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The Brief Summary of HashiConf 2018 Insights

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The Brief Summary of HashiConf 2018 Insights

Check out the new features and updates that HashiCorp announced at HashiConf 2018!

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HashiConf 2018 at San Francisco brought many news and updates to HashiCorp's stack of open-source and enterprise platforms, products and tools. We summarize them here.

HashiCorp, one of the IT industry leaders, firmly believes the Infrastructure as Code principle of DevOps and implements it across their whole stack of products. Terraform, Vagrant, Consul, Vault, Nomad and other parts of Hashi Stack enable the businesses to build cloud-agnostic, highly-available, and secure infrastructure atop the public cloud, on-prem virtual servers or even bare metal clusters. IT Svit actively uses Terraform in our operations and we are glad to see the improvements and further evolution of this tool.

Terraform 0.12 New HCL features

HCL or HashiCorp Configuration Language is becoming extremely popular, as more and more companies see the importance of Terraform and why it rocks. However, with the increased number of use case scenarios, various rooms for improvement were highlighted. This customer feedback has resulted in various improvements that are released with Terraform 0.12. This version brings many new features for HCL and provides increased stability, consistency and flexibility.

Introduction of Remote Plans and Applies

Remote Plans and Applies is the new group of features that enable more transparent Terraform CLI interactions with underlying CI/CD systems and developer workflows. This is especially useful for the companies that decide to move to Terraform Enterprise, as they can fully utilize all the available enterprise-level services from within the CLI they are used to.

Empowering Collaboration with Free Terraform State Storage

Three key components are vital for Terraform collaboration:

  • Management of state files. Terraform state files should be securely stored, versioned and locked

  • Plans and applies in a centralized location. Terraform plans and applies are best kept running on a centralized server to empower the collaboration between the peers

  • Sharable module registry. The team should be able to reuse various Terraform modules freely

The first and utmost challenge with Terraform is the ease of state files management. HashiCorp announced the limited access to beta testing of their new service — free state file storage. The service will provide the following benefits:

  • Unlimited users

  • Unlimited workspaces

  • Vault-encrypted

  • Locking per a separate operation

The corporation is later planning to roll out this service with subscription fees, but the pricing scheme is not finalized yet. However, it is promised that even the paid tier will be fairly affordable and the free tier will not provide any significant limitations. HashiCorp seems serious in their desire to bolster wider collaboration between Terraform users worldwide and we are eager to see how they are going to implement this solution.

The Preview Release of HashiCorp Vault v1.0 

HashiCorp Vault is the industry-accepted leader in secret storage and management. Vault 1.0
Has gone a long way since the first release back in 2015. This is now an in-depth and feature-rich security platform widely adopted by world-leading corporations. The latest version enables the administrators to manage the users, secrets, and data in bulk and in a centralized fashion. As of 2018, the platform is production-ready, with detailed and on-point documentation covering numerous use cases, polished workflows, and easy learning curve.

Auto Unseal for Vault

Manual unseal was somewhat limiting when using open-source Vault version. The community has persistently asked HashiCorp to enable the Auto Unseal feature from Vault Enterprise for the open-source version of the product. It was done in 1.0 and currently works for AWS, GCP, Azure and Alibaba, with support for other cloud platforms coming soon.

New Features in Vault 1.0

There were many new features introduced in the latest release of Vault: more advanced integration with Kubernetes, support of Helm charts, support for batch tokens for batch processing and serverless computing, as well as other improvements.

HashiCorp Consul 1.4 Gets the Preview Release

Consul is a great product from HashiCorp, which enables the service meshes to ensure a secure connection and easy configuration of various services across any platform in the cloud or on-premises. The Consul 1.4 release boasts the general availability of Consul Connect, along with new features to underpin the operations distributed across multiple data centers. The corporation has recently added the native Consul integration with Kubernetes and Envoy to enable automated and secure discovery and configuration of various services in Kubernetes clusters.

Emphasis on Native Kubernetes Support

HashiCorp understands the desire of their customers to be able to integrate the products from Hashi Stack with other popular platforms and tools. 2018 was dedicated to providing native Kubernetes support for Terraform, Consul, Vault, and Envoy, as we highlighted above. This continuous emphasis on integrating the HashiCorp Stack with other DevOps tools gives the software engineering teams more flexibility and versatility in their daily operations, and we value this effort greatly.

Final Thoughts on Insights from HashiConf 2018

There were many other announcements that were not included in this brief overview of HashiConf 2018; for example, the ongoing development of Nomad and the future launch of HashiCorp Learn Platform. This service is intended to train the Hashi Stack users to leverage their Vault, Terraform, Consul and Nomad tools to the full extent, and we hope you will find it useful.

IT Svit uses Terraform, Consul, and Vault widely in our projects, so we are quite happy to witness the never-ending strive for perfection from HashiCorp. With each new installment, their products become more useful, secure, innovative and efficient. What is your experience with HashiCorp products? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

terraform ,hashicorp ,devops tools ,helm ,vault ,kubernates

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