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

Utilizing local system builders

Packer isn’t always about cloud or remote system images. Sometimes, it’s helpful to build local images for testing or local hypervisors. The build performance in local environments is often better and may save you time when developing. Here, we will cover a few common options for local builds before moving on to cloud images.

Using VirtualBox builders – ISO, OVF, and VM

In addition to the ISO builder, which boots a VirtualBox VM from a read-only ISO image, you may use an existing OVF, or even an existing VM that exists in VirtualBox. The OVF builder is particularly useful as it lets images quickly be built from the OVF output of another Packer build. Let’s explore the options for each of these. Note that if you’re using JSON with the JSON schemas enabled in your editor, these options should be annotated and guided with optional default values. One thing we didn’t cover is configuring the VirtualBox plugin...