decorative image showing illustration of openlogic centos boxes
November 5, 2020

Introducing the New OpenLogic CentOS Vagrant Boxes

Open Source
Virtualization

OpenLogic has just released their first CentOS Vagrant Box for CentOS 8, making it easier than ever to streamline development and VM management.

This blog looks at the details behind the new OpenLogic CentOS 8 Vagrant Box, supported platforms, and the benefits teams can look forward to. But first, let's get some background on Vagrant and what it does.

What Is Vagrant?

Vagrant is a tool used in building and managing virtual machine environments. 

Think of the vagrant utility as a technology you can rely on to handle the intimate details of your VM maintenance. You give Vagrant access to where you want the VMs managed, tell it what you want done and it does it. This allows you to focus on what you need to have going on inside the VMs.

You can even use Vagrant to provision the instances when they are brought up, relieving you of the hassle of getting the base image prepared. Vagrant supports many providers, from local hypervisors to cloud-based services.

OpenLogic and Vagrant

OpenLogic has been providing CentOS virtual machine images on several platforms for many years. At present, we build images for CentOS 6, CentOS 7 and CentOS 8 on AWS (Amazon Web Service), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud (Google Compute Engine). These images are relatively minimal installs that are tailored for the environment they are running in.

Due to how our partnerships work with these cloud platforms, OpenLogic includes 9x5 technical support via email for all of our images on AWS and Google Cloud, but not for Azure (Microsoft support provides this service on Azure).

We’ve been using Vagrant internally to help recreate customer issues in a repeatable way for years. By having a known VM structure that is easily reconstructed, we can tear down and stand back up environments that reproduce our customers’ environments quickly and efficiently, leaving us to focus on solving our customers’ issues!

What Versions of CentOS and Which Platforms Are the Images Available For?

While OpenLogic has images available for CentOS 6 (plain and security hardened), 7 (plain and security hardened) and 8 (plain only, at this time), not all of these images are available for all providers. 

It is for this reason that our first vagrant box release is CentOS 8, which we have images for on all of our current platforms.

Don’t worry, though, Vagrant boxes for CentOS 7 will be released shortly!

Try the OpenLogic CentOS 8 Vagrant Box Today

Ready to see the OpenLogic CentOS 8 Vagrant Box in action? Visit the our page on Vagrant to get started!

Visit CEntos 8 Page

Benefits of Using OpenLogic Images

OpenLogic’s images build on our previous image releases, reducing the variation between released versions, and go through two separate quality assurance (QA) trials to ensure that any issues previously resolved continue to be resolved in our latest images.

Our image build process uses kickstarts and is fully automated for consistency and efficiency. We’ve also recently finished automating our QA testing, so the only time human hands touch our images after kicking off the process is to verify the results of the QA testing.

With this initial vagrant box, we are making a VirtualBox image publicly available for the first time! We’ve been using our VirtualBox images internally for quite some time, but they were never available outside of our company.

Consistent VM Behavior

What this means to you is consistent repeatability. You can now launch an image for dev/test on your local workstation and know that wherever else you launch the VM, it will behave the same. Imagine taking an idea from proof-of-concept on your laptop, to initial presentation on a lab hypervisor, to staging on a private cloud account, to production on a public cloud account. This is all done with what is functionally the same base image and allows for seamless project migration between cloud providers. (Note: Azure images may differ due to a different build system for that environment.)

Full Cycle Support Options

Your support options grow with your project as it is promoted from test (free VirtualBox image without support) through production (AWS or Google Cloud support included with fees paid to the cloud provider) even though the image you use remains the same. For projects that require more support, we offer support contracts to cover CentOS systems regardless of environment — even if they’re not launched from OpenLogic images.

Accelerated Development

Some of our customers have requested that we build custom vagrant images for them to accomplish this within their own infrastructure. These customers found that using the same image for every stage of their project lifecycle resulted in accelerated promotion to the next phase with minimal (or zero) changes. Testing application or database changes, package updates or new base images before deploying to production was faster, easier and more exactly mimicked the results without a lot of guesswork.

Keeping Things Simple

If you’re already using OpenLogic CentOS images in one of the three supported cloud providers, the Vagrant box method won’t introduce any new images (except the VirtualBox image), but what you will gain is the unified Vagrant interface to those images.

Final Thoughts

With their ability to help improve consistency and accelerate the development cycle, the OpenLogic CentOS 8 Vagrant box and upcoming CentOS 7 Vagrant Box can be valuable tools for efficient VM management. If you have any questions about Vagrant support, or need guidance on how your team can implement Vagrant, please reach out.

Talk With an Expert

 

For those who use this Vagrant Box (or our images directly within the provider), we’d love to hear some feedback! Is there anything that you’d like to see? Do you use a Vagrant-supported provider that we don’t currently have images for? Are you encountering any problems that we’re unaware of? Please send an email with details to [email protected].

Additional Resources

To learn more about deploying VMs using our Vagrant Boxes, including the exact image versions in the box, check out our Vagrant Deployment Guide for CentOS 8.

Also be sure to bookmark the OpenLogic Vagrant page, where we'll have additional Vagrant boxes available as we release them.

Looking for more reading on Vagrant? Check out these resources: