Let's say you just finished the second to last sprint of a six month long project for a client. Now, the client wants you to move the application to the cloud in order to prepare for its official release in two weeks.
Not only do you have to tie up development loose ends but you also have to deploy the application onto the cloud and ensure everything that functions locally also works on a cloud stack! A whole ‘nother ball game.
No need to stress because Engine Yard has built a tool for you called Engine Yard Local. We're continually listening to developers in our community, and they told us they needed a way to make it easier to quickly move from their local development environment to production.
In a nutshell, Engine Yard Local allows you to develop and test your application in a local cloud environment using a virtual machine, similar to an instance you would have on Engine Yard Cloud.
The first thing you need to do is have VirtualBox and Engine Yard Local running on your system. After installation, run the following key command at the root level of your application. This will boot the virtual machine, install the cookbook recipes, and provision all the rest of the stack components such as the operating system, web server and application server, load balancer, and more.
$ ey-local up
Once the provisioning is complete, you can run
$ ey-local status
And your screen should indicate that your virtual machine is now up and running.
Once your virtual machine is live, you can visit http://127.0.0.1:8080/ to see your application in action.
With Engine Yard Local, like any of the environments on Engine Yard, you have complete control of your instances through SSH. This allows you to have a better understanding of your stack by checking things like your production and Passenger log files.
As you can see, Engine Yard Local serves as a nifty way to save you from going through the process of signing up for an account, configuring everything, deploying your application, and paying for your instances - only to find out that something is not working. With Engine Yard Local, you can continuously test your application, as if you're actually on the cloud, except this is a free simulation with no limits.
Visit http://www.engineyard.com/products/local to learn more and try out Engine Yard Local for yourself. If you're a bigger fan of learning through video, we also have a walkthrough screencast. Check out our documentation here.