Founded in 2012, HashiCorp is an infrastructure and workflow automation vendor centered on open source software for provisioning and managing infrastructure, applications, containers, access, secrets
The 451 Take
Terraform is commonly used as a cloud management platform and can enable
At HashiConf in September, HashiCorp unveiled the public Terraform Module Registry, a series of over 30 modules or templates on best practices and technology choices with its software. The registry was created with partnership from major cloud providers or their communities, including Alibaba, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Oracle
Also announced at HashiConf was a new capability for Terraform and the company's other enterprise products called Sentinel, which is intended to enable infrastructure as code with guardrails to maintain access control of self-service environments via policy. Sentinel basically defines sandboxes of automation where code reviews are not needed so checks can thus be automated. Additionally, the company recently launched the second beta release of Terraform Enterprise, which features a new workspace data model and Sentinel integration. While Terraform Enterprise is similar to HashiCorp's previous effort to bring its products together with Atlas, the software now features a Terraform operator experience. It is designed to scale Terraform up to hundreds of teams or environments.
In 2015, HashiCorp introduced another main offering, Vault, for privileged access management, encryption as a service, and secrets management. The software is designed to centrally secure, store and tightly control secrets across distributed infrastructure and applications. HashiCorp highlights how Vault can change the way organizations manage keys, moving away from vendor-specific platforms and key management servers to more abstracted security primitives that can be more simply audited. At its recent HashiConf, the company introduced native Kubernetes integration for Vault in response to customer and community demand for Kubernetes environments along with public clouds and other infrastructures. The Vault Enterprise commercial edition also features integration of Sentinel.
HashiCorp's third main product is its Nomad scheduler and application lifecycle management software, which is among the top enterprise options for container management and orchestration, although well behind leaders Kubernetes, Mesos/Mesosphere DC/OS and Docker Swarm. Nevertheless, the company says Nomad is commonly used with Kubernetes, which is consistent with our current research that indicates a mixed market for container management and orchestration software. Nomad is intended to allow enterprises to more simply and securely manage applications throughout their lifecycle and across different cloud providers and regions. This includes writing declarative job files and storage in version control; validating changes with Nomad plans and policies; and running applications across a variety of infrastructures, including public clouds, private clouds
HashiCorp's fourth main offering is Consul, a tool for service discovery, runtime configuration and orchestration, and advanced networking. Consul is deployed for dynamic service discovery via HTTP and DNS to simplify connecting services across distributed applications and infrastructure. The software can also enable runtime configuration updates and orchestrate one-time changes at scale and in distributed environments. Additionally, Consul supports networking for microservices across complex topologies.
For the new Sentinel policy-as-code capability, HashiCorp says it worked with about a dozen clients to enhance Terraform for practitioners, provide capabilities for other enterprise groups and help solve central IT issues. This is where there has been
HashiCorp reports that most of its customers run applications across private clouds, public clouds and on-premises infrastructure, which is consistent with our research. The company says containers are helping customers package applications for multi-cloud and hybrid-cloud scenarios, but many are still figuring out how to run container apps in production.
HashiCorp's Vault privileged access and secrets management software
Jay Lyman is a Principal Analyst with 451 Research’s Applied Infrastructure & DevOps Channel. He covers infrastructure software, primarily private cloud platforms, cloud management
Jeremy Korn is a Research Associate at 451 Research. He graduated from Brown University with a BA in Biology and East Asian Studies and received
Aaron Sherrill is a Senior Analyst for 451 Research covering emerging trends, innovation