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

Using HCP Packer


HCP is under active development and features may change frequently.

In the previous chapter, we talked about image lifecycle management, establishing generic policies for retention using the manifest post-processor, and collecting outputs for each build in a directory. The good news is that HashiCorp Cloud Platform can actually do a lot of this lifecycle management automatically. HashiCorp Cloud Platform is the only paid and supported product under Packer. There is a Free tier that can be used for up to 10 images, but advanced features of the Standard and Plus tiers cost a fee based on consumption. As a relatively new feature, HCP Packer is largely HCL-only and is not supported by legacy JSON templates. One of the biggest challenges of Packer has always been image discovery. Now that Packer has built multiple versions of your images around the globe in multiple cloud providers, how can you deploy those images with something such as Terraform? Terraform can...