The Beta cluster is a functional, production-like environment in the Cloud VPS that is suitable for final-stage testing of new features. It runs off git master and has its MediaWiki core and extensions code updated about every ten minutes.
The aim is to provide an exact copy of the WMF production cluster (including db hosts, apaches, logging, squids, varnish caching, image scalers, etc.) using Cloud VPS instances.
See the workboard in Phabricator.
Testing changes on Beta Cluster
The beta cluster uses the same wmf-config directory in the MW core repository as production, but in addition the beta cluster machines load
extension-list-labs files so you can have settings that only apply to the Cloud VPS project.
Logs from the beta cluster are sent to Logstash and can be seen at logstash-beta.wmflabs.org
If you need to run a maintenance script on the Beta Cluster, ssh to deployment-tin.deployment-prep.eqiad.wmflabs (proxying through bastion.wmflabs.org).
If you need to check the databases, they're hosted on machines with the name *dbXX* among the ones listed here: https://tools.wmflabs.org/openstack-browser/project/deployment-prep.
If you just need to run some queries, ssh to deployment-tin.eqiad.wmflabs and run sql deploymentwiki or sql enwiki replacing those with any other dbname you need.
Stash messages to the beta cluster's server admin log by using the prefix "!log deployment-prep" in #wikimedia-cloud.