HashiCorp recently held their annual conference, HashiConf 2023, in San Francisco (and virtually) to unveil some exciting enhancements to their suite of multi-cloud infrastructure automation software. Key themes revolved around infrastructure and security with an emphasis on how to use the cloud operating model to achieve operational cloud maturity and improve the developer experience while enabling platform teams to put controls in place to manage risk and cost.
Here are some of the important enhancements to their products that we think will benefit Daymark customers (with links to additional information at the end of this blog):
Terraform: Infrastructure automation to provision and manage resources in any cloud or data center. Terraform enables organizations to deliver infrastructure as code by codifying Terraform cloud APIs into declarative configuration files. Here’s what’s new:
- Integrated testing - Finally testing is GA and built into the Terraform executable. This allows for testing of variables and outputs to validate changes to code. In GitHub, you are able to show last test status and test results. While this is by no means a comprehensive test, it's a great step forward to validate the codebase.
- AI Generated Module Testing - This feature can suggest tests to run against your code. While helpful, HashiCorp staff admits these generated tests get it correct about 70% of the time. So, there is still some work to do there. This is GA and available in the 1.6 Terraform version.
- Enhanced Editor - The editor for VS code now produces a more robust and earlier flagging of missing variables or required attributes, moving this validation from a plan into the live analysis of the code.
- Stacks - Is a new solution that addresses the issue of workspace sprawl. Stacks can identify components and deployments and unify the management of many workspaces into a more unified experience. This is a highly recommended solution for any company with many workspaces, especially if they are order-dependent on code deployment. This takes the human training and documentation of order of deployment into code where it is better managed.
- Ephemeral Workspaces – Finally, ephemeral workspaces can be created. How many times have developers left workspaces living on with no end date in sight? Now, you can create time-based deletions. Some customers are even starting to make all workspaces ephemeral except in production.
HCP Vault: product description
- HCP Vault Secrets - HashiCorp Cloud Platform (HCP) Vault is a fully managed implementation of Vault which is a managed offering of HashiCorp Vault that provides secrets management for developers with key capabilities, including secrets sync. You can secure secrets for use across clouds. You can push changes to secrets out to repositories that are required for cloud-specific technologies, like key vault. This is by far one of the most anticipated HashiCorp solutions. There was applause in the conference hall when it was announced that it was GA.
CI/CD Journey – Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery were also themes at the conference with a focus on three key phases companies typically go through on their CI/CD journey:
- Adopt – Infrastructure as Code (IAC) and working with new tooling for deployment and management. Unfortunately, this comes with a certain amount of technology sprawl.
- Standardize - Following sprawl there is a period of reeling in processes to a standard set of tooling and management.
- Scale - Further refinement of processes in tooling to optimize for scale, security, compliance and management considerations.
Conclusion: HashiCorp’s vision is to make an easier end-to-end application build experience through CI/CD. All of the updates announced at HashiConf have been designed to improve security, visibility, or manageability. They have best of breed tooling for access, code, secrets, and cluster management.
Also, in fun education news, they have added AI to their developer docs! If you are just getting your feet wet learning about all HashiCorp has to offer, be sure to check out their Developer AI to help answer your questions in a very chat gpt-esk format.
Mark Your Calendar. Next year HashiConf will be in Boston, October 14-16, 2024. Local Daymark clients should consider attending!
- Terraform ephemeral workspaces public beta now available
- New Terraform testing and UX features reduce toil, errors and costs
- HCP Vault Secrets is now generally available