HashiCorp this week moved to templatize automating IT operations by making it easier to share Terraform configuration files which make it simpler to programmatically invoke infrastructure that exposes application programming interfaces (APIs) without knowing how to code.
Available in an on-premises edition or as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) application, HashiCorp Terraform Enterprise is intended for use by IT operations teams. A HashiCorp Terraform Enterprise Module Registry function has been added to enable IT operations teams to implement a publish-and-subscribe mechanism for Terraform configuration files.
Company CTO Armon Dadgar said HashiCorp Terraform Enterprise is designed to enable IT operations teams to respond faster to requests from developers for infrastructure resources without requiring them to develop programming skills. It’s unlikely developers working for traditional enterprise IT organizations will be taking over control of IT infrastructure anytime soon, he said, and Hashicorp Terraform Enterprise allows IT organizations to inject a level of agility into their workflow processes without requiring IT operations teams to completely re-engineer existing processes.
The HashiCorp Terraform Enterprise Module Registry extends that capability further by making it easier for IT operations professionals who have developed expertise employing declarative Terraform configuration files to share those files with other members of the team, Dadgar said.
At the same time, IT operations teams that want to build workflow applications on HashiCorp Terraform Enterprise can use a set of application programming interfaces (APIs) that HashiCorp has exposed. In addition, the company has revamped the user interface for Terraform—workspaces now can be created by combining Terraform files into modular components that can be assigned to specific IT teams. Permissions to access are provided via support for the secure access markup language (SAML) as well as the Sentinel policy management software developed by HashiCorp.
The HashiCorp approach to automating IT operations strikes at the core of the DevOps debate in the enterprise. While web-scale companies typically can afford to hire IT professionals with programming skills to manage IT infrastructure, the average enterprise IT organization still relies on administrators to manage servers, storage and networking. Not only are IT administrators in short supply, most of them would not be in IT operations if they knew how to program—they’d be writing and testing applications instead.
Rival approaches to automating the management of IT infrastructure, despite being around for years, have yet to gain mainstream acceptance, mainly because they require programming skills. Declarative approaches allow IT infrastructure to be managed as code still, with less resistance from IT operations teams that tend to be more comfortable employing declarative tools. In fact, there’s long been a chicken-and-egg debate over the degree to which the transition to modern DevOps practices requires organizations to acquire new tools first or vice versa. The HashiCorp approach strikes a middle ground by providing tools that enable IT operations teams to first become more efficient, which ultimately should enable them to implement new processes that often is much less disruptive to the existing IT culture.