magic starSummarize by Aili

The beginning of the end for Terraform?

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article discusses the potential implications of IBM's acquisition of HashiCorp, the company behind the popular infrastructure-as-code (IaC) tool Terraform. The author expresses concerns about the future of Terraform under IBM's ownership, given IBM's history of failed acquisitions and the potential conflict of interest with IBM's own cloud offering.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] The challenge of open-source monetization

1. What is the myth that the author wants to bust regarding "free" software?

  • The author argues that there is no such thing as "free" software, as developers spend time writing code, which typically requires some form of payment. Large open-source projects are often supported by big tech firms contributing engineers or money to enable developers to work on them.

2. How has HashiCorp struggled to monetize Terraform, despite its popularity?

  • The author explains that while people have widely used Terraform to orchestrate public and private cloud environments, they had little reason to pay for HashiCorp's Terraform Cloud product, even if it had some advantages.

[02] The problem with IBM buying HashiCorp

1. What are the author's two main concerns about IBM acquiring HashiCorp?

  • The author's first concern is that IBM has a conflict of interest, as it has its own cloud offering, and may not want to continue developing tools that benefit its competitors more than itself.
  • The author's second, and perhaps biggest, concern is that IBM has a history of failed acquisitions of good software companies, citing the example of changes to CentOS that allegedly favored Ubuntu LTS.

[03] Where do we go from here?

1. What are the potential alternatives to Terraform that the author discusses?

  • The author mentions the following alternatives:
    • OpenTofu, a community fork of Terraform based on an earlier version
    • Pulumi, which the author has financial sustainability concerns about
    • Crossplane, a Kubernetes-centric IaC tool backed by the CNCF
    • Cloud-native options from the major cloud providers (AWS CloudFormation, Azure Bicep, Google Cloud Config Controller)

2. What does the author believe is the best solution?

  • The author believes that an "Open Terraform" supported in development by the major cloud providers who profit from it is the best solution. The author hopes to see an expansion of the support base for the OpenTofu fork to include the major hyperscalers, as they are already deeply involved in developing Terraform providers for their platforms.
Shared by Daniel Chen ยท
ยฉ 2024 NewMotor Inc.