MVC3 .Net Continuous Integration and Deployment in the cloud – Part I


This post builds on my previous post.

The task of getting a MVC3 .Net solution to build in the cloud was not as straight forward as I thought it would be. As I hit roadblocks I googled, and as I googled, I realized that there were many who were trying to do the same and had hit the same roadblocks with no success.

So how does one do CI and deployment in the cloud? Usually people will have a build server somewhere running jenkins, cruise control, hudson, team city… or something else… I wanted to get away from that. I also no longer wanted to manually copy files to the server.. even though that hardly took any time.

Since we already use a few of the Atlassian ondemand products; using Bamboo for automation sounded like a great idea; to use Bamboo for automation, you will also need an Amazon AWS account. The great news is that currently Amazon has a free program for new customers; the not-so-great news is that we cannot completely use the free program because Bamboos elastic agent performs slow and cpu hits 100%… but there is some benefit in being part of this program… so sign up as it offsets some of your costs.

Once you sign up for Amazon Web Services; you need to obtain a few things from the security panel.

1. Get your Access Key pair

 

2. create/get your certs

 

Once you have those two things; head on over to the Bamboo administration and configure your elastic bamboo

You will need to enter your AWS Access Key, I changed the shutdown delay to 100, and I opted to enable “Upload AWS account identifiers to new elastic instances.” I don’t think this is actually needed for windows systems (doesn’t work)., but the thought here was that you could start an elastic instance and have it “mount” a specific elastic volume…. this does not work in bamboo for windows systems., but whatever, if you look at the image, you will need to select “files will be uploaded from your PC” and then you can upload your cert key pair; it then uploads and saved it for you. I also opted for Automatic Elastic Instance management, and sent it to passive.. You can change these values if you will be doing a lot more builds; but for starting out and getting things going, the minimum is just fine.

 

Once that’s done, save the settings; you will then want to view/edit the Image Configuration.

In the image below, you will see that I disabled all the default images and have just one configuration enabled, my own image that I will show you how to create/obtain and get to in Part II; focus on the Default Image EBS x86_64 (windows) stock image, it will be enabled for you by default (this is fine for now). Also notice that the Instance type is set to Large. If you would rather not spend $’s in the setup/configuration you may want to change this to Micro (it will be slower) and its free under the AWS free program.

 

To change it to Micro, all you have to do is click the Edit link and you can change the value (image below)

Once this is all done; if you just want to check things out and see that they work, you can click on the start instance link in the “instances” page.

Once you click start, head on over to the AWS panel and select “instances“. In the image below, you will see that it displayed an instance, and if you right click, you will have an option to connect, click it

 

 

Once you click connect, you will get a popup that allows you to download a shortcut file to remote desktop to this machine; the username is administrator……

 

So what about the password? how do you get that? clicking the link wont help. for that., you need to head back to bamboo instance management.

The image below shows what you should be seeing, an instance name, and an elastic agent starting or started. Click the instance name

 

Once you click that, you will get a page that displays the details on the instance; see the image below, the password will be visible in this area, and you can use this to login. Once you are done messing around, you should terminate all instances (esp if you are not using free + micro), you can do that from the instance administration page…

If you try to use this default image as is and configure your build scripts with MS Build, things will not work, MVC3 is missing, a lot of windows updates are missing, nant doesn’t work correctly, and you will want some ftp tool + scripts on there… basically you will want to correct all this, and take a snapshot of the instance (this gives you your custom instance that is updated)…..

 

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