Yes… isolation, configurability, re-usability, consistency, ease of deployment, and cost-to-time savings are all generic benefits of using the vagrant and VirtualBox combination from a DevOps or SysAdmin perspective. All of which I summarised in one line, “an easier way for shipping course content and marking”. Clearly, these are points that I’m quite au fait with.
Besides the installation issues that are beyond the control of your Curriculum Dev colleagues (i.e. network related), the installation instructions could have been version specific (or at the very least, prescriptive) with respect to the VirtualBox and vagrant that was used during the pre-deployment phase. In addition, all the packages and libraries installed from the provision files could have also specified the exact versions used pre-deployment. This way, you’re sure that everyone is provisioning the exact same environment which will in turn cut down on some of the pre-installation shenanigans. Right now, people are installing “latest” versions of some dependencies, some of which weren’t tested prior to deployment.
PS: Whatever I said in my last post, was actually in support of MongoDBs efforts.