Building the Calvinverse resources

The repositories in the Calvinverse organization are divided into image repositories, containing code for the creation of VM and Docker images, and configuration repositories, which contain some form of configuration information. The configuration repositories either create ZIP and ISO artefacts or they contain scripts that allow pushing data to the Consul key-value store in the environment.

In order to execute builds that create artefacts of some kind you will for the very least need:

  • The NuGet command line executable installed and available on the PATH.
  • The Git installed and available on the PATH.
  • MsBuild needs to be installed. This needs to be at least MsBuild 15.0 but higher should be compatible.

Specific repository types may have additional demands on the environment they are build in. More details on these specific demands will be provided in the sections below.

Building VM images

Most of the resources in Calvinverse are VM images although there are a few repositories containing code for Docker containers. There are currently two types of VM hypervisors supported, Azure and Hyper-V. Since images are created with Packer it would be relatively easy to create images for AWS and other hypervisors.

All VM resources are based on either one of the 'base' images, one for the Linux based resources and one for the Windows based resources. These base images consist of an operating system install combined with a number of default applications, e.g. Consul for service discovery, Envoy for service mesh and Telegraf for metrics collection. So in order to build any of the VM resources you will first have to build and store a copy of these base images.

Additional prerequisites for building the virtual machine images are:

Once the base images are created you can start creating the VM images. To build an image you can invoke the following command line.

msbuild entrypoint.msbuild /t:build

Additional properties should be provided depending on the type of hypervisor, i.e. Hyper-V or Azure, you are targeting.

Once the image has been created you can run a series of simple smoke tests to verify that the image is valid. In order to execute these tests invoke the following command line.

msbuild entrypoint.msbuild /t:test

This will deploy the image to your selected hypervisor, connect to the VM, execute the test scripts and finally delete the test VM.

Building Azure images

When you are building images for Azure you will need, in addition to the standard application installs:

  • An Azure subscription into which the images can be created and stored.
  • Credentials for Packer to use. The assumption is that a service principal will be used by specifying a client ID and the path to a client certificate.
  • A resource group into which the images will be placed once they are created. Note that in order to pull images created with another subscription you will have to use an image gallery.

In general building one of the images will take about 10 - 30 minutes depending on what is being installed in the image. So while the costs of creating images should be fairly small there will still be a cost, especially if you create lots of images.

Once all the prerequisites have been satisfied you can start the build process with the following command line

msbuild entrypoint.msbuild /t:build

This command line applies to both the base images and the normal resource images. At the end of the build process the image will be placed in the selected resource group and the following tags will be applied

  • category - The category of the image, generally the name of the image repository as set in the ProductName property in the ops.props MsBuild file in the root of the repository.
  • commit - The SHA1 of the GIT commit the image was created from.
  • createdby - Set to packer to indicate the image was created by Packer.
  • date - Set to the date the image was created.
  • stage - By default set to qa to indicate that the image is ready for QA.
  • version - The version of the image. Calculated using GitVersion, which bases the version number on the state of the GIT repository.

To test the newly created image you can execute the following command line

msbuild entrypoint.msbuild /t:test

This will create a new VM in Azure with the originally created image and then run a series of smoke tests. Note that if the tests pass a test image will be dropped in a resource group with the TEST_RESOURCE_GROUP_NAME name.These images should periodically be removed.

Building Hyper-V images

In order to build images for Hyper-V you will need the following additional prerequisites

  • A Windows installation with Hyper-V installed. This can be either a server or a desktop version of Windows.
  • A virtual switch which allows the VMs to get to the internet so that they can download all the required applications and packages. The name of this switch should be given to packer via the configuration so that Packer can connect the VM to the correct switch. The default value is set to VM-LAN and can be changed in the packer.hyperv.props MsBuild file.
  • A directory in which the OS install ISO files are stored. These ISO files should be the ISO's used to install the desired OS, either Linux or Windows, on an empty VM. The ISO's will need to be suitable for unattended installs.
  • A directory in which the base image artefact files are placed.

Once all the tools are installed you can start the build process of a base image with the following command line

msbuild entrypoint.msbuild /t:build

If you want to build a normal resource image then you should use the following command line

msbuild entrypoint.msbuild /t:build

Once the build process completes it will place a ZIP artefact containing the Hyper-V files in the build/deploy directory of the workspace. To test the image that was created you can run the smoke tests by executing the following command line

msbuild entrypoint.msbuild /t:test

This assumes that the image artefacts will be available in the build/deploy directory in the workspace.

Building containers

Some of the Calvinverse services are packaged in Docker containers. As with the virtual machine images, the Docker containers for these services are also created from a base image. Once again this base container contains the default applications.

In order to build these Docker images you will need the following additional prerequisites

  • Machine with Docker on it. Currently all containers are Linux Docker containers so you can either have a Linux host machine or a Windows host machine with Linux containers.
  • A Docker repository to upload the containers.

Once the prerequisites have been satisfied you can run the build by executing the following command line

msbuild entrypoint.msbuild /t:build

where LOCATION_OF_CONSUL_CERTIFICATE_BUNDLE points to a directory containing the Consul certificate files, specifically the client certificate bundle

Tags for the Docker containers can be specified in the docker - pack section of the ops.artefacts.props file.

Building configurations

The final set of repositories which may need to be build are the configuration repositories. When using Hyper-V as the hypervisor you will need to create a set of ISO files which contain the initial provisioning files. These files can be found in the Calvinverse.Configuration repository. In addition this repository also stores

  • The standard secret engines and policies for vault.
  • A documentation file that describes which RabbitMQ vhosts and users should be created.
  • A documentation file that describes which users need to be created for InfluxDb.
  • Examples and default values for the Consul Key-Value entries that are required.

The other configuration repositories store

The configurations in these repositories can be applied to an environment by pushing the configuration files up to the Consul Key-Value store. These can be pushed up by using the Set-ConsulKV.ps1 script in the Calvinverse.Configuration repository.