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


This chapter explored more on builder options than the initial builder featured in our first template. This overview of builders and the plugins that contain them, introduces support for the major cloud providers. We’ve extended our sample template with cloud examples in a bit more depth. We have done everything so far in a single template. We also covered some tips to use HashiCorp Vault to generate short-lived credentials for Packer builds. This is very helpful for high-security environments, where logs will never contain valid credentials used in your cloud environment.

Next, we will go beyond technical validation and delve into design patterns, looking at how to make a hierarchy of base and supplemental images in an optimal structure. We’ll also look further at parallel builds and the use of chroot builders to help speed up specialized image builds without creating a VM instance.