By Will Hall, DevOps Consultant, HeleCloud
Last month, HeleCloud team and I had the pleasure of attending this year’s annual HashiConf EU in Amsterdam. Alongside over 800 other HashiCorp community members – from both technical and business backgrounds – we enjoyed three days of intense training and talks on the future of cloud infrastructure automation.
A big focus during the summit was Vault – HashiCorp’s software solution for “secrets management” and data protection which is quickly becoming industry-standard secure storage tool – and as such many of the sessions were dedicated to the implementation and extension of Vault for better security and evaluation across a whole range of areas within a business. Interestingly, Cisco and Hootsuite were companies referenced as using HashiCorp’s Vault to sure-up security in different ways. Both extended Vault to secure several use cases as well as users. For example, by giving token credentials for a day, root credentials for an hour, or storing all valid hardware certificates inside Vault.
As we become more and more data conscious, one particular use case that stood out is how Vault can be used to encrypt/decrypt data that is stored somewhere else. This allows applications to encrypt data whilst it’s stored in the primary data store, with the responsibility of encryption on Vault with a security team managing it.
My favourite part of HashiConf EU was connecting with the attendees as this gave us a chance to find out how businesses are using technology in original ways as well as the barriers to success currently being experienced by technical teams. For example, I spoke with many DevOps engineers about the challenges in adopting Infrastructure as Code (IaC) and consolidating deployments. We spoke at length about how this could be supported by extensions into Vault or connecting workloads with HashiCorp’s Consul – a dynamic traffic management and gateways solution.
Based on my conversations during the summit, it around 90% of attendees appeared to be using Terraform within their daily workloads. However, less than half seemed to use Terraform Enterprise. It’ll be interesting to see how these changes following the new announcements, especially given its ability to provide a central way for users within organisations to safely and efficiently provision and manage infrastructure.
All in all, HashiConf EU provided a brilliant environment for learning more about HashiCorp’s latest developments and announcements as well as gaining insights into its business direction over the next 12 months and had some of the best food I think I have had at a conference over the past 10 years. The HeleCloud team and I had a great time at this year’s summit and are looking forward to seeing what’s in store at HashiConf EU 2020!