Using Cloud Platforms to Test Server Configurations

Over time your dedicated server will become like your baby, and no good mothers or fathers want to run tests on their babies. Child experimentation is generally considered a “no no”. The same applies to your server. A failed test could spell disaster, so it is better to have some method of testing.

In previous posts, we have looked at testing within a virtual machine. Today, we will look at using a live cloud platform to perform server tests. Many cloud service providers offer a scheme called platform-as-a-service or PaaS. This provides you with the barebones materials you need to quickly and easily deploy virtual development environments.

For example, if you need a Linux server up and running within minutes, you can use the platform’s interface to quickly deploy it with all of the configuration options you want already in place. You can also save the images for later use.

Since many of these cloud services charge by bandwidth or per hour, you can use them when you need to deploy test environments and then shut them off when you are done. If, for example, you want to test a new kernel but cannot afford to risk installing it on your production server, you can use your cloud platform’s virtual machines to give it a go. This makes cloud testing an easy and efficient way to experiment with your server configurations.

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