single system – to support the most complex development environments, Electric Cloud is OS- and platform-agnostic.
- Integration with leading virtualization solutions – Electric Cloud supports virtual machines from vendors including VM Ware and Microsoft.
- Enterprise security – only Electric Cloud provides fine-grained access controls, strong encryption, and other security measures necessary to ensure that procedures are safe when run outside the corporate firewall.
- Multiple team, multiple project support – no matter where the teams are physically located, Electric Cloud can support their people and projects with a single system.
Electric Cloud solutions that leverage Amazon EC2 cloud computing resources are available immediately. For more information you can visit the Electric Cloud corporate site.