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 ancestry

We have discussed the concept of image hierarchy and ancestry for parent/child image relationships, but we haven’t discussed how to use it. If one image serves as a base image for a hierarchy of application images, then you can retire or deprecate them all at the same time by deprecating the ancestor’s channel. The way to do this is to create another template, using the hcp-packer-image data source, to look up another AMI ID to extend with further images. We will create an example where we extend the latest Amazon Linux image used in the sample template:

We will select the development channel of al-latest but add GPU support using NVIDIA’s latest drivers, tuning the environment for 3D render farm operations. The end result is to look up the current AMI ID for our region. Specifying the minimal fields for bucket_name, channel, and region would be enough,...