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

Creating a retention policy

Now that we have some ways to track image metadata with each build, the next step is to design a retention policy. Retention times largely depend on compliance standards for your industry, but it never hurts to have an overprotective policy. Some Financial Conduct Authority guidelines say platform records should be kept for at least five years. Some more strict organizations may require seven years. Say we need a maximum retention of seven years for all image data. We determine that images must be retained for seven years but they can be compressed and archived after two years. We can establish these guidelines in a simple standard:

  1. At three months of age, an image shall be deprecated for new deployments.
  2. At one year of age, all deployed instances of an image should be terminated.
  3. At two years of age, an image shall be compressed and archived in cold storage.
  4. At seven years of age, an image can finally be purged.
Figure 9.4 – Image retention timeline ...