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Vagrant Support for Amazon AWS and Rackspace

by Matthias Marschall on Mar 08, 2013 |

HashiCorp's latest addition to support Amazon AWS and Rackspace as providers for Vagrant enables new usage scenarios: it will be possible to spin up Virtual Machines in the cloud instead of the developer's desktop. The new providers are one more step towards Mitchell Hashimoto's vision of making Vagrant the work environment tool to make the entire workflow of dev => prod as simple as possible, as he explained to InfoQ.

With Vagrant 1.1, scheduled to be released on March 12 14, developers will be able to use one set of commands - no matter whether they want to manage EC2 instances, Rackspace cloud servers, VirtualBox or VMware Fusion VMs, to create new work environments for development, quality assurance or even production.

Randy Layman from Vocalocity, who sponsored the development of the AWS provider, is already using a pre-release drop to spin up AWS instances for their continuous integration (CI) process. For development, he prefers the AWS provider over using VirtualBox because the machines build faster and they use the exact same operating system as the CI instances.

As Rackspace uses OpenStack to run its cloud servers, Vagrant is 90% there to support OpenStack as well, according to Hashimoto. He hopes that Open Source developers take over and add the missing pieces.

The upcoming Vagrant 1.1 will enable developers to pass the desired provider as a command line argument:

$ vagrant up --provider aws

Instead of defaulting to VirtualBox, the above command will use the new AWS provider and instantiate an EC2 instance instead. 

The Vagrantfile will support defining additional parameters for AWS like the region in which the instance(s) should be created:

config.vm.provider :aws do |aws|
   aws.region = "eu-west-1"
end

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