I am very pleased to announce the first public BETA (BETA2) of Windows PowerShell Snap-In for GoGrid. For the past week I’ve been working away on a project that brings to of the things that I am passionate about, specifically PowerShell and GoGrid (and especially what GoGrid represents).
The PowerShell Snap-In is an open source project, hosted up on CodePlex under the MIT license. If you are interested in helping out with the project the main thing that I need is getting people using the Cmdlets and reporting bugs.
The first thing that you are probably going to want to do is view this screencast which walks through using the Cmdlets. If that appears then you will need to go and create a GoGrid account, and also download PowerShell to your machine if you don’t already have it – then of course you need to get your hands on the latest version of the snap-in.
Why is GoGrid exciting?
GoGrid is exciting because it allows those wanting computing resources to provision those resources on demand using a simple web-based console and then pay for those resources by the hour, instead of by the month. GoGrid is very similar to the Amazon EC2 offering except that right now it is the only one to offer Windows 2003/2008 hosting using this on-demand model (at least, it is the only one that I am aware of).
One of the neat things about GoGrid and EC2 is that they both provide an API (GoGrid, EC2) that developers can use. This is useful if you need a system that can automatically scale the computing resources at its disposal (for example a massive video transcoding effort).
Why did I build this PowerShell Snap-In?
The purpose of the Windows PowerShell Snap-In for GoGrid is to demonstate how useful it can be for infrastructure-level SaaS providers like GoGrid to expose an API for their customers to use. I am hoping that it will encourage those responsible for provisioning Windows boxes to experiment with using cloud computing resources. Some key scenarios that I envisage are:
- Configure applications for performance testing.
- Run load agents for performance testing.
- Test disaster recovery scenarios.
- Provision hardware for project work (i.e. development teams).
- Support instructor led training with virtualised labs.
- Host demonstration environments for presentations.
- Controlling scale of your underling SaaS infrastructure.
There are probably lots of other scenarios that I haven’t thought of as well, if you can think of any please leave a comment.
Why is this relevant for SaaS readers?
If you are looking at using SaaS solutions or building SaaS solutions then you need to look at the technology stack that you are looking at. If you are sitting on a stack that doesn’t allow you to rapidly acquire more computing resources then you might get stuck not being able to access your services or service your clients. Services like GoGrid provide that scalable computing infrastructure without forking over big bucks. These PowerShell cmdlets allow your system administrators to scale your system and integrate that scaling function into their existing operations.
What is next?
I am hoping to provide PowerShell Snap-Ins for a variety of SaaS orientated services. I picked GoGrid first because it was useful to me, but when Amazon releases their Windows support for EC2 I will start investing more time on that Snap-In.