enterprise| enterpriseauthorTom KrazitNoneAre you keeping up with the latest cloud developments? Get Tom Krazit and Joe Williams' newsletter every Monday and Thursday.d3d5b92349
×

Get access to Protocol

I’ve already subscribed

Will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy

Power

HashiCorp's big step toward a central role in the cloud

By offering managed versions of its services, the company will appeal to far more enterprise companies looking to embrace the cloud.

​HashiCorp co-founders Armon Dadgar and Mitchell Hashimoto with CEO Dave McJannet.

HashiCorp co-founders Armon Dadgar and Mitchell Hashimoto with CEO Dave McJannet, who spy a big opportunity running cloud services for enterprise companies.

Photo: Courtesy of HashiCorp

As cloud computing matures, a new generation of companies that have known no other way are competing to lead big business into the future. With its new managed services platform, HashiCorp intends to be one of those companies.

During a digital event Monday meant to replace its annual European conference, HashiCorp plans to unveil the HashiCorp Cloud Platform, a collection of fully managed versions of the company's flagship cloud tools. The platform will allow HashiCorp customers to offload the management of those tools to the 8-year-old company, and they will eventually be available to customers running applications on the cloud platforms provided by AWS, Microsoft and Google.

HashiCorp sees a huge opportunity here.

"It took these big enterprises five years just to be comfortable with the idea of public clouds, but they got there and they started that migration," said Armon Dadgar, co-founder and chief technology officer of HashiCorp. But "most of these folks, they don't have enough operational staff with the experience to run these services at scale, and even if they did, those people are best spent focusing on other business value rather than operating infrastructure."

HashiCorp offers four main tools for provisioning and managing cloud infrastructure: Terraform, Consul, Vault and Nomad. Those tools are currently available as open-source projects or paid services that come with additional features beyond the open-source versions, and they are popular: Redmonk estimates the company generated $150 million in revenue during 2019.

But managed services appeal to cloud customers who lack the time, money or experience needed to do a lot of the heavy lifting required to use these tools in their software-development process. Kubernetes, one of the most influential open-source cloud infrastructure projects released over the last several years, didn't really start to take off until cloud vendors, led by Google and followed by Microsoft and AWS, launched managed versions for their customers.

The first service available in the HashiCorp Cloud Platform will be Consul, the company's take on a service mesh. Service meshes help companies that have adopted microservices as part of their development philosophy manage the complicated interactions that result from breaking an app down into lots of smaller, somewhat-independent units, and this is an emerging, competitive space: Google's back and forth on the governance of its Istio service mesh has been a huge topic in the cloud over the last year or so.

The managed version of Consul will be available first on AWS, because that's where most cloud applications live. Vault, which helps companies control the use of sensitive data, will follow, also on AWS, but eventually the four major projects will all be available on AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.

For now, the cloud providers love HashiCorp because of the way it's focused on helping big businesses move old applications and launch new applications onto cloud services. However, they also offer their own tools that compete with the smaller company's services to some degree, and at some point tension seems likely to build: After all, there's nothing stopping AWS from launching its own managed versions of the open-source projects developed at HashiCorp.

That tension reached a breaking point in the database world two years ago, when Redis Labs and MongoDB made changes to the licensing behind the open-source projects that powered their commercial products, with the explicit goal of discouraging or preventing AWS and others from selling their own managed versions of those projects. But Dadgar thinks AWS has changed.

"They got burned over the Mongo incident, and the Redis incident, and I think they've come to understand the relationship with the open-source community and the reputation that they've built," he said. "I think they are very conscious of wanting to be good-faith citizens."

HashiCorp has raised $350 million in funding, and is currently valued at $5.1 billion. Founded in 2012 by Dadgar and fellow University of Washington computer science student Mitchell Hashimoto, the company now has 1,000 employees and appears to be on a path to becoming a strong, independent player in cloud computing.

"I think we understand who we are," said Dave McJannet, HashiCorp's CEO. "We are an infrastructure provider that provides this enabling role for the biggest companies in the world. These markets are big enough to support us as a large standalone company."

Microsoft wants to replace artists with AI

Better Zoom calls, simpler email attachments, smart iPhone cases and other patents from Big Tech.

Turning your stories into images.

Image: USPTO/Microsoft

Hello and welcome to 2021! The Big Tech patent roundup is back, after a short vacation and … all the things … that happened between the start of the year and now. It seems the tradition of tech companies filing weird and wonderful patents has carried into the new year; there are some real gems from the last few weeks. Microsoft is trying to outsource all creative endeavors to AI; Apple wants to make seat belts less annoying; and Amazon wants to cut down on some of the recyclable waste that its own success has inevitably created.

And remember: The big tech companies file all kinds of crazy patents for things, and though most never amount to anything, some end up defining the future.

Keep Reading Show less
Mike Murphy

Mike Murphy ( @mcwm) is the director of special projects at Protocol, focusing on the industries being rapidly upended by technology and the companies disrupting incumbents. Previously, Mike was the technology editor at Quartz, where he frequently wrote on robotics, artificial intelligence, and consumer electronics.

