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Pragmatic DevOps: Virtualization & Provisioning with Vagrant & Chef

Introduction to DevOps, Virtualization and Provisioning

DevOps has become more than just a buzzword among the innovators in software development and IT operations today. It’s as hot a topic as agile was a decade ago. Just like agile, no one was able to really lock down a good enough definition, or figure out the context in which the definition of agile actually existed (at first)…

What does DevOps have to do with all this?

Not unlike agile, DevOps focuses on simple concepts–such as automation, reusability and iterative improvement–built on a foundation of a shared culture that promotes collaboration. Here at ZeroTurnaround, we like to think of ourselves as “DevOps champions”; our products JRebel and LiveRebel are the fruits of our hard work, research and vision aimed at the entire software creation pipeline, from Dev to QA to Staging and Ops (and back again)

This report will make it easy for you get started with adopting aspects of DevOps practices, so let’s get on with it and take a look at two of the most important cornerstones: Virtualization and Provisioning

Why do we need Virtualization & Provisioning?

It’s important to recognize the value provided by virtualization and environment provisioning (especially when automated). In case you haven’t really given it very much thought, virtualization is especially useful in complex environments, i.e. when you want to have similar environments for Development, QA/Testing, and Production. Provisioning is something you may need to do frequently, so automating it, although possibly painful at first, will pay off when you can reuse the “scripts” between different environments and scale quickly if needed.

So if you want to set up and test anything in advance before running your apps in production blindly, then you need to configure suitable environment (virtualization) that has everything required for your application or project to run properly (provisioning). The term “infrastructure as code” references to using tools to automate infrastructure configuration with all the benefits that brings.

So how many teams configure their infrastructure with code? Sadly, not too many…