CloudDevelopersDevOpsFeaturedLet's TalkOpen Source

Terraform Helps Customers Adopt A Collaborative Infrastructure as Code Workflow | Rob Hirschfeld


Guest: Rob Hirschfeld (LinkedIn, Twitter)
Company: RackN (Twitter)
Show: Let’s Talk
Keyword: Infrastructure as Code (IaC)

Terraform, the open-source infrastructure as code (IaC) software tool, provides a consistent CLI workflow to manage hundreds of cloud services. Although it was designed to make it easy to work from a command line desktop, this presents challenges for enterprises working around different people and teams. It can be difficult to take Terraform and use it in more centralized teams. One of the risks involved is that everyone then builds their own IaC patterns and templates, making it difficult for somebody else to understand the work that has been done.

In this episode of TFiR Let’s Talk, Rob Hirschfeld, CEO and Co-Founder of RackN, sat down with Swapnil Bhartiya to discuss ways organizations can improve their Terraform hygiene and skill. Hirschfeld says, “Terraform is a dominant IaC tool but we are seeing more organizations looking to adopt it as part of an infrastructure pipeline, not just a tool.”

One of the key considerations of IaC is credentials management as credentials are required when building a plan for Terraforms, the template that you feed into the tool. The credentials can come from the customer’s local machine or can be embedded in the file. However, if the customer is not using the runner’s credentials, there is a risk of somebody getting hold of critical cloud credentials or stripping them out of the Terraform file.

Hirschfeld explains in this video that ideally you want individual or team credentials rather than just one set of credentials because they have to have permissions to touch all the components in the infrastructure that need to be set up. However, companies can be reluctant to give out very broad access to the infrastructure although this can be a requirement of Terraform in order to perform basic operations. One of the ways Terraform tackles this is to separate the action of calling the Terraform template from building clusters or running machines.

Terraform drives customers to focus on how their tools and platforms are assigned and how they are improving collaboration across the organization. Digital Rebar, which connects isolated tools and processes, aims to help teams better work together and coordinate better, in turn improving the infrastructure as code outcomes too.

About Rob Hirschfeld: Rob has been in the cloud and infrastructure space for 20 years and has done everything from start-ups working with early ESX betas to serving four terms on the OpenStack Foundation Board and as an executive at Dell. As leader on, he believes that the technology of running data centers and applications on cloud is just part of the bigger story. He trained as an Industrial Engineer and carries a passion for applying Lean and Agile processes to software delivery.  Rob has received degrees from Duke University and Louisiana State University.

About RackN: RackN was founded with the vision of operators working together to improve IT operations through shared software and community regardless of infrastructure type. The company believes that operators should be able to maintain control, consistency and choice over their infrastructure without requiring prescriptive appliances or managed offerings.

The summary of the show is written by Emily Nicholls.

Don't miss out great stories, subscribe to our newsletter.

Login/Sign up