Cloud Field Day 6 will take place in Silicon Valley September 25-27 2019. Cloud Field Day is a focused version of the Stephen Foskett’s Tech Field Day series of events. While Tech Field Day covers a broad array of IT topics, Cloud Field Day places the spotlight on cloud technology vendors. The events gather a group of independent delegates from the tech blogosphere to hear presentations from emerging and established technology vendors. The vendors often demonstrate either new products or features of existing offerings.
Next week’s event features many awesome vendors including Dell Technologies, ExtraHop, HammerSpace, LucidLink, Morpheus, Solo.io, NetApp and HashiCorp. While all of the vendors presenting are interesting, HashiCorp has the most appeal to me at this point given their product catalog and it’s impact on cloud based architectures.
While HashiCorp has been around for a number of years, this is the company’s first Field Day event. It is unclear what they will present to the delegates. We haven’t been given any clues ahead of time. This could be a mini-recap of HashiCorp announcements made at their recent HashiConf conference, a deep dive on an existing product, or maybe an announcement of some sort. The beauty of Tech Field Day is that you never know.
My background is in infrastructure, so I first became aware of HashiCorp because of their Terraform product. Terraform enables systems administrators to create infrastructure via code. I learned about Terraform as a way to code consistent VMware environments. I later ran across it again when I looked into a way to script infrastructure builds in Oracle’s cloud. Where I expected to find something similar to AWS’ CloudFormation or Azure’s ARM templates, I was pointed to Terraform. I’d seen Terrafrom highly regarded for use with public cloud providers, but it was a first time I’d seen it be referred to as the cloud vendor’s chosen platform. That’s when I knew these guys were for real.
Looking deeper into the catalog of products by HashiCorp, it’s clear that they are more than just “the Terraform guys.” Vault, Consul, and Nomad work with Terraform to create what HashiCorp considers to be a “Cloud Operating Model.” Vault provides a way to secure passwords for accessing remote services, such as EC2 instances. Consul is essentially a service mesh. It’s a directory of services which could be in multiple data centers or clouds as long as they are routable. Nomad is a workload orchestration engine much like Kubernetes. These services could be used individually, or as a set.
These apps fit into a model that’s very much of the moment today. The current feeling in application and infrastructure architecture is that we should do our best to be vendor agnostic, avoiding “lock-in” at any cost. Vault, Terraform, and Consul fit that model. It’s Nomad that seems to be at odds with the current trend. Why HashiCorp didn’t make a k8s product like everyone else is something I’d very much like to hear explained at Cloud Field Day. While I get the points they mention on their website describing the differences between k8s and nomad like higher cluster sizes, support for more than just Docker, and (in HashiCorp’s view) a simpler architecture, kubernetes is the expected platform. In fact, the DoD recently declared kubernetes the winner in their recently released DoD Enterprise DevSecOps Reference Design. Having HashiCorp talk more about this in person would be helpful for the delegates and for the broader IT community.
Edit - On Sept 20, HashiCorp posted a blog giving us more info re: their intent to present.
We know know a bit more about what HashiCorp will Present. In a recent Blog post describing their involvement in Cloud Field Day 6, HashiCorp says they will talk Consul. We’ll get to hear from HashiCorp’s co-founder and CTO, Mitchell Hashimoto and Technical Advisor to the CTO, Anubhav Mishra.
So join us on at 11:30 am PST on Sept 25th as we talk Consul with HashiCorp. Delegates will be live tweeting and answering questions of those who watch. You can follow me on twitter @nathaniel_avery