Vagrant, a popular open source tool that automates the setup of virtual workspaces for software developers, is getting promised support for VMware Fusion and for Rackspace Open Cloud with the Vagrant 1.1. release, due on Thursday.
Initially, Vagrant ran only on Oracle’s VirtualBox, but in November, Vagrant creator Mitchell Hashimoto said he planned to add support for more platforms including VMware Fusion. He launched a company, Hashicorp, to do this and to offer ancillary services for Vagrant.
In February, Hashicorp started testing a plugin for Amazon Web Services so that developers using Vagrant for local configuration can also hook right into Amazon’s public cloud. The new Rackspace support gives them a choice of clouds as well.
For companies with many developers, configuring each machine for their work can take days or even weeks. Vagrant automates that workflow. As Hashimoto told me last fall, Vagrant makes it much easier to create isolated virtualized sandboxes for each project. Vagrant hooks both into VirtualBox (and now Fusion) and uses CFEngine, Chef or Puppet to set up the workspaces.
Vagrant was initially a labor of love — or maybe of necessity — for Hashimoto, who built it for his own projects as a student at the University of Washington. But it took off beyond his expectations. Users include DISQUS, BBC News, Mozilla, Yammer, Expedia, LivingSocial, Nokia, and the New York Times.