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

Automating Packer Builds

In the previous section, we covered the lifecycle management of images and how to make sure you retain historical data about images for archiving, forensics, or auditing. Now, we’re going to put together everything we’ve learned and apply automation using a full GitOps workflow. Automation really should be applied early on in your Packer journey, but it’s important that we’ve covered all of the basics of manual builds first to understand how to properly automate them. Some of the tools we created earlier, such as scripts to build all images in a directory, are perfectly set up for basic Continuous Integration (CI) pipelines via tools such as Jenkins, GitLab CI, and GitHub Actions. There are many tools to cover, but we will first cover some fundamentals of automation that must be considered in any automation solution. Then, we will cover some helpful examples using widely available open source tools that are commonly used in enterprise...