Cloudshare Makes VM Testing a SnapMay 24, 2011
One of the better cloud computing bargains can be found at Cloudshare.com. For a reasonable price, corporate IT departments can have up to six individual virtual machines (VMs) in their own private cloud. That is a deal, and makes the pain of software testing a lot more bearable.
There are plenty of cloud providers that don’t charge much for smallish VM collections: Amazon Web Services and Rackspace are just two of dozens that charge by the virtual machine CPU-hour. I found Cloudshare a lot easier to use.
CloudShare has two different pricing tiers. (They used to have a third tier, with three VMs that was absolutely free of charge, but they have eliminated that deal, which is too bad.)…
- The ProPlus package includes up to six VMs and will cost you $49 a month. You can start quickly with a few different pre-made templates for Linux (CentOS, Ubuntu) and Windows (Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows XP). Everything happens inside the Web browser. To populate your VM, you can drag and drop files to move them from your own desktop into the cloud environment. The only catch is that any VM you create can only occupy up to 300 GB storage and 10 GB RAM. It took me a few minutes to bring up my environment for the first time. Subsequent visits took a matter of seconds before I could access my VMs.
There are a variety of pre-made templates that include SQL Server, Exchange Server, SharePoint, Active Directory, Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010 versions on top of the Windows OS, as well as 64-bit and Server 2008 R2 editions too. If you don’t like these templates that Cloudshare provides and want to customize and upload your own VM, you need to start with the basic OS template and make any changes to it on your local desktop using VMware Workstation v7. They call this feature FastUpload but I didn’t test it because it is still in an early beta phase.
- There is an Enterprise plan that can provide VPNs to access hybrid public/private clouds and even larger VM collections. The price depends on what the size of your environment will be.