Introducing Blimpy, a cloud thing


Phew, okay. With that out of the way, let me tell you about Blimpy; a tool that I have written to make working with "cloud" machines easy as pie.

As much as I love my Thinkpad, it's not really suited to heavy virtualization. Despite having a delightful 8GB handy, it still only has a couple of teeny tiny CPU cores. What it does have though, is a nice internet connection to the CLOUD.

Blimpy was built to help me take advantage of the plethora of machines that can be spun up on AWS and other public cloud providers.

My immediate usecase for Blimpy is that I've needed to spin up a machines rapidly to perform end-to-end testing of Puppet modules such as puppet-jenkins

Below is a screencast of using Blimpy to validate the module:

This was done with a simple Blimpfile:

 Blimpy.fleet do |fleet|
   fleet.add(:aws) do |ship|
     ship.name = 'puppet-jenkins'
     ship.ports = [22, 8080]
     ship.livery = :cwd
     ship.flavor = 'm1.large'

Blimpy is structured to make it easy to spin up multiple machines at once, in this case however I'm only going to spin up a single machine (defaulted to Ubuntu 10.04 64-bit in US West 2), of the "m1.large" flavor. Jenkins is a hungry application, so I'm not going to use the default "t1.micro" flavor.

The Blimpfile also specifies that port 8080 should be opened, and will create a special Blimpy security group in AWS that properly allows ports 22 and 8080 through.

The project is still fairly young, but reasonably well tested (in my opinion) Ruby code, all of which can be found on GitHub

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