How many times has this situation happened to you? All the sudden you have this great idea that you want to test out, but you need some server space. Because you are building it for a Windows environment, you think it would be complicated with the licensing and procurement to get a server up to test out your idea. Frustrated, you talk yourself out of the idea and decide not to proceed further.
Or what about the situation when it is time to roll out new code to production? You have everything ready to go, but because you don't have enough servers for a proper research environment, you aren't exactly sure if the code is going to behave. You cross your fingers and start the deployment, hoping that nothing major blows up in your face.
In the past, some businesses avoided having a research or development environment because it was costly. When it was time to tighten the belt businesses focused on maintaining the production environment, not on having a R/D environment. Furthermore, if you were able to secure a R/D environment, it took a long time to get a server online. The cloud has changed all this.
With the Rackspace Cloud powered by OpenStack, you can rapidly standup research and development servers. No longer do you have to wait for the paperwork to go through to get a server stood up. Literally, all you have to do is sign up for an account and standup a server that can be available to you within minutes to test and develop on.
The cloud is perfect for research and development because it is cost effective. Since the cloud is on a pay-as-you-use pricing model, you could spin up a server for a day, week or month, test some code and then spin it back down. You would only pay for the time that you use that server instead of having to actually purchase a server for testing.
A final benefit of using the cloud for research and development is that it is easy to bridge a R/D server to a production server. If you've tweaked a R/D server to the point where it is ready to go to production, you could take a snapshot of that server and utilize that image to build a production server within your cloud configuration.
As you can see, the cloud is the perfect place to do research and development on Windows servers. If you have any other questions, be sure to get in touch with us here at Rackspace and visit the blog next week for my post on architecting Windows servers in the cloud.
In a previous post, Tobin talked about the cost benefits of a Windows server in the cloud. You can also check out his next post where he discusses how to have a hybrid environment by having some of your Windows configuration in the cloud as well as on dedicated gear. You can also get more information on Windows in the Rackspace cloud and find out how to move to the cloud in stages.