Develop and Test Configuration Management Scripts with Vagrant

Develop and Test Configuration Management Scripts with Vagrant

Configuration management and systems automation has really taken off the past few years, and the tooling around this has been rapidly improving as well. However, many engineers working with these tools still write entire scripts, spin up a new server, test them on that server, and then work through any issues they may face. Incremental development is rare or unheard of and basic testing of such scripts is cumbersome.

In this talk I will present using local virtual machines along with Vagrant as a way of enabling incremental development for server provisioning, and how it can be used to provide more stability and predictability during development. Additionally, I will talk about how organizations are using Vagrant as a way to also do basic integration testing of server provisioning scripts.

By enabling incremental development and providing a method for testing these scripts, the entire feedback loop during development is shortened which leads to higher stability and confidence of server provisioning.

Vagrant is an open source tool that has been around for about 2 years now. It provides a command line tool to create and manage virtual machines and is used by companies and organizations such as Rackspace, LivingSocial, EventBrite, Yammer, Nokia, and many more.

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Mitchell Hashimoto

June 26, 2012
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