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Cloud Computing

Cloud computing involves using hardware resources on the Internet as an extension and/or replacement of your local computing architecture. Cloud computing is expanding into many areas of the enterprise, including email and document sharing (Gmail and Google Apps are particularly well-known examples, but there are many others), off-site data storage (such as Amazon S3), as well as more technical services such as source code repositories (such as GitHub, Bitbucket, etc.) and many others.

Of course externalized hardware architecture solutions have been around for a long time. The main thing that distinguishes the cloud computing with more traditional services is the speed and flexibility with which a service can be brought up, and brought down when it is no longer needed. In a cloud computing environment, a new machine can be running and available within seconds.

However, cloud computing in the context of Continuous Integration is not always as simple as it might seem. For any cloud-based approach to work, some of your internal resources may need to be available to the outside world. This can include opening access to your version control system, your test databases, and to any other resources that your builds and tests require. All these aspects need to be considered carefully when choosing a cloud-based CI architecture, and may limit your options if certain resources simply cannot be accessed from the Internet. Nevertheless, cloud-based CI has the potential of providing ...

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