Testing Puppet and Hiera

Puppet Labs logoAt MaestroDev we have been using Puppet 3 for a quite some time now, and one of the main reasons to upgrade from Puppet 2.x was the ability of using Hiera as a data backend for all the variables that customize the different vms. We don’t have a lot of machines but pretty much all of them have some difference so Hiera allows us to have the same manifests and modules apply to all the machines by just using different parameters in each server.

But testing Hiera is not that simple. With rspec-puppet you can test each class by passing parameters, but how can you test a class that calls another class and so on, and at some point there you need to inject a parameter?

Well, this is possible with the hiera-puppet-helper gem you can stub the hiera data backend

source 'https://rubygems.org'

group :rake do
gem 'puppet'
gem 'rspec-puppet'
gem 'hiera-puppet-helper'
gem 'rake'
gem 'puppetlabs_spec_helper'
end
require 'puppetlabs_spec_helper/module_spec_helper'
require 'hiera-puppet-helper/rspec'
require 'hiera'
require 'puppet/indirector/hiera'

# config hiera to work with let(:hiera_data)
def hiera_stub
  config = Hiera::Config.load(hiera_config)
  config[:logger] = 'puppet'
  Hiera.new(:config => config)
end

RSpec.configure do |c|
  c.mock_framework = :rspec

  c.before(:each) do
    Puppet::Indirector::Hiera.stub(:hiera => hiera_stub)
  end

end

And then you can use let(:hiera_data) to inject any parameters automatically into the puppet classes from your rspec tests.

require 'spec_helper'

describe 'mymodule::myclass' do

let(:hiera_data) {{
  'mymodule::myclass::myparam' => 'myvalue'
}}

it { should contain_class('mymodule::myclass').with_myparam('myvalue') }

Check out a full module using hiera-puppet-helper at maestro_nodes.

Javagruppen 2011: Build and test in the cloud slides

Last week spent some good days in Denmark for Javagruppen annual conference as I mentioned in a previous post. It’s a small conference that allows you to cover any question that the attendees have and be able to select what you talk about based on their specific interests.

I talked about creating an Apache Continuum + Selenium grid on EC2 for massively multi-environment and parallel build and test. You can find the slides below, although it’s mostly a talk/visual presentation.

The location was great, in a hotel with spa in Jutland and very nice people and the other speakers too. My advice, go to Denmark, but try to do it in summer :) I’m sure it makes a difference – although it’s pretty cool to be on a hot tub outside at 0C (32F)

And you can find some trip pictures in flickr.

Nyhavn panorama

Nyhavn panorama

Cloud Computing opportunities in the development (build-test-deploy) space

You heard the word “cloud” everywhere, running applications on the cloud, scaling with the cloud,… but not so often from the development lifecycle perspective: code, commit, test, deploy to QA, release, etc but it brings fundamental changes to this aspect too.

The scenario

If you belong to, or manage, a group of developers, you are doing at least some sort of automated builds with continuous integration. You have continuous integration servers, building your code on specific schedules, not as often as you would like, when developers commit changes. The number of projects grow and you add more servers for the new projects, mixing and matching environments for different needs (linux, windows, os x,…)

The problem and the solution

The architecture we use for our Maestro 3 product is composed of one server that handles all the development lifecycle assets. Behind the scenes we use proven open source projects: Apache Continuum for distributed builds, Apache Archiva for repository management, Sonar for reporting, Selenium for multienvironment integration and load testing. And we add Morph mCloud private cloud solution, which is also based on open source projects such as Eucalyptus or Puppet.

We have multiple Continuum build agents doing builds, and multiple Selenium agents for webapp integration testing, as well as several application servers for continuous deployment and testing.

  • limited capacity
    • problem: your hardware is limited, and provision and setup of new servers requires a considerable amount of time
    • solution: assets are dynamic, you can spin off new virtual machines when you need them, and shuffle infrastructure around in a matter of minutes with just few clicks from the web interface. The hybrid cloud approach means you can start new servers in a public cloud, Amazon EC2, if you really need to
  • capacity utilization
    • problem: you need to setup less active projects in the same server as more active ones to make sure servers are not under/over-utilized
    • solution: infrastructure is shared across all projects. If a project needs it more often than another then it’s there to be used
  • scheduling conflicts
    • problem: at specific times, i.e. releases, you need to stop automatic jobs to ensure resources are available for those builds
    • solution: a smart queue management can differentiate between different build types (ie. continuous builds, release builds) and prioritize
  • location dependence
    • problem: you need to manage the infrastructure, knowing where each server is and what is it building
    • solution: a central view of all the development assets for easier management: build agents, test agents or application servers
  • continuous growing
    • problem: new projects are being added while you are trying to manage and optimize your current setup
    • solution: because infrastructure is shared adding new projects is just a matter of scaling wide the cloud, without assigning infrastructure to specific projects
  • complexity in process
    • problem: multiply that for the number of different stages in your promotion process: development environment, QA, Staging, Production
    • solution: you can keep independent networks in the cloud while sharing resources like virtual machine templates for your stack for instance
  • long time-to-market
    • problem: transition from development to QA to production is a pain point because releases and promotion is not automated
    • solution: compositions (workflows) allow to design and automate the steps from development to production, including manual approval
  • complexity in organization:
    • problem: in large organizations, multiply that for the number of separate entities, departments or groups that have their own separate structure
    • solution: enabling self provisioning you can assign quotas to developers or groups to start servers as they need them in a matter of minutes from prebuilt templates

Why a private cloud?

  • cost effectiveness: development infrastructure is running continuously. Global development teams make use of it 24×7
  • bandwidth usage: the traffic between your source control system and the cloud can be expensive, because it’s continuously getting the code for building
  • security restrictions: most companies don’t like their code being exported anywhere outside their firewall. Companies that need to comply with regulations (ie. PCI) have strong requirements on external networks
  • performance: in a private cloud you can optimize the hardware for your specific scenario, reducing the number of VMs needed for the same job compared to public cloud providers
  • heterogeneous environments: if you need to develop in different environments then there are chances that the public cloud service won’t be able to provide them

The new challenges

  • parallelism, you need to know the dependencies between components to know what needs to be built before what
  • stickyness, or how to take advantage of the state of the agents to start builds in the same ones if possible, ie. agents that built a project before can do a source control update instead of a checkout, or have the dependencies already in the filesystem
  • asset management, when you have an increasing number of services running, stoping and starting as needed, you need to know what’s running and where, not only at hardware level but at service level: build agents, test agents and deployment servers.

The new vision

  • you can improve continuous integration as developers checkin code because the barrier to add new infrastructure is minimal, given you have enough hardware in your cloud or if you use external cloud services, which means reduced time to find problems
  • developers have access to infrastructure they need to do their jobs, for instance start an exact copy of the production environment to fix an issue by using a cloud template that they can get up and running in minutes and tear down at the end, not incurring in high hardware costs
  • less friction and easier interaction with IT people as developers can self provision infrastructure, if necessary shuffling virtual machines that they no longer need for the ones they needed

By leveraging the cloud you can solve existing problems in your development lifecycle and at the same time you will be able to do things that you would not even consider because the technology made it complicated or impossible to do. Definitely something worth checking out for large development teams.

Maestro 3 is going to be released this week at InterOp New York (come over and say hi if you are around) but we are already demoing the development snapshots to clients and at conferences like JavaOne.

JavaOne slides: Enterprise Build and Test in the Cloud

I have uploaded the slides from my talk Enterprise Build and Test in the Cloud at JavaOne in San Francisco.

You can check also the code, and an introduction in previous posts

Enterprise build and Test in the Cloud with Selenium I
and
Enterprise build and Test in the Cloud with Selenium II.

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JavaOne talk: Enterprise Build and Test in the Cloud

I’ll be presenting Enterprise Build and Test in the Cloud at JavaOne in San Francisco, Wednesday June 3rd 11:05am Esplanade 301 and will be around the whole week.

You can check the slides from the previous talk at ApacheCON, the code, and an introduction in previous posts

Enterprise build and Test in the Cloud with Selenium I
and
Enterprise build and Test in the Cloud with Selenium II.

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Enterprise Build and Test in the Cloud code available

The code accompanying the slides Enterprise Build and Test in the Cloud is available at the appfuse-selenium github page.

Provides a Selenium test environment for Maven projects, Appfuse as an example. Allows to run Selenium tests as part of the Maven build, either in an specific container and browser or launching the tests in parallel in several browsers at the same time.

For more information check my slides on Enterprise Build and Test in the Cloud and the blog entries Enterprise Build and Test in the Cloud with Selenium I and Enterprise Build and Test in the Cloud with Selenium II.

By default it’s configured to launch 3 browsers in parallel, Internet Explorer, Firefox 2 and 3

Check src/test/resources/testng.xml for the configuration.

In the single browser option you could do

  • Testing in Jetty 6 and Firefox

    • mvn install

  • Testing in Internet Explorer

    • mvn install -Pjetty6x,iexplore

  • Testing with any browser

    • mvn install
      -Pjetty6x,otherbrowser -DbrowserPath=path/to/browser/executable

  • Start the server (no tests
    running, good for recording tests)

    • mvn package cargo:start

ApacheCON slides: “Enterprise Build and Test in the Cloud” and “Eclipse IAM, Maven integration for Eclipse”

Here you have the slides from my talks at ApacheCON

Enterprise Build and Test in the Cloud

Building and testing software can be a time and resource consuming task. Cloud computing / on demand services like Amazon EC2 allow a cost-effective way to scale applications, and applied to building and testing software can reduce the time needed to find and correct problems, meaning a reduction also in time and costs. Properly configuring your build tools (Maven, Ant,…), continuous integration servers (Continuum, Cruise Control,…), and testing tools (TestNG, Selenium,…) can allow you to run all the build/testing process in a cloud environment, simulating high load environments, distributing long running tests to reduce their execution time, using different environments for client or server applications,… and in the case of on-demand services like Amazon EC2, pay only for the time you use it.
In this presentation we will introduce a development process and architecture using popular open source tools for the build and test process such as Apache Maven or Ant for building, Apache Continuum as continuous integration server, TestNG and Selenium for testing, and how to configure them to achieve the best results and performance in several typical use cases (long running testing processes, different client platforms,…) by using he Amazon Elastic Computing Cloud EC2, and therefore reducing time and costs compared to other solutions.

Download PDF

Eclipse IAM, Maven integration for Eclipse

Eclipse IAM (Eclipse Integration for Apache Maven), formerly “Q for Eclipse”, is an Open Source project that integrates Apache Maven and the Eclipse IDE for faster, more agile, and more productive development. The plugin allows you to run Maven from the IDE, import existing Maven projects without intermediate steps, create new projects using Maven archetypes, synchronize dependency management, search artifact repositories for dependencies that are automatically downloaded, view a graph of dependencies and more! Join us to discover how to take advantage of all these features, as well as how they can help you to improve your development process.

Download PDF

Conference season: JavaOne

If last week I mentioned the two conferences I got talks accepted, ApacheCON and EclipseCON, now I just got the confirmation that my talk Enterprise build and test in the cloud was accepted for JavaOne, June 2-5 in San Francisco

You can read a little bit about what I’m going to talk about in my posts

Enterprise build and Test in the Cloud with Selenium I
and
Enterprise build and Test in the Cloud with Selenium II, probably a 3rd part coming after ApacheCON.