Understanding reusable templates

While developing an application, you will most likely require complex architectures. To make your deployment easier to replicate and troubleshoot, we recommend that you break your configuration into templates.

A template is a separate file that defines a set of resources. You can reuse templates across different deployments, which creates consistency across complex deployments.

You can use Python or Jinja2 to create templates for Deployment Manager. We recommend that you use Python templates, because Python allows for greater flexibility and more features as you scale your application.

Python templates

If you choose to write templates in Python, your templates must meet these requirements:

  • The template must be written in Python 3.x

  • The template must define a method called GenerateConfig(context) or generate_config(context). If you use both method names in the same template, the generate_config() method will take precedence.

    The context object contains metadata about the deployment and your environment, such as the deployment's name, the current project, and so on. You'll use these deployment-specific variables in later steps.

  • The method must return a Python dictionary.

Examine sample templates

From the samples repository, open vm-template.py:

cd deploymentmanager-samples/examples/v2/step_by_step_guide/step5_create_a_template/python

nano vm-template.py  # use your preferred text editor

This template defines the first VM from the earlier samples:

# Copyright 2016 Google Inc. All rights reserved.
#
# Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
# you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
# You may obtain a copy of the License at
#
#     http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0
#
# Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
# distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
# WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied.
# See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
# limitations under the License.

"""Creates the virtual machine."""

COMPUTE_URL_BASE = 'https://www.googleapis.com/compute/v1/'


def GenerateConfig(unused_context):
  """Creates the first virtual machine."""

  resources = [{
      'name': 'the-first-vm',
      'type': 'compute.v1.instance',
      'properties': {
          'zone': 'us-central1-f',
          'machineType': ''.join([COMPUTE_URL_BASE, 'projects/MY_PROJECT',
                                  '/zones/us-central1-f/',
                                  'machineTypes/f1-micro']),
          'disks': [{
              'deviceName': 'boot',
              'type': 'PERSISTENT',
              'boot': True,
              'autoDelete': True,
              'initializeParams': {
                  'sourceImage': ''.join([COMPUTE_URL_BASE, 'projects/',
                                          'debian-cloud/global/',
                                          'images/family/debian-9'])
              }
          }],
          'networkInterfaces': [{
              'network': '$(ref.a-new-network.selfLink)',
              'accessConfigs': [{
                  'name': 'External NAT',
                  'type': 'ONE_TO_ONE_NAT'
              }]
          }]
      }
  }]
  return {'resources': resources}

Open the second template, vm-template-2.py, which defines the second VM:

# Copyright 2016 Google Inc. All rights reserved.
#
# Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
# you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
# You may obtain a copy of the License at
#
#     http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0
#
# Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
# distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
# WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied.
# See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
# limitations under the License.

"""Creates the virtual machine."""

COMPUTE_URL_BASE = 'https://www.googleapis.com/compute/v1/'


def GenerateConfig(unused_context):
  """Creates the second virtual machine."""

  resources = [{
      'name': 'the-second-vm',
      'type': 'compute.v1.instance',
      'properties': {
          'zone': 'us-central1-f',
          'machineType': ''.join([COMPUTE_URL_BASE, 'projects/MY_PROJECT',
                                  '/zones/us-central1-f/',
                                  'machineTypes/g1-small']),
          'disks': [{
              'deviceName': 'boot',
              'type': 'PERSISTENT',
              'boot': True,
              'autoDelete': True,
              'initializeParams': {
                  'sourceImage': ''.join([COMPUTE_URL_BASE, 'projects/',
                                          'debian-cloud/global',
                                          '/images/family/debian-9'])
              }
          }],
          'networkInterfaces': [{
              'network': '$(ref.a-new-network.selfLink)',
              'accessConfigs': [{
                  'name': 'External NAT',
                  'type': 'ONE_TO_ONE_NAT'
              }]
          }]
      }
  }]
  return {'resources': resources}

In both templates, replace MY_PROJECT with your project ID.

Importing templates

After you create templates, you must import them into your configuration. Open the new two-vms.yaml:

cd deploymentmanager-samples/examples/v2/step_by_step_guide/step5_create_a_template/python

nano two-vms.yaml  # use your preferred text editor

This configuration file has a new imports section that calls the two VM templates, vm-template.py and vm-template-2.py:

# Copyright 2016 Google Inc. All rights reserved.
#
# Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
# you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
# You may obtain a copy of the License at
#
#     http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0
#
# Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
# distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
# WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied.
# See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
# limitations under the License.

imports:
- path: vm-template.py
- path: vm-template-2.py

# In the resources section below, the properties of the resources are replaced
# with the names of the templates.
resources:
- name: vm-1
  type: vm-template.py
- name: vm-2
  type: vm-template-2.py
- name: a-new-network
  type: compute.v1.network
  properties:
    routingConfig:
      routingMode: REGIONAL
    autoCreateSubnetworks: true

A note about resource names

When you use a template, your resource names are defined using the name field provided in the template, not the name in the configuration file.

For example, in this case, the virtual machine instances are created using the names in the templates, the-first-vm and the-second-vm. The values vm-1 and vm-2, defined in the configuration, are used to name an instantiation of the template, but are not resource names.

Save your configuration and deploy it

To deploy the configuration, run this command:

gcloud deployment-manager deployments create deployment-with-templates --config two-vms.yaml

To view your deployment, run the following command:

gcloud deployment-manager deployments describe deployment-with-templates

Looking ahead: using multiple templates

Next, combine templates so that your configuration only calls one template to deploy all your resources.

Delete your deployment

We recommend that you delete the deployment to avoid charges. You don't need this deployment for the next step. Run the following command to delete the deployment:

gcloud deployment-manager deployments delete deployment-with-templates
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