Running a test/dev instance

I need some advice.

I don't have a server. I travel all the time, and just use my MBA with only 4GB ram for general use.

I have installed Confluence locally but it is unusably slow (and is having some sort of tomcat errors also).

I need to set up a Confluence instance for testing and trying out new stuff.

Of course, On Demand is not an option becuase you can't install Plugins and it is the plugins that I need to be playing with.

How do you suggest I do this? Do I need to go to the extent of setting up an AWS micro instance or something similar? I know I can get a free Micro instance http://aws.amazon.com/free/.

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it's always tricky wanting something for nothing ;-)

I'd either find a friendly developer who rents his own server privately & do a quid pro quo or you could try these companies. There is always a catch but maybe the catch is small enough not to matter. You'll ned to make sure they give you remote terminal access (SSH) and you'll have to get down & dirty with command line installs.

http://www.freevirtualservers.com/free-hosting.htm setup fees apply

http://www.one.com/en/ - not free but very cheap

or talk to one of the providers and barter a deal (like Harry from Query Foundry)

https://confluence.atlassian.com/display/DISC/List+Of+Confluence+and+JIRA+Hosting+Providers

if you have a spare PC at home, you could always install it there, leave it running and configure your home broadband router to do some port mapping so incoming HTTP requests go to your PC. You'll also need to setup a dynamic DNS client so that you have a static URL which will always point to your home PC (your home ADSL will periodically change it's IP address).

http://www.lullabot.com/articles/use-dynamic-dns-host-website-your-laptop

In summary....

you can pay a small amount of money to Query Foundry ordo a lot of extra work yourself.

How much is your spare time worth/hour? What would you prefer to be doing?

If I had only a MBA and no other machines to work with, I would install a virtual machine (VirtualBox, Vmware, etc.) with Linux or Windows (adds to cost) and run confluence within that. This would let you install in a separate environment from your mac osx system and would be closer to a real production environment.

If you want to host the install somewhere I would recommend keeping an eye on www.lowendbox.com. It’s a blog that specifically posts low cost virtual private servers offers from providers. I picked up a vps $7/month that had 2gb of ram (not sure if that special is still good). If you are going to host it make sure the host meets the hardware and software requirements before you buy.

Ah, it looks like I can't even get a free instance as I've had an AWS account for over 12 months, so there goes that suggestion :(

Confluence isn't supported on OSX as a server. I wouldn't recommended it. It's why you may be having errors.

Hi, I don't think Confluence will run on a micro instance, especially later versions. You'll be constrained with memory considering you will be playing with plugins etc. You will need at least a small instance.

What is your budget? If you need a semi-managed Confluence instance setup and hosted simply for dev/test we can probably give you a good price. Contact us at sales@queryfoundry.com.

Otherwise, the best idea is to rent a cloud instance / virtual server etc with at least 1gb of memory and good performance and latency.

Hi, my budget is preferably $0.

I am going to have to pay $10 for each of the plugins that I want to test anyway. So, trying to be proactive and learn about this stuff is getting to be a bit more expensive. (I know it is outweighed by the income earned, but I still want to minimise costs). This is why I'm asking how other do it?

I won't use AWS if I have to pay for it, because I could not control the pricing of it up front.

Host it on your MacBook Air and just accept that things might work? I guess the problem is your MacBook Air.

However, if you do plan on developing plugins, do have customers interested in paid Confluence hosting etc, we might be able to offer you something free for a few months as a promo :)

Thanks for all the suggestions.

Now if we can open up the discussion to ask how do you run your test environment? Locally, Your own box at home on static IP? Hosted virtual server?

I run my test/dev instance on my local PC, provided I don't use Macs for work either as a laptop and/or workstation. I need this locally to easily start/stop and make changes to the instance. Then and again my workstation has 12gb of ram. It's needed for doing this type of work unforunately.

UAT and Production instances of any sort is externally hosted, some on a dedicated server and some on virtual servers.

I have a local install on my laptops for development work. Current client is Windows 7, personal is MacBookPro, both 4Gb. Can't run much else when doing development but it works. I also rent a private server for access anywhere, sub-let space on it to pay overheads and use spare capacity for my experiments!

also, current client has privately hosted DEV and Staging servers for us to work on

The free tier of Amazon is too small: 500Mb. You need 700Mb for Confluence. It's so slow that Confluence times out at startup!

However it works well on a EC2 Small Instance, for $0.14 per hour. Drawback is, it's so annoying to configure, start your AWS instance, copy its IP into the browser, etc.

If you look at the commands of the SDK, one allows you to run whatever product:

https://developer.atlassian.com/display/DOCS/atlas-run-standalone

So whereever you go, you can always have a throw-away Confluence instance ready and you can quickly try out an older or a newer version:

atlas-run-standalone --product confluence --version 4.3.5

I don't know for the license, but it works out of the box. Only requires the SDK but it's fast to install on a Mac.

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