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Cloud Native Ecosystem

HashiCorp Aims to Lighten Management of the Multicloud

Oct 30th, 2018 10:51am by
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As other vendors provide solutions that work very well in a particular environment, HashiCorp sees its future as easing management of multiple environments, according to Mitchell Hashimoto, the company’s co-founder and CTO.

HashiCorp continues to “double down” on cloud — multicloud in particular — and answer customers’ requests to take what they’ve learned around automation and agility from cloud and bring it back to the private data center, he said. In the other direction, it’s focused on interoperability with Kubernetes.

“We’ve always focused on workflows over technologies and ensuring our technologies work across these environments — on-prem and cloud, VMs and containers,” he said.

“I always thought heterogeneity would always exist, but it would get a little bit simpler as workloads move to cloud, going from this legacy/old way to this new way, and you’d be, not done, but in a stable state for a while. But instead of completing a transition to the cloud, I think it’s just more things than ever before.”

People who are moving to the cloud are also choosing to adopt platforms like Kubernetes, and some are looking at different paradigms like serverless, while also having a private data center and cloud, he explained.

“Our customers tell us there are a lot of vendors out there giving them solutions for each specific environment, but few or none are giving them a solution that really works across them,” he said.

At its HashiConf 2018 in San Francisco last week, the company announced new capabilities across its product suite, the most significant, he says is Terraform 0.12, its provisioning workflow for infrastructure.  It includes improvements to the HashiCorp Configuration Language HCL, remote operations and a pledge to provide collaboration at a level that different users need it.

“This was the biggest update to the open source ever, with huge configuration improvements and it was 100 percent by the community,” he said.

HCL is one of the fastest-growing programming languages of 2018 in terms of contributors, according to GitHub’s just-released Octoverse report. The number of contributors has doubled in the past year.

The Remote Plans and Applies feature provides a way to take advantage of Terraform Enterprise capabilities, such as access controls and Sentinel policy enforcement, while preserving the core CLI workflow users are accustomed to.

“We also announced we believe the collaboration problem around infrastructure is a problem for everyone,” Hashimoto said. “Historically, we’ve held back collaboration features just for large enterprises. But we’ve learned by listening to the community that everyone needs a different level of collaboration functionality, from the moment [your company is] two people. From two people to 2,000, everyone needs something, and it changes along the way.”

The company announced a free tier for small teams and hobbyists, a middle tier for businesses, and it will keep the enterprise product been working on for two years for enterprises that need those extra features.

“Previously, for those lower tiers, our community has had to go elsewhere,” he said. The free Terraform collaboration functionality will begin in beta later this year.

It added multiple data center service mesh capabilities with the release of Consul 1.4 to enable secure communication between services and sharing of security policies between different clouds and on-premises data centers… In June it released native integration with Kubernetes and Envoy, one of the most widely adopted proxies for service mesh solutions. Services inside and outside Kubernetes can now be automatically configured to securely connect via a built-in or Envoy proxy.

The company announced its Consul Connect service mesh capabilities at its HashiDays developer conference in Amsterdam in July. It allows individual services to be segmented to enable the enforcement of access controls providing the ability to lock them down and made accessible only to other specific, verified services.

Its secrets management and encryption tool Vault has reached 1.0. The new release focuses on enterprise stability, ecosystem integration and scale. Vault 1.0 also makes the auto unseal capability formerly part of Vault Enterprise available in open source. It supports auto unseal on Alibaba Cloud, AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. Vault 1.0 will be generally available in November.

Its cluster scheduler Nomad version 0.9 will be released in November. Nomad 0.9 adds advanced scheduling capabilities, NVIDIA GPU support, web UI support for job submissions and improved resource static visualization. It lays the groundwork for integrations through a plug-in system that will enable the community to easily contribute and maintain new task drivers. Nomad 0.9 will be available for preview in November.

The company refrains from promoting Nomad as a rival to Kubernetes, saying the two can be used together, according to TechTarget, though it pointed out speakers at HashiConf did not do so. The company has discussed offering a managed service in the vein of the Kubernetes-as-a-service offerings, though it has not publicly disclosed when that would happen.

Feature image via Pixabay.

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