Colin Low (with updates by Julio Guijarro: SmartFrog Tutorial - (Hewlett Packard Laboratories, Bristol)
Let us suppose you are developing an application with several autonomous components. These components could be parts of a distributed application, with components distributed across multiple hosts. It is necessary to test the individual components, and you realise that to test component1 you will need to have each of component2 to component7 in place. Whenever you run a test, you will have to activate seven components with all the correct configuration parameters. You may have to carry this out dozens of times until testing is complete.
Ritu Sabharwal: Grid Infrastructure Deployment using SmartFrog Technology - (Hewlett-Packard (STSD), Bangalore, India)
Wojtek Goscinski and David Abramson, School of Computer Science and Software Engineering, Monash University, Victoria, Australia
Application Deployment over Heterogeneous Grids using Distributed Ant
"The construction of large scale e-Science grid experiments presents a challenge to e-Scientists because of the inherent difficulty of deploying applications over large scale heterogeneous grids. In spite of this, user-oriented application deployment has remained unsupported in grid middleware. This lack of support for application deployment is strongly detrimental to the usability, evolution, uptake and continual development of the grid. This paper presents our motivation, design and implementation of the Distributed Ant user-oriented application deployment system, including recent extensions to support application deployment over heterogeneous grids. We also present a significant Distributed Ant deployment case study, demonstrating how a user-oriented application deployment system enables e-Science experiments."
Proceedings of the First International Conference on e-Science and Grid Computing
Pages: 361 - 368
Year of Publication: 2005
Its also useful to look at how large vendors implement their deployment tooling/strategy:
Oracle® Containers for J2EE Deployment Guide, Using OC4J Ant Tasks for Deployment
WebSphere Application Server documentation
Ant in Anger: Using Apache Ant in a Production Development System, by Steve Loughran