Source Code: Your daily look at what matters in tech.

enterpriseenterpriseauthorTom 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

Your information will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy

I’m already a subscriber
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."

Does Elon Musk make Tesla tech?

Between the massive valuation and the self-driving software, Tesla isn't hard to sell as a tech company. But does that mean that, in 10 years, every car will be tech?

You know what's not tech and is a car company? Volkswagen.

Image: Tesla/Protocol

From disagreements about what "Autopilot" should mean and SolarCity lawsuits to space colonization and Boring Company tunnels, extremely online Tesla CEO Elon Musk and his company stay firmly in the news, giving us all plenty of opportunities to consider whether the company that made electric cars cool counts as tech.

The massive valuation definitely screams tech, as does the company's investment in self-driving software and battery development. But at the end of the day, this might not be enough to convince skeptics that Tesla is anything other than a car company that uses tech. It also raises questions about the role that timeliness plays in calling something tech. In a potential future where EVs are the norm and many run on Tesla's own software — which is well within the realm of possibility — will Tesla lose its claim to a tech pedigree?

Keep Reading Show less
Becca Evans
Becca Evans is a copy editor and producer at Protocol. Previously she edited Carrie Ann Conversations, a wellness and lifestyle publication founded by Carrie Ann Inaba. She's also written for STYLECASTER. Becca lives in Los Angeles.

As President of Alibaba Group, I am often asked, "What is Alibaba doing in the U.S.?"

In fact, most people are not aware we have a business in the U.S. because we are not a U.S. consumer-facing service that people use every day – nor do we want to be. Our consumers – nearly 900 million of them – are located in China.

Keep Reading Show less
J. Michael Evans
Michael Evans leads and executes Alibaba Group's international strategy for globalizing the company and expanding its businesses outside of China.
Protocol | Workplace

Apple isn’t the only tech company spooked by the delta variant

Spooked by rising cases of COVID-19, many tech companies delay their office reopening.

Apple and at least two other Silicon Valley companies have decided to delay their reopenings in response to rising COVID-19 case counts.

Photo: Luis Alvarez via Getty

Apple grabbed headlines this week when it told employees it would delay its office reopening until October or later. But the iPhone maker wasn't alone: At least two other Silicon Valley companies decided to delay their reopenings last week in response to rising COVID-19 case counts.

Both ServiceNow and Pure Storage opted to push back their September return-to-office dates last week, telling employees they can work remotely until at least the end of the year. Other companies may decide to exercise more caution given the current trends.

Keep Reading Show less
Allison Levitsky
Allison Levitsky is a reporter at Protocol covering workplace issues in tech. She previously covered big tech companies and the tech workforce for the Silicon Valley Business Journal. Allison grew up in the Bay Area and graduated from UC Berkeley.
Protocol | Workplace

Half of working parents have felt discriminated against during COVID

A new survey found that working parents at the VP level are more likely to say they've faced discrimination at work than their lower-level counterparts.

A new survey looks at discrimination faced by working parents during the pandemic.

Photo: d3sign/Getty Images

The toll COVID-19 has taken on working parents — particularly working moms — is, by now, well-documented. The impact for parents in low-wage jobs has been particularly devastating.

But a new survey, shared exclusively with Protocol, finds that among parents who kept their jobs through the pandemic, people who hold more senior positions are actually more likely to say they faced discrimination at work than their lower-level colleagues.

Keep Reading Show less
Issie Lapowsky

Issie Lapowsