Creating an 2010 Team Foundation Server instance in the cloud

As a TFS consultant, I need to know everything there is to know about the product.  I really didn’t want to spend $1,000+ on hardware to have it running all the time, so I looked into using Amazon Web Services.  I had a little trepidation because I really didn’t know how much money it was going to cost me, but I figured “what the heck” and gave it a try.  Here are my results or more specifically my first month’s bill:

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud

US East (Northern Virginia) Region
Amazon EC2 running Windows
$0.12 per Small Windows Instance (m1.small) instance-hour (or partial hour) 1 Hrs 0.12
$0.48 per Large Windows Instance (m1.large) instance-hour (or partial hour) 16 Hrs 7.68
Amazon EC2 EBS
$0.10 per GB-month of provisioned storage 18.569 GB-Mo 1.86
$0.10 per 1 million I/O requests 5,159,946 IOs 0.52

This comes out to $10.18, which really isn’t that bad.  I tried the small instance first, but it didn’t have enough RAM, so I went with the more costly Large Instance.  This was plenty of firepower.  As I recall, it had about 6 GB of RAM and multiple cores.  I put SharePoint 2010, TFS 2010, SQL Server 2008 R2 on it and everything ran smoothly.  I am thinking of bundling the Amazon Machine Instance (AMI) to make it easier for others to get started.  Please contact me or leave a comment if you’re interested.


About Leonard Woody
Software Engineer

11 Responses to Creating an 2010 Team Foundation Server instance in the cloud

  1. tim says:

    Does it make sense to run TFS in the cloud? I suppose to be frugal you could turn the machine on only when checking in code. Is there a “sleep” mode for EC2?

    • That’s a good question. For certain things, like build machines, I think it definitely makes sense. Only spin up build agents when you need them. Same with test agents. As for the App Tier and Data Tier of TFS; I think it depends on the amount of users you will have and how much you would like to invest in disaster recovery. Many variables to consider…

  2. Drew Pierce says:

    Yes, there is a sleep mode. It works awesome. Also command line (JCL) and .net interfaces to run a VERY robust api against your instances, storage, etc.

  3. soundripple says:

    Did you set up secure access? If so, did you use a VPN setup, or ISA?

    • No, I didn’t get that far 😦 Either way it’s going to be difficult. VPN setup takes configuring your on-site firewall with their vpn. They have documentation for Juniper and Cisco devices as I recall; but not being a network engineer…. I didn’t venture that far 🙂

  4. NIKOLAY SONIN says:

    I installed TFS on Amazon Cloud but can’t access it’s web portal from any machine except for this cloud machine. Even on the cloud machine I can’t get access to TFS via its public IP address. What I’m supposed to do with this issue?

  5. soundripple says:

    We ended up using Amazon’s VPC offering, and so far it’s looking good. Connecting our Juniper was a bit of a challenge, but it looks like a good solution.

  6. Awesome! Good to hear!

  7. Did you ever bundle that AMI? Would come in very handy… thanks!

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