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

Configuring HCP Packer in your templates

HCP Packer support is actually implemented within the plugin repositories. For the sample code in this chapter, we will use the Amazon plugin to build a family of EC2 AMIs. Be sure you have the latest versions of the plugin available, as not all features are supported by older releases. Updating your local Packer plugins for a template is simple:

$ packer init –upgrade [template/directory]

HCP credentials can and should be defined in environment variables. They can be defined in your Packer template code, but remember that defining sensitive credentials in your code is usually step one to accidentally publishing them to shared or public Git repositories and being compromised. These values can be found by checking the URL bar within HCP – for example,