The team at HashiCorp have been extremely busy lately, which has been further evidenced by HashiCorp’s latest funding round. Many of HashiCorp’s products have also been updated around the time of the funding announcement. HashiCorp is known among virtualization admins, cloud admins, and developers for the variety of provisioning products as well as other ecosystem tools for automating infrastructure.
With 22 million downloads HashiCorp’s open source products, it is obvious that they are doing something right. The launch and rapid growth of the HashiCorp User Group further shows their success. Since their inception in 2012, HashiCorp has often been in the tech news headlines. They entered once again this week with their announcement of 40 million dollars in series C funding.
For us virtualization and cloud folks, Vagrant and Terraform are usually the first HashiCorp products that come to mind. Let’s take a look at why these two products have been key to HashiCorp’s success.
Many of us who work with home labs, or have the need for a portable software environment are familiar with Vagrant. We use Vagrant for things like deploying a clean lab setup for testing. Beyond us infrastructure folks, many developers are turning to Vagrant to rapidly deploy an environment without worrying about the underlying system dependancies such as operating system. Once the Vagrant file has been configured, it is a matter of entering the simple ‘vagrant up’ command to get the environment running. Vagrant 2.0 was released on September 7, 2017. You can take a look at the change log which dates back to 2010 here to get an idea of how Vagrant has evolved.
Sometimes local workstations just don’t cut it, and we need to turn to more powerful infrastructure, whether it be on premises like VMware vSphere on in the cloud like AWS. This is where Terraform comes in. Terraform does on a large scale what Vagrant did on smaller scale. After initial deployment of an infrastructure, Terraform can also be leveraged for things like implementing changes and version control. While I’m focusing heavily on infrastructure when talking about Terraform since that is my forte, Terraform can also be used to deploy applications.
The Common Theme
The common theme with these software packages, and other software packages by HashiCorp is automation, control, and ease of use. While many are intimidated when first looking at things like automation, the fact remains that once one process is automated in an organization, many quickly follow. HashiCorp is seeking to revolutionize the whole solution stack from the application to the infrastructure it runs on – no matter where it may be located.
While we just talked about two of HashiCorp’s popular open source products, they also have enterprise grade equivalents. In addition, HashiCorp has numerous other open source and enterprise products. One interesting product which ties into HashiCorp’s theme is Packer, which is a tool for automating the creation of machine images. This of course could tie nicely into both Vagrant and Terraform. HashiCorp’s products all directly enable their core mission, which is solving “development, operations, and security challenges in infrastructure so organizations can focus on business-critical tasks” according to the HashiCorp website.
In addition to furthering the HashiCorp mission, HashiCorp’s products are a direct response to the common theme over the last few years. These last few years have been full of change as the cloud era was born and continues to unfold around us. 40 million dollars, the amount of HashiCorp’s latest funding round, is no small chunk of change, as this brings HashiCorp’s total funding to 74 million dollars. HashiCorp’s latest funding round was also raised from existing investors, meaning they are clearly innovating and continuing to show potential.