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

Adding an Azure build

The Azure plugin is a bit simpler than the Amazon plugin in that it currently has no data sources and fewer builder options. It resembles the Amazon plugin in that it has a main builder that uses ARM, similar to Amazon’s EBS builder. Azure also supports a chroot builder, much like Amazon, that can speed up builds. Here, we’ll show a sample source for each. The chroot example must also be run from an existing EC2 instance, but we’ll demonstrate chroots with Azure VMs.

Packer’s credentials must have certain roles configured for access to manage VM instances and generate images. Azure makes this very simple compared to other options. There are just two roles required generally – Managed Identity Operator and Virtual Machine Contributor. If you use chroot builders, you don’t need to create a VM, and technically, you could have an extra-secure Packer process using just chroots without Packer ever needing privileges to manage...