The Value of AMIs for Cloud Testing?

Think of an AMI as an image of your server in the office with similar characteristics such as disk space, memory, processor power etc.

While several off-the-shelf AMIs exist either offered by Amazon themselves or the wider community.

The real beauty of AMIs, is the ease at which you can create your own custom AMIs that are specific to your business.

In addition to the standard computer charactertistics such as operating system, disk layout etc, you can also install and configure a set of pre-defined software and data specific to your business needs.

This gives you a great deal of availability when it comes to keeping your business running with minimum disruption.

Aside from Amazon’s big blunder towards the end of last week they are still one of the best cloud infrastructure provider in the world and in my view they well deserve that title.

When you set-up your Amazon Web Services account and register for specific services you can very quickly launch a computer in the Amazon cloud and this is called an instance. During this setup you are asked to choose an AMI from which this instance will be derived.

But aside from choosing from a pre-defined set of AMIs you can create your own.

I'm developing software for my business so why should I create my own custom AMI

1. Simplify testing your software across several platforms
2. Speed up the testing process.
3. Easily and quickly scale your testing environments by adding similar or mixed AMIs to your test environment.
4. Store test scripts and data on a centralized EBS volume therefore allowing each AMI instance to access the same test workloads and scripts.
Because the AMIs you create are identical and because you can very quickly re-launch an AMI this allows you run tests very quickly with a clean run each time.
If one of the AMI instances causes problems during the testing its very easy to launch a new AMI to take over that test load.

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