Nik Molnar: Shrink-wrap your Dev environment with Visual Studio Online

Nik Molnar: Shrink-wrap your Dev environment with Visual Studio Online


I speak with program manager, Nik Molnar about his new baby Visual
Studio Online. Learn who it is for, why it was created and why it is amazing
and all the various use cases it works in. Pair programming on airplanes,
anyone? As an added bonus, Nik explains everything with a
hint of childlike wonder. Enjoy. First question, what is it and why
have you created Visual Studio Online? Like what? Where did this
need come from? Yeah, so what it is is Visual Studio Online
is an Azure service specifically for developers. It’s a compute-oriented service to
basically shrink-wrap your development environment and all of the things that
that entails from your source code. So the runtimes that you
needed to debug, your editor, your extensions for your
editor, your config. All of that stuff that you have to tinker
with and set up on your machine the first day you join a new company or you
start a new open source project and you spend a few hours getting that set up, we shrink-wrap all of that for you and
deliver it to you in about 60 seconds and then give you the ability to connect
to it from Visual Studio Code, Visual Studio IDE in private preview, you can sign up if you wanna use Visual
Studio IDE or our browser based editor that’s powered by VS code. We were here, many of the employees were here
setting up the conference, right. And the wifi wasn’t quite set up yet. So I’m on my computer using
a hotspot from my phone. So I had pretty crummy internet and I’m
getting a ping from my director and we were going to practice a demo
that we were doing together. And so I spun up an environment.
I live shared it with her. So we’re both using the environment at
the exact same time. I see her cursor, she sees mine. We’re debugging
together, we can see the app together. And I said, where are you? Where
in the convention, are you? Oh, I’m on the airplane
flying in from Seattle. So she’s 10,000 feet above the
ground. I’m hot spotted onto a phone. We’re connected to a remote environment. Neither of us had node installed and
we were pair programming on a node environment in the cloud. It’s
a compute based service, right? So when you start to
create an environment, we provision a VM for you and
we put a container on that VM. That container is completely customizable
on a per project or task basis. So if you want a different
version of Linux, you can do that. If you need to install a different
version of a runtime, you can do that. Whatever tools you need upon it,
you can go ahead and do that. So that’s kind of the compute. We Mount a premium SSD drive onto that storage. So
you have a really great IO experience. And then we have all the networking from
Azure and we find typically that that networking is better than what you
have on your wifi and your laptop. So NPN restores are really fast. Or if you live in Australia you
have no internet. Yeah, exactly. If you’re in the sticks. And so then what we do is using either
the browser or the extension for Visual Studio Desktop, we use Azure relay
to connect those two things together. And in these two scenarios, I’ll put visual studio IDE aside for a
second cause it’s a little bit different implementation. We’re both technically and philosophically
extending the visual studio code remote development tools. Right. So
the SSH tool or the Docker at the WSL, we’re kind of another one like sort of
threesome becomes a foursome and allows you to connect to these environments
that are, that are managed. So that’s kind of how it
all kind of comes together. For visual studio it works
in a very similar way. Some of the networking connectivity
bits are a little bit different. But I mean if I was to draw a
rolling architecture diagram, it would be a different label on
the same line. All right. Okay, that makes sense. So what do I pay for? I pay for the VM that gets spun up or
what’s the pricing kind of on this? Yeah, so we bake all, all of
the components together. Cause I mentioned the
storage and I mentioned the
networking and I mentioned the compute, all of that comes together in one
price and you pay for what you consume. Kind of like how you would
think about paying for a VM. And so basically you get down to the
second billing and because we want to be very mindful of what you’re doing, we automatically will suspend
the environment for you
once you have become idle on it. Yeah very cool. So
where do I go to learn more? How do I get into the public preview? So the public preview is open to
the public, thus the name. Yeah. So you can just go to
online.visualstudio.com
hit, hit the sign in button. If you already have an Azure
subscription, a Microsoft account, you’ll just go straight in and you’ll
be able to get going. And if not, we’ll walk you through the
steps on how to set that up. If you want to use the visual studio IDE, go online to visual studio.com
again, hit learn more. And there will be a blog post that I
wrote with a link in there to sign up for the private preview. You’ll
be added to the wait list. We’ll get to your number on the
wait list as soon as we can.

Danny Hutson

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