About Protocol | Enterprise

‘It’s not OK’: Elastic takes aim at AWS, at the risk of major collateral damage

Elastic's long-running dispute with AWS entered a new chapter last week with big changes to two of its open-source projects. AWS now plans to take those projects under its wing.

"I don't know why this is surprising to people," Elastic CEO Shay Banon said in an interview with Protocol.

Photo: Michael Nagle/Getty Images

Fed up with what he sees as unfair competition from AWS, Elastic CEO Shay Banon felt he had no choice but to restrict the way third parties can use two important open-source projects developed by his company. Yet much of enterprise tech thinks he just threw the baby out with the bathwater.

Last Thursday, Elastic published a blog post — curiously titled "Doubling down on open, Part II" — announcing that Elasticsearch and Kibana, two widely used open-source projects in enterprise tech, would no longer be available under the permissive Apache 2.0 license. Instead, all subsequent releases to those projects will only be available under either a controversial new license known as the SSPL, or the Elastic License, both of which were designed to make it difficult for cloud companies to sell managed versions of the open-source projects they're applied to.

Keep Reading Show less
Tom Krazit

Tom Krazit ( @tomkrazit) is a senior reporter at Protocol, covering cloud computing and enterprise technology out of the Pacific Northwest. He has written and edited stories about the technology industry for almost two decades for publications such as IDG, CNET, paidContent, and GeekWire. He served as executive editor of Gigaom and Structure, and most recently produced a leading cloud computing newsletter called Mostly Cloudy.

Protocol | Enterprise

Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson explains how he decided to face off with Parler

Also, why he thinks the $3.2 billion purchase of Segment will help Twilio's customers help their customers and why he's OK with being reliant on AWS.

"I think in a society, words matter, actions matter," Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson said. "That's why companies have things like Terms of Service and acceptable use policies."

Photo: Twilio

Cloud computing companies were one of the few segments of society that enjoyed 2020. But even companies like Twilio, whose stock price tripled over the last 12 months, have had enough of 2021 already.

Last Friday, in the wake of the deadly attack on the Capitol, Twilio sent a letter to the right-wing social media app Parler notifying the company that it was violating Twilio's acceptable use policy for two of its authentication services. Parler decided to turn off Twilio's services rather than moderate calls for violence against elected officials on its app, which became a moot point after AWS cut Parler off from its own computing and storage services Sunday evening.

Keep Reading Show less
Tom Krazit

Tom Krazit ( @tomkrazit) is a senior reporter at Protocol, covering cloud computing and enterprise technology out of the Pacific Northwest. He has written and edited stories about the technology industry for almost two decades for publications such as IDG, CNET, paidContent, and GeekWire. He served as executive editor of Gigaom and Structure, and most recently produced a leading cloud computing newsletter called Mostly Cloudy.

Protocol | Enterprise

The GE Mafia: How an old-school firm birthed a generation of tech leaders

The conglomerate hot-housed graduates in the '90s and '00s to create an adaptable army of tech talent. Now those execs are everywhere.

Look at the resumes of the top tech executives at the nation's largest companies and you're likely to find at least one theme: a stint at General Electric.

The once-quintessential American conglomerate has served as a launch pad for individuals now spearheading IT operations at companies such as Airbnb, United Airlines, Unilever, Morgan Stanley, AIG and dozens of others, according to analysis by Protocol.

Keep Reading Show less
Joe Williams

Joe Williams is a senior reporter at Protocol covering enterprise software, including industry giants like Salesforce, Microsoft, IBM and Oracle. He previously covered emerging technology for Business Insider. Joe can be reached at JWilliams@Protocol.com. To share information confidentially, he can also be contacted on a non-work device via Signal (+1-309-265-6120) or JPW53189@protonmail.com.

Protocol | Enterprise

Why observability is the new monitoring

Understanding software performance is an extremely important — and complex — undertaking for the modern enterprise. Simply watching the meter no longer works.

There's a lot to keep track of in modern software.

Image: Alexander Sinn/Kwamina2

No unhappy complex system is alike: Each is unhappy in its own way. A growing line of business in software development, observability seeks to understand how and why modern software applications and teams become unhappy in order to set them on a path toward happiness, uptime and profit.

An evolution of monitoring software — which became popular during the rise of Web 2.0 applications and spawned companies such as Splunk, Datadog, New Relic and SolarWinds — observability takes the idea of simply watching IT systems a step further. While it's helpful to have dashboards that let administrators determine the health and performance of their applications at a glance, observability advocates believe what modern businesses really need are tools that help them understand the root cause of software issues.

Keep Reading Show less
Tom Krazit

Tom Krazit ( @tomkrazit) is a senior reporter at Protocol, covering cloud computing and enterprise technology out of the Pacific Northwest. He has written and edited stories about the technology industry for almost two decades for publications such as IDG, CNET, paidContent, and GeekWire. He served as executive editor of Gigaom and Structure, and most recently produced a leading cloud computing newsletter called Mostly Cloudy.

Latest Stories