Book Image

HashiCorp Packer in Production

By : John Boero
Book Image

HashiCorp Packer in Production

By: John Boero

Overview of this book

Creating machine images can be time-consuming and error-prone when done manually. HashiCorp Packer enables you to automate this process by defining the configuration in a simple, declarative syntax. This configuration is then used to create machine images for multiple environments and cloud providers. The book begins by showing you how to create your first manifest while helping you understand the available components. You’ll then configure the most common built-in builder options for Packer and use runtime provisioners to reconfigure a source image for desired tasks. You’ll also learn how to control logging for troubleshooting errors in complex builds and explore monitoring options for multiple logs at once. As you advance, you’ll build on your initial manifest for a local application that’ll easily migrate to another builder or cloud. The chapters also help you get to grips with basic container image options in different formats while scaling large builds in production. Finally, you’ll develop a life cycle and retention policy for images, automate packer builds, and protect your production environment from nefarious plugins. By the end of this book, you’ll be equipped to smoothen collaboration and reduce the risk of errors by creating machine images consistently and automatically based on your defined configuration.
Table of Contents (18 chapters)
Part 1: Packer’s Beginnings
Part 2: Managing Large Environments
Part 3: Advanced Customized Packer

Speeding up your builds with parallel processes

If your application takes 5 minutes to build and install for each architecture but each architecture is independent, then it makes sense that independent images can be built in parallel to save time. Best practices should be able to guide logical isolation where we can maximize parallel builds. We can easily identify some guidelines for this. Divide your strategy into three layers – infrastructure, platform, and application. Other layers are up to the developer to test. Simple pattern layers are as follows:

  • Infrastructure: The cloud/hypervisor or infrastructure used to run your platform.
  • Platform: Operating systems (OSs) and golden images.
  • Application: Images to deploy on top of your platform.

For each infrastructure, you may run a build independently. Your image should not behave differently on AWS, Azure, GCP, or on-premises hypervisor. Each infrastructure option should behave independently. This means...