Hello from HashiDays

Earlier this month, I attended HashiDays London with my colleague Marko as The Scale Factory representatives. If you’re not familiar with HashiDays, it’s a HashiCorp Platform’s conference which brings together IT leaders, developers, industry partners, and the HashiCorp community to discuss infrastructure and security in the cloud.

HashiDays 2024 logo at the venue

Photo by Marko Bevc

(If HashiCorp doesn’t ring a bell, it’s a software company that provides open-source tools and commercial products to support cloud infrastructure automation. Their most famous product is Terraform, but the talks on the engineering track, which we both attended, focused on a broader range of the tools: Vault, Consul, Boundary, Waypoint, and Packer.)

The HashiDays conference kicked off with an opening keynote from Armon Dadgar, co-founder and CTO of HashiCorp. The morning session was filled with new announcements, which, while interesting, seemed slightly less groundbreaking than in previous years. There were several significant updates that are worth noting; however, we hoped to hear more about IBM’s upcoming acquisition and what that means for the community, customers and products.

Some of the major and interesting updates were:

  • HashiCorp Platform is expanding into Europe, aiming at local data residency, service performance, and compliance with security requirements.
  • Terraform: agents for enhanced HCP Terraform integration with private data center resources, improved visibility and reporting through HCP Terraform Explorer, new provider-defined functions that increase the flexibility of the Terraform engine and AWS Cloud Control provider for Terraform, handy for brand new AWS features.
  • Vault and Boundary: Workload Identity Federation, Secrets Sync, Vault Secrets Operator for Kubernetes.
  • HCP Waypoint and Packer: HCP Waypoint introduced new actions for managing builds and deployments, while HCP Packer added webhooks for automation and metadata visibility enhancements to ensure secure build pipelines.

The afternoon featured talks from the community and customer space, offering a refreshing break from hyped GenAI discussions we observe lately. Sessions were mostly focused on practical applications, much to the relief of many attendees - including us. Talks ranged from basic (about explaining how to use terraform import) to more advanced ones (Secure Day 2 operations) and, last but not least, a lab: build a golden image pipeline using Packer. The latter was quite interesting, as it helped the audience familiarise themselves with more HashiCorp tools than Terraform (yes, I’m one of those folks).

My interest was particularly grasped by “Dev ready in minutes, not days” by Stephen Hoekstra from Schuberg Philis, as it fitted pretty well in the automated Landing Zone project I’m currently working on. One of the goals of that Landing Zone is to provision AWS accounts with ready-to-go infrastructure in minutes, simply after pushing a workflow button. One of the challenges here is a poor integration of Terraform with AWS Service Catalog. This results in Terraform’s lack of OU awareness or parallelism when provisioning accounts. Instead of combining multiple IaC tools, developers in Schuberg Philis decided to solve that problem by… writing their own provider.

The day concluded with a demonstration by AWS, showcasing AmazonQ writing Terraform code. This added a fitting end to an insightful day and left some of us with a question: how much time do we have before our jobs will be taken by AI? Not for long, though, as shortly afterwards, everybody headed to the conference networking happy hour. Truth be told, I was a bit disappointed not to present my talk about Scalable IaC after being accepted as a backup speaker (you may watch it here if you’re curious), but on the other hand, it was an interesting experience just to sit back and listen in for a change. HashiDays London provided valuable insights and updates, reflecting HashiCorp’s ongoing commitment to enhancing its tools and supporting the cloud infrastructure needs of its users, as well as offering opportunities for networking and brainstorming new ideas.

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This blog is written exclusively by The Scale Factory team. We do not accept external contributions.

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