VPS for continuous integration

Continuous integration is a cornerstone of our development processes at Lokad. We are currently relying on CruiseControl.Net to support continuous integration.

Several months ago, I did ask on various web forums if any company would sell hosting packages that would natively include CruiseControl.Net. The only answer that I did get was Get yourself a 300 USD PC and use it as your continuous integration server. I was totally unsatisfied with such answers because the maintenance costs associated with the management of an additional machine are terrible. Indeed, if you assume that your time is worth 50 USD / hour (which is already quite a low estimate if you are a moderately skilled developer);then, this additional machine will cost you more than 200/month assuming only 1h of maintenance per week (which is also a very low estimate).

At this level, it becomes clearly profitable to go for a rented cheap dedicated server (100 USD /month). Yet, the idea of paying that much for a server that would be used at 5% of its capacity was not entirely satisfying. Thus, we have finally chosen to go for a Virtual Private Server (VPS) that are available at much cheaper rates (30 USD/month).

Bottom line: VPS is really the way to go for continuous integration involving small to midsize software projects.

Reader Comments (2)

Joannes, VPS is definitely a good thing for a small project with a limited number of builds. Yet, keep in mind that once the number of builds and their demand for computational resources grows, the VPS will likely become a bottleneck. We started this site parabuild.viewtier.com:8080 in a VPS, but quickly overgrew it, so we had to move it to a real server. Regards, Slava Imeshev March 26, 2007 | Slava Imeshev

VPS can be basically adjusted to get from 1% to 100% of the available resources with a limited overhead due to the virtualization. Actually, the most expensive VPS plans include more CPU/Memory resources than entry level dedicated servers. But indeed, as you are pointing out, large projects need dedicated machines. (Out of sheer curiosity) It seems that you are part of Parabuild. Have you ever considered to sell your product with a packaged hosting service? Best regards, Joannes Vermorel March 26, 2007 | joannes