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Rebelcast Episode 10 – Wandering the Virtual World with Vagrant

The question of today’s Rebelcast is “Why would you want to use Vagrant and why should Development and Operations teams care about it?”

Vagrant was created by Mitchell Hashimoto (who recently introduced Hashicorp to “take Vagrant to the next level”) and is all about virtualization, scripting and different environments. We use Vagrant at ZeroTurnaround quite extensively: we like to have good virtualization and provisioning for testing our product LiveRebel and for setting up demo environments for JRebel. We can easily simulate a multi-server production environment with all the network and overhead needs sitting right there for any of our developers to run tests on it.

Jevgeni and Tom like Vagrant. You can specify the kind of software you can have and just boot up a new virtual machine. Vagrant helps your VMs stay ‘young’; after a week VMs often need updates already, which is one of the reasons developers haven’t been using them much. With Vagrant and a provisioning tool like Puppet or Chef (we use Chef at ZT), you just create a big text file with the configurations, dependencies… and the tool makes your changes in a much more practical way. Ultimately, Vagrant helps your build and release apps better by developing and testing against environments that are realistic, letting you release with fewer bugs.

Great job to Mitchell and others in the industry for making truly innovative and simple solutions that solve everyday needs for people like us! :-)

  • balder

    I love vagrant. If they let me I would launch all integration test in environments created with Vagrant provisioned with puppet, launched by Jenkins. Same configs could then be used. by developers locally to mimic production environment instead of testing on their Windows of Mac.