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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Why Script a Lab?

In previous and future articles, I am going to be going through the process of scripting the creation of a SharePoint development lab in Azure.  Why am I going through the process and why should you care?  There are several reasons, let me enumerate a few:

  • Disaster Recovery - Being able to stand up a new environment at will is the ultimate form of backup.
  • Repeatability - By building and tearing down the environment often, we know that we have documented everything about the environment.  We will fail early if we have a step not documented, so it will probably be on our minds and easy to recover from.
  • Refactoring/Scaling up - We can refactor at the environment level because nothing need be fixed if we are building and tearing the environment down at will.  This allows us to easily re-size the VMs we are using if we want to test the impact of different infrastructure on performance.
  • Multiple Teams/Development tracks - By being able to build out an environment at will, we can bring on additional teams and give them each their own environment that exactly matches everyone else's.  
  • Because We Can - It is worth doing, just for the sake of doing it.  Let the engineers figure out a use for it. That's not our concern.
These are the first five reasons that came to mind, but I am sure that the list is not exhaustive.  Let me know yours below.