Packer is one of those tools I have heard about, and some of the cool people on Twitter that I follow have been using it for a while. But until now I had never played with it. That was until I saw the below tweet by the legend that is William Lam.

That was the kicker I needed to go and have a look at getting it set up and running. As I run a Mac as my main machine it was easy to get deployed following the instructions using brew and the Github Repo that William had pointed to.

However, once I had added my vSphere credentials I was having a few issues. On execution, I was getting the error message “default datacenter resolves to multiple instances” I did a bit of digging and discovered that the code didn’t specify a VMware datacentre and in my lab environment, I have 2 physical sites with a VMware datacentre in each, therefore, I needed to specify which one. Once this was fixed I started rolling out some Linux templates and it worked flawlessly until I got to the photon 4 server. I again spotted a typo and a syntax error on a command being passed into the photon VM. I corrected this and decided that actually, I should work out how to get this fixed upstream to help the wider community. See here for details on that.

Once this was working it was onto the Windows templates. Once all the relevant ISO’s and configs were in place I was able to fully deploy 4 Windows servers that were patched and added to my content library in about 40mins. So whenever I go to deploy an Image it is always up to date…

Thanks to Ryan for an Incredible piece of work