For testing, I am planning to run a continuous integration testing. There are mainly two options: hosted, or own desktop/server. I will break it into 3 options I have:

  1. Hosted:

    • Economical, $10-20/month for a small app
    • Less setup, the CI company manage all hardware and software
  2. Desktop:

    • I could just buy a simple, cheap desktop as a test server (about $500).
  3. Used server:

    • My current office is offloading some old Dell rack server (Probably dual core Xeon, which I can purchase for $50 or less

Please advise me which best serves me for a small team of 2-3 developers. Thanks.

  • 1
    Take in account how much electricity will cost the solution 2 and 3. A Dell rack server for $50 may seem cheap, if you omit a few dozens of dollars of expenses every month. – Arseni Mourzenko Jul 1 '13 at 15:43

Economical... $20 per month, or $50 total for the Dell... sounds like that's the best option so far, especially when you don't need reliability (ie if it breaks, you buy new bits and rebuild, or re-evaluate your options then).

Personally, I'd reuse an old desktop machine - if it was good enough for development, its good enough for automated testing, and if you're anything like most shops, you'll have loads of old ones lying around from the last time you bought new PCs for the devs.


This really depends on which ContinuousIntegration solution you are using, as well as how much you'll be using it.

For example, many CI hosted solutions are very cheap or even free for just a few users, a few jobs, and a single build agent. But their hosting gets much more expensive when you start talking about lots of jobs and lots of build agents.

So, while hosting might be cheaper initially, it could get expensive very quickly. I'd install the CI software on an old desktop machine, and build out your self-hosted solution as needed. But that's just me, for some people the hosting costs are worth the savings in system configuration headaches.

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