HashiCorp wafts managed cloud product under users’ noses, plus Nomad gets a hand with multi-clusters

Infrastructure as code

With infrastructure as code becoming more and more a thing, Terraform seems to be among the HashiCorp products that is currently able to draw the most interest. At the firm’s digital house event HashiConf Digital, which started off this week, the beta of version 0.13 was announced

At the online conference, the infra automation tool provider also unveiled managed services, new betas and minor releases, along with a brief outlook of what’s still to come in the next couple of months.

As for Terraform, the fresh version is meant to facilitate the installation of community providers, and includes additions to the Terraform confirmation language to support module-centric workflows. 

Those still waiting for the tool to hit the 1.0 mark before putting it in production also got their shout-out in a talk on Terraform 1.0, which basically served as a reminder of HashiCorp’s philosophy regarding first major releases. The latter includes requirements such as “years of production hardening” and good support for major use cases, implying that – while the release number might not necessarily reflect it – most are production-grade already. 

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According to senior software engineer Kristin Laemmert, discussions on how Terraform 1.0 could look like are in their early stages. But since visions tend to differ, the best route to go for those interested might be just taking the plunge and giving it a go. That way, it’s possible  to influence what’s about to happen before a 1.0 badge makes major changes difficult.

Another beta introduced at HashiConf Digital is one for upcoming Nomad 0.12. The most interesting addition to the Kubernetes challenger is the option to realise multi-cluster deployments complete with rollout and rollback strategies. 

While this feature is for enterprise subscribers only, other new capabilities such as spread scheduling, snapshot generation, and debugging are available to a wider user base. Other enhancements include a podman task driver for those keen to use the Docker alternative, and multi-interface networking.

The biggest news of the day, however, comes in the form of the HashiCorp Cloud Platform. Being in the works for about 18 months, HCP is meant to provide “a fully managed cloud offering to automate deployment of HashiCorp products on any cloud provider”. While this sounds exciting, it’s still a little way to go before that goal is reached, since the initial private beta offering is restricted to Consul on AWS. 

According to HashiCorp co-founder Armon Dadgar, completion should take less than the time needed to get the current version on the road. To those wondering if they should make the switch from existing Consul on AWS integrations, he suggests to consider their current setup: HCP might be of most interest to those using a number of cloud providers seeing that it can help to reduce management overhead and unify workflows.

Although Consul 1.8 went live late last week, the new release also got its time in the spotlight at the virtual do. The current iteration of the service networking platform allows admins to use the Envoy proxy to ingress traffic into a Consul service mesh or serve as a gateway to connect singular mesh services to external ones. 

Authentication has been enhanced as well, so that signed JSON web tokens from trusted external providers can be exchanged for Consul ACL tokens. Consul Enterprise users meanwhile also get to configure an external OpenID Connect provider to handle ACL tokens for CLI operations and the like, and receive logging options for events at the HTTP API.

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