Dan's Take

Any Application On Any Infrastructure?

Examining HashiCorp's grand claims.

HashiCorp offers products focused on development, operations and security products aimed at helping developers using rapid application deployment (DevOps) methodology. The company segments these products into provisioning, securing, connecting, and running applications. Here's how the company positions its products:

Provisioning
  • Vagrant. Create and configure portable development environments. Vagrant aims to mirror production environments by providing the same operating system, packages, users, and configurations, all while giving users the flexibility to use their favorite editor, IDE, and browser. Vagrant also integrates with many existing configuration management tooling like Chef, Puppet, Ansible, or Salt, allowing  the same scripts to configure Vagrant as production environments.
  • Packer. Create platform specific machine images from a single source. Packer integrates with Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS, VMware, Google Cloud Platform, Docker andDigital Ocean.
  • Terraform. Create, combine and manage infrastructure across multiple providers. Terraform makes it possible to define infrastructure as code to improve productivity and transparency. It integrates with Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS, Google Cloud Platform, OpenStack and bare metal.
Securing
  • Vault. centrally store, secure and control access to distributed secrets. Vault uses a unified API, allowing users to access an encrypted key/value store and network encryption-as-a-service, or generate AWS IAM/STS credentials, SQL/NoSQL databases, X.509 certificates, SSH credentials and more.

Connecting
  • Consul. Distributed, highly-available tool for service discovery, configuration and orchestration that has the ability to span multiple datacenters.
Running
  • Nomad. Cluster manager and scheduler to deploy applications across any infrastructure. Nomad integrates with Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS, Google Cloud Platform, Docker, Digital Ocean
Dan's Take: Impressive Integration
I speak with many industry providers of development and deployment tools. Quite often, their focus is presenting and supporting their own tools and runtime environment.

They often offer limited to no support for integrating with a broad array of other computing environments. HashiCorp, on the other hand, offers products that integrate with an impressive array of computing environments.

The company, however, doesn't quite live up to its claim of "applications of any type on any infrastructure, at any scale." Their statement could be supportable, however, if one added a proviso that the company focused on industry-standard x86-based computing environments and excludes mainframes, midrange machines running a single vendor's own computing environment, and emerging environments such as ARM- and NVIDIA-based computing environments.

HashiCorp provides tools that support development, provisioning, securing and operating applications in many popular on-premises and cloud computing environments. Although this wasn't discussed during our conversation, I expect HashiCorp will integrate with other popular platforms and computing environments over time.

I hope to speak with on of their customers to learn more about why they selected tools from HashiCorp and the benefits they've received through the use of its products.

About the Author

Daniel Kusnetzky, a reformed software engineer and product manager, founded Kusnetzky Group LLC in 2006. He's literally written the book on virtualization and often comments on cloud computing, mobility and systems software. He has been a business unit manager at a hardware company and head of corporate marketing and strategy at a software company.

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