HashiCorp and Cisco today announced a Cisco Intersight Service for Terraform offering based on HashiCorp Terraform Cloud Business software.
Cisco Intersight is an IT operations management platform that enables IT teams to manage IT infrastructure across a hybrid cloud computing environment. Open source Terraform tools have emerged as the dominant tool for provisioning infrastructure as code in the cloud and, increasingly, in on-premises IT environments.
HashiCorp Terraform Cloud Business is an instance of Terraform that has been extended to include some additional security and governance capabilities enterprise IT organizations typically require.
In recent years, Cisco has significantly expanded its presence in on-premises IT environments as many IT teams opted to deploy its servers alongside its networking equipment. Like every other provider of on-premises IT environment, Cisco has been moving to extend the reach of its management frameworks to public clouds to help foster the rise of hybrid cloud computing.
Prior to the pandemic, most public clouds and on-premises IT environments were managed in isolation from one another. However, in the wake of the economic downturn brought on by the pandemic, more IT teams are trying to centralize the management of IT platforms as part of an ongoing effort to reduce the total cost of IT. The multiyear alliance with HashiCorp fills a major hole in the Cisco management portfolio, as Terraform increasingly becomes a de facto standard for provisioning IT infrastructure-as-code.
Vijay Venugopal, head of product management for Cisco Cloud and Compute Software, said the alliance with HashiCorp will make it possible to provide Terraform support across a management portfolio that, over time, continues to be enhanced with machine learning algorithms that add artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, also known as AIOps. That platform is already being employed by 6,000 customers to manage more than 600,000 servers, running primarily in on-premises IT environments, added Venugopal.
It’s unclear how the battle for control over hybrid cloud computing will ultimately play out. While providers of on-premises platforms such as Cisco are making a case for using existing management frameworks to also manage workloads deployed on public clouds, the providers of those platforms are now extending their reach into on-premises IT environments. Cisco is, of course, betting that most organizations would prefer to extend an existing framework to achieve that goal, versus having to rip and replace existing IT infrastructure to employ an alternative framework from a cloud service provider.
Regardless of how organizations ultimately decide to manage IT in the age of the hybrid cloud, it’s clear developers, thanks to tools such as Terraform, are exercising more direct control over IT infrastructure. Incorporating Terraform within a larger IT management framework presents an opportunity to bridge the divide between developers and IT operations teams that have historically relied on visual tools to provision infrastructure. The challenge now is finding a way for developers and IT administrators – with varying levels of programming expertise – to work more closely as management of IT environments become increasingly more complex.