For some time now I’ve been designing and developing some labs to replace the coming void that will be left by TechNet (please sign the petition!). My efforts have been focused on using VMware Fusion in conjunction with Vagrant and Packer. Both Vagrant and Packer are big deals in the DevOps communities due to the ability to quickly and easily destroy and create lab/dev environments.

Due to the rapid rebuilds that can occur heavy automation is a must, and this is where Vagrant really shines. Vagrant is essentially a controller for you virtual lab and Packer is a tool that can build virtual machine templates in an automated fashion.

I’ve been uploading my work to my GitHub page, if you’d like to take a look and get a head start on these tools. Very much a work in progress though. I believe that working with this sort of tech can give you the mindset that you need for future environments, no more snowflake servers!

As always, any feedback would be greatly appreciated.