HashiConf ‘19 Recap

With HashiConf 2019 wrapping up, I’d like to take a moment to review some of the big announcements HashiCorp has made. The most notable announcements centered around the general release of Terraform Cloud.

Terraform Cloud

There is some exciting stuff coming for teams looking to collaborate around Terraform. Terraform Cloud lets you simplify a bunch of the scaffolding previously required to have an effective Terraform project. In the past, if you wanted to collaborate with others you needed to at the very least set up your own remote state management. Ideally you did that with state locking to prevent users from stepping on each other’s toes. While this is fairly trivial it’s a critical step to working with more than one person building Terraform projects. The next maturity step was always to start pipelining your Terraform plan and apply, to bring some CI/CD to your Infrastructure as Code. Terraform Cloud now provides that base functionality to small teams in a hosted app for free! Their tiered pricing for Terraform Cloud seems reasonable and brings with it some great features.

One of the more exciting features announced with Terraform Cloud is the ability to start using Sentinel policies and their new Cost Estimation in Terraform Cloud without making the leap to full blown Terraform Enterprise. These two features are going to be great for medium sized companies to start optimizing their usage of Terraform. Utilizing Sentinel can really improve the standardization of infrastructure and enforce security policy for teams. I’m particularly intrigued to play with the Cost Estimation tooling. These features bring some interesting preventative control to optimizing resource utilization, rather than what is typically reactionary panic when someone looks at the bill. While I do worry some of this could bring some extra red tape to the provisioning of resources, I think it will help bring some mindfulness to cost.

Learn more about the Terraform Cloud announcement here: https://www.hashicorp.com/blog/announcing-terraform-cloud

HashiCorp Consul Service

The other major announcement on day one was the addition of HashiCorp Consul Service (HCS) on Azure. HashiCorp is bringing Consul clustering into a managed service that is natively integrated into the Azure portal. The demo and ease of set up was pretty neat. I found Azure to be an interesting choice for the platform given AWS’s dominance in the public cloud right now, but Azure’s Managed Applications is definitely an interesting way to run these services. Having full visibility into your SaaS product, all while your provider manages the infrastructure behind the scenes is quite unique. Obviously this is going to be a lot more attractive if you’re already running in Azure, but it’s cool HashiCorp is offering even more hosted solutions for their products.

Learn more about the new HCS on Azure here: https://www.hashicorp.com/blog/announcing-consul-service-on-azure

Wrap-up

All in all this was a great conference, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking to learn about the HashiCorp stack. Aside from the big keynote announcements, HashiCorp did a great job with their speaker selection and the event ran very smoothly. The Hyatt staff was excellent and kept the event rolling along and provided a great space. There were quite a few talks by HashiCorp employees and partners rather than pulling from the community, but it was a great way for them to expose new features to the users that really wanted those deep dives. There was a unique “hallway track” that provided quick 10-15 minute lightning talks throughout the day in case the regular tracks didn’t have anything of interest. These were a great way to get some short and sweet tips and tricks for working with the Hashi stack. One other cool option was to get a sneak peek of the upcoming Terraform and Vault certification tests, and obtain the associate certificates. Keep an eye out for those coming soon.

Finally I’d like to thank OPI for their investment and support in our professional development, affording us the opportunity to attend these types of conferences.

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