Back in March, we announced a unique partnership between Cisco and HashiCorp, bringing together the leaders in public and private cloud automation. The goal of this partnership was to help customers navigate the challenges of implementing a consistent, end-to-end Infrastructure as Code (IaC) strategy for hybrid cloud environments, reducing the gap between traditional IT operations and the cloud native tooling and processes of DevOps teams.
With this announcement, we revealed plans to integrate Cisco Intersight and HashiCorp’s Terraform Cloud Business (TFCB), bringing together the world’s simplest hybrid cloud operations platform with the leader in IaC and cloud automation. With our latest weekly update to Intersight, we’re excited to announce the general availability of Intersight Service for HashiCorp Terraform (IST).
DevOps organizations are increasingly expecting a consistent and flexible development experience across public, private, and hybrid cloud infrastructure. For traditional IT operators, addressing these demands can be challenging, especially as they transition from provisioning and managing static on-premises resources to providing readily available, dynamic infrastructure that can scale on demand. With the introduction of Intersight Service for HashiCorp Terraform, Cisco is hoping to address many of these challenges head-on!
From Open-Source to “Enterprise-Ready”
For many customers getting started with IaC, Terraform OSS (the open-source version) is a suitable offering for learning and early-development. However, the implementation and management of new automation and orchestration tools — especially open-source variants — can be challenging, often requiring complex maneuvering to make them “enterprise-ready.”
There can be concerns with access control, such as IaC pipelines stretching across personal machines or shared VMs and Terraform state containing sensitive information that requires special handling and access control. Managing secrets gets complicated, often requiring specialized software and processes, and without an API, integrations of CI/CD are manual and fragile. And for better or worse, some organizations may opt to navigate these shortcomings with complicated “scaffolding,” ultimately resulting in a fragile and complex implementation that requires specialized talent and operation.
Intersight Service for Terraform is addressing these challenges head-on by integrating directly with Terraform Cloud Business, providing DevOps with an opportunity to further improve IaC adoption. This integration provides everything both IT operations and DevOps need to provision and collaborate on infrastructure, and manage security risks, compliance, and operational challenges. Terraform Cloud Business tackles all the shortcomings of the open-source version with state management, access control, and native integrations with CI/CD pipelines, making it much easier to adopt IaC without wasting time, resources and -most importantly–money, implementing bespoke workarounds to navigate these shortcomings. And with an option to add-on Cisco’s renowned Solution Support, customers can expect end-to-end support coverage regardless of where the issue is discovered.
Reduce Operational Overhead with Intersight Assist
Even after addressing the challenges of open-source IaC by moving to Terraform Cloud Business, incorporating a new tool can mean hours of work and maintenance as operations teams need to address concerns around security and scalability. This is especially true for IaC pipelines, where DevOps engineers often require direct access to on-prem resources, raising the concern of where and how to safely run the code — who is responsible for the end-to-end lifecycle of the runtime environment? Unfortunately, IT operations is often stuck answering these questions. From individually managing firewall rules across disparate environments to exposing remote virtual machines to provide developers with access to remote work environments, there are an overwhelming number of options to consider as the organization grows.
Intersight Assist is a secure, turn-key appliance that helps facilitate the management, observability, and orchestration of on-prem data center resources directly from Cisco Intersight. This is especially useful for cloud-based software, where Intersight Assist uses a series of encrypted tunnels to deliver a “secure-SaaS” experience for third-party integrations and orchestration.
With the release of Intersight Service for HashiCorp Terraform, we’re extending this platform to support the deployment and maintenance of Terraform Cloud Agents, which are used by Terraform Cloud Business to pull and run Terraform code behind the firewall. By running the agents directly on Intersight Assist, Cisco is providing a single and secure point of entry into the on-prem environment while simplifying the management of the agent’s lifecycle. This enables IT operations to spend less time worrying about manually integrating the platforms, and more time on application and infrastructure innovation.
Integrating IaC with On-Prem Resources in 3 Easy Steps
Once Intersight users have access to a valid Terraform Cloud Business account, integrating the platforms is as easy as 1-2-3. With Cisco Intersight providing the bridge for hybrid cloud automation and Terraform Cloud Business removing the complexity of managing Terraform OSS, customers can focus on using IaC to modernize application and infrastructure provisioning.
Better Together . . . like Peanut Butter and Jelly
Intersight Service for Terraform is one of the many ways Cisco and HashiCorp intend to use this partnership to help our customers implement a consistent, agile, and flexible IaC strategy across public and private cloud environments. From the focus on developing Cisco’s ecosystem of Terraform Providers to making available advanced use cases, training, and labs in DevNet, there is a strong desire to make this flourishing relationship as scrumptious as possible!
For information on Intersight Service for HashiCorp Terraform and what’s offered as part of general-availability, please visit our documentation and get started with the IST Sandbox Lab on Cisco DevNet.