[thelist] Development Environment

Peter Smulders schmolle at pobox.com
Sun Oct 12 17:08:31 CDT 2003

Hi Bruce,

> your example captured what we're considering.. albeit on an initially
>  smaller scale!!! our primary question.

What Ken did not point out is that you can run multiple instances of
VMWare[1] on one machine. In their terminology, you can have multiple
guests on one host.

Just make sure that the host is a capable enough OS and hardware
platform to stand the load.

How to actually implement this is largely a matter of details, such what
OSes do you need to build/test on. VMWare is only useful for x86
compatible OSes. (although that covers a fair share of the market).

For automation (somewhat depending on the resources you have available)
you might be able to set up hosts that will cycle through a list of
guests, with each of the guests set up to start a compile/test cycle
with some centrally/externally controlled code and/or parameters.

If you have the resource to keep all the guests you need booted up in
parallel, you could just have them repeatedly download test code and go
through build/test cycles.

And there is a whole field of possiblities inbetween. And a plethora of
possible issues concerning integration with your source code control,
test direction, defect tracking and project management tooling.

> .. is there really a need for this type of environment/setup within 
> the development community??????

In my experience, every company's development group (or groups) is yet
another community, with its own set of parameters for business
objectives, management controls, invested effort, skill base, technology
preferences, level of sophistication, not too mention culture.

I have seen places where this kind of thing would have been immensely
helpful, but no-one would even bother to read the project proposal and
places where a budget of millions was about to be blown on an industrial
scale solution that really was, at any rate, wasted on the organisation
at that time.

In short: if you can make a business case for it, you need it. Having
done the business case, you will also know about what you can and can
not afford. Seems to me like a good place to start looking from.

> give me your email address..and we can discuss offline...

Count me in. I have built different parts of the described setup for
different employers over parts of the last five years of my career; I'd
be happy to lend you my expertise in the matter.



[1] http://www.vmware.com/

More information about the thelist mailing list