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Using Golden Image Factory with Packer in a Multi-Cloud Environment

March 29, 2019

 

The way we deploy infrastructure is one of the key performance indicators of our work. There are two ways of deployment. The first one is the standard one which we are all used to. This is what we call a “mutable deployment”. It includes three common steps: deployment of infrastructure, installation of binaries followed by the service configuration. Mutable means that the servers can be changed after they are created.

 

Working with images is the approach we call “immutable”. In this scenario, the image does not change from the moment it is up. First, we install the service and build images. Then we deploy the infrastructure and finish by configuring the service. Why is this approach important? Because at any given time you know what the server will do and there can never be any surprises coming from the deployment.

 

The key question is how to implement immutable architectures when multi-cloud strategy is in place.

 

Multi-cloud strategy is the implementation of a given application into two or more providers by developing the architecture for both, let’s say, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Azure.

 

This is where the Golden Image Factory comes in. Pro tip: We already demonstrated how to easily create Docker container images in our previous post.

 

Golden Image Factory is a tool that can be used as a part of CI/CD process for automating delivery of custom images in Multi-Cloud Environments. Golden Image Factory supports parent-child hierarchy and will automatically rebuild and update all child Images based on their parent. It utilizes AWS Event Bus (CloudWatch), so it is possible to be integrated with other tools for further image processing.

 

During this week’s HashiCorp User Group Meetup, our AWS Consultant & Team Leader Ivaylo Vrabchev demonstrated how to use HashiCorp’s Packer to embrace modern configuration management by using automated scripts to install and configure software within images. If you want to learn more about some of the most popular Packer’s features and available integration with different third-party tools that help in achieving a fully automated process of building golden images, you can take a peek at Ivaylo’s presentation by following this link.

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