HashiCorp Increases Terraform’s Enterprise Appeal

HashiCorp SolarWinds

Content By Devops .com

During the online HashiConf Europe conference today, HashiCorp debuted the general availability of a 1.0 release of HashiCorp Terraform along with updates to HashiCorp Terraform Cloud service.

Meghan Liese, senior director of product marketing for HashiCorp, said in both cases HashiCorp is moving to enable organizations to better secure and govern IT infrastructure-as-code provisioned using open source Terraform tools.

Version 1.0 of HashiCorp Terraform provides access to a stable application programming interface (API) that will foster interoperability and simplify future upgrades.

The Terraform Cloud service, which eliminates the need for IT teams to set up and manage a Terraform platform, adds workflows enhancements to the Terraform Cloud that include the ability to publish curated modules to a private registry, enhancements that make it easier to visualize elements of a workspace and a preview of an ability to check with third-party tools related to a Terraform run.

Overall, the goal is to make it simpler for organizations to compose, collaborate and reuse infrastructure-as-code using modules and the public and private registry options, said Liese. The public registry already has more than 5,000 modules. Terraform Cloud now offers a native workflow to publish modules from the public registry directly into an organization’s private registry.

Terraform, of course, has been widely employed since it first debuted in 2014. There have been 15 major updates prior to the release of Terraform 1.0, which is intended to provide a foundation that ensures backward compatibility between releases going forward.

In some instances, Terraform can be too much of good thing. It has considerably accelerated the rate at which IT infrastructure can be provisioned within the context of a DevOps workflow. The challenge, though, is developers often lack the security expertise required to prevent infrastructure from being misconfigured at a time when cybercriminals have become more adept at scanning for those vulnerabilities. To enable IT teams to prevent those misconfigurations, HashiCorp makes available both an enterprise edition of Terraform as well as its Terraform Cloud service. Terraform Enterprise is used by more than 1,200 enterprises, while Terraform Cloud has more than 120,000 users that execute more than 30,000 runs per day.

It’s not clear if security concerns might one day lead to a backlash against the concept of shifting more responsibility left toward developers to improve productivity. In some cases, developers are simply deploying more insecure applications faster. HashiCorp is making a case for Terraform platforms that allow centralized IT teams to exercise more control over how infrastructure is provisioned as code. The need for that approach is becoming more pronounced, as organizations not only employ Terraform to provision cloud infrastructure but also on-premises IT environments.

Regardless of how infrastructure is provisioned by developers, security of infrastructure, both inside and outside of the cloud, remains a priority as more workloads than ever are deployed. In effect, the attack surface that needs to be defended has dramatically expanded. Of course, the best security issue of all is the one that never happened because infrastructure is being provisioned right the first time and every time thereafter.

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