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HashiCorp Introduces HashiCorp Cloud Platform

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HashiCorp, the company behind the software tool Terraform, introduces a platform to run their products on AWS, Azure, and GCP as managed services. This will extend their enterprise offer with a focus on multi-cloud environments.

At the HashiConf Digital conference at the end of June, HashiCorp launched a private beta of HashiCorp Cloud Platform (HCP), a managed tool of their open-source products. Customers will rely on a single set of APIs to deploy Terraform, Vault, Nomad and Consul on multi-cloud environments.

Terraform is today a popular tool for provisioning and configuring resources across multiple cloud providers and HCL, the HashiCorp configuration language, is one of the fastest growing languages on GitHub. Robert Genova, director for product marketing at HashiCorp, explains how HCP is different from running Terraform:

HashiCorp products deployed through HCP are pre-configured for best practices and fully managed by HashiCorp after they are deployed. With Terraform, a user will still need to prepare configuration files, build machine images, and handle upgrades, backups, and scaling.

The infrastructure automation startup is now moving into a managed operating model with a pay-as-you-go pricing approach. The new platform powers both HCP Consul and HashiCorp Consul Service (HCS) on Azure, a service that is generally available since the end of July. The founder of HashiCorp, Mitchell Hashimoto, tweeted

This is extra exciting because it’s our first GA managed service and it’s built on top of the core of our Cloud Platform that will power more products on other providers.

But HCS is today a separate managed service, available in the Azure marketplace, and it is not an abstract layer on top of the Microsoft platform available through a HashiCorp console as HCP. And it will still take time to have access to Terraform, Vault and Nomad as managed services on the new HCP console. Today HCP supports only a private beta of HCP Consul for AWS, a single service on a single cloud provider. The company plans to make it publicly available by the end of the year, followed by HCP Vault with the support for Azure and Google Cloud following later on.

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While portability is a key benefit for orchestration, not everyone instead agrees that multi-cloud capabilities and cross-provider clustering will have wide adoption. Ben Kehoe, cloud robotics research scientist at iRobot, suggests:

(...) It's like cow tipping. You can prove it doesn't happen because there's no videos of it on YouTube. (...) People talk a lot about their multi-cloud strategies, but I haven't seen anybody with a case study, "we didn't go multi-cloud and here's how it came back to bite us", or "here's how multi-cloud clearly saved our hide."

But even for the customers on just one cloud provider, HCP will allow them to have built-in workflows to manage the deployments. 

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