A private openQRM Cloud use-case for a developer team
In my post about devopsdays I left out Matt Rechenburg's presentation on OpenQRM, a tool for provisioning appliances within any kind of virtualisation, or just on bare metal. The company that created QRM stopped developing it just after Matt had convinced the owners to make the product open source. Matt stayed on as coordinator for the open source project. Currently OpenQRM does not have commerical support, but the developers are available on a time and materials basis.
OpenQRM starts from the principle that a kernel, a program, a directory, or anything you can install on a computer system is basically just a file. It's just data. But this data is the most important piece that you need to make the system function, and you would then store this data on the weakest component of the system - a mechanical device inside a random piece of hardware.
OpenQRM therefore assumes that all code and configuration is stored centrally, and can be accessed/mounted across the network when required.
Taking the everything-is-a-file-concept to an extreme, OpenQRM allows you to build a complete application stack by dragging and dropping some components, and some memory into a single image and then schedule that to be deployed for an interval of a few days, weeks, or just for a couple of hours. The tool then schedules the necessary resources, and shortly before the requested timeframe, activates the image in a physical or virtual environment (OpenQRM supports all major virtualisation techniques, and new ones can be added as plugins.)
As an example, Matt showed a webdeveloper's appliance and suggested that you'd schedule its deployment for five minutes before you're arrival in the office :-)
More can be found online in Matt's presentation (ODF):
Or watch an earlier demo of OpenQRM on Youtube