Consistent Development Environment using Vagrant and Chef

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Information about Consistent Development Environment using Vagrant and Chef

Published on February 21, 2014

Author: kirkstenvon



This presentation is about how to setup a consistent environment using Vagrant and Chef.

2014 DevOps Day – Philippines February 22, 2014 Microsoft Philippines 8th Floor, 6750 Ayala Ave., Makati City

{ DevOps Way } : Consistent Development Environment using Vagrant and Chef Gerald Z. Villorente DevOps Engineer | Drupal Developer | Open-Source Enthusiast

About Me  Started to learn how to use computer in 2005  I became a computer technician in 2007  I became a Web Developer in 2009  Drupalista since 2011  Drupal Developer at CNN Travel|KiteSystems 2011-2013  DevOps Engineer at BodogNation 2013-2014  Drupal Engineer at X-Team 2014-present

Agenda: Agenda:  The Traditional Setup  What is Vagrant  Why to use Vagrant  DevOps with Vagrant in Mind  What is Chef  Why to use Chef

Your Dev and Prod environment are not the same!  Different Operating Systems  Different version of PHP|Python|Ruby|Node.js  Different configuration files  Different libraries and extensions

Well, it worked on my machine!

Against DevOps principle!

Dev and Ops War

The Right Way!

Virtualized Environments

Reasons why we should: Reasons why we should:  Consistent Operating Systems and PHP|Python|Ruby|Node.js versions between production and development machine.  New comers can get going with the development right away. No more painful setups.  Redistributable in case of hardware failure.

Reasons why we don't: Reasons why we don't:  Can never get the networking between host and guest OS.  Scared of the command line.  Massive overhead keeping the VM up to date.

What is Vagrant?

A tool for building and distributing virtualized environments.

Why Vagrant?


Mirror Production

Test Ops scripts with a free server

Designers and QA can setup their environment easily

Faster Onboarding

Getting Started  Install Virtualbox | VMware  Install Vagrant  Import your base OS ($ vagrant box add [BASE_NAME] [])  Generate Vagrantfile config ($ vagrant init [BASE_NAME])  Boot your guest machine ($ vagrant up)


That's the OS only. How about the packages I needed? Should I install them manually?

Well, you have 2 options.  Package an existing running environment. $ vagrant package --base VM_ID --output  Use Chef or Puppet to provision that packages and needed config.

DevOps with Vagrant in Mind

The Goal: Develop Cookbooks and Modules to run in a VM and Production

Vagrant and DevOps: Vagrant and DevOps: Little Extra Effort Big Gain Good Practices

Chef A tool for automating the provisioning and management of servers

A Good Example

Why Chef?

Less documentation

Bash doesn't scale. Seriously. Bash is a wonderful thing, but like all UNIX tools, it is fundamentally limited by design. Bash doesn't have a code reuse mechanism more powerful than functions.

Maybe you can do this using “sed”. But hey are you sick?

Technical Awesomeness.

NOSQL FTW One of the virtues that many *nix tools share is that they store their configurations in text files rather than binary formats or in a database. Chef stores your system configurations in text and in a database. It accomplishes this by using the documentoriented database, CouchDB.

Knowing is Half the Battle Chef uses Ohai to collect data about your system. Your recipes can access these attributes and make decisions based on them. For example, you can determine which version of Red Hat you are using simply by looking up the value of node['platform_version']. You don't have to cat | grep | awk to find out which release you are on.

Search Search is a feature in Chef Server that allows you to query the configuration information of all other servers and of globally-defined databags (global variable). This allows you to do things like configure clusters where a member of cluster needs to know not only about its own configuration but about the configurations of the other members of the cluster.

Knife Knife is one of the truly great command line tools. It is your primary mechanism for interacting with the chef-server. Knife shares many usage patterns with git. If you love git, you'll love knife.

Shef Shef works the way you work, in an iterative manner. Most of us system administrators are self-taught and we learn best by doing. Fire up shef and you can on the fly play with attributes and create recipes. Further, you can connect to your server and download the cookbooks.

Chef grows with you. Chef uses pure Ruby as its configuration language, not a shackled subset of ruby, nor yet another custom configuration language. You only have to learn a small amount of ruby to get started with chef.

You can stop reinventing the wheel. Until Chef, we sysadmins did not have a truly modular way to abstract and share our system configurations.


I don't know Ruby. How can I create a robust script|recipe|manifest?



Thank You!

References: References: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Credits: Credits: 1. Mitchell Hashimoto Founder of HashiCorp, Creator of Vagrant and Packer 2. Opscode Creator of Chef 3. Puppet Labs Creator of Puppet

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