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

Identifying common automation requirements

Establishing a runner depends on what types of images you’ll be building and where. Runners will connect to your GitHub or GitLab instance to monitor a repository for event hooks. The advantage of this is that no ingress ports must be open on your network or firewall. A runner service will simply establish secure API access to your GitHub or GitLab instance and listen for events such as a merge or commit on a certain branch. This is the most basic form of CI, which is actually sufficient for most Packer tasks.

What type of runner you need depends on what types of images you will build. Building cloud images often relies only on API calls and can be done from just about any environment. A runner service may be a container, a VM, a physical machine, or a managed service provided by GitHub or GitLab.

If building remotely in a cloud provider, any runner should suffice. Since the builder is only making API calls to external resources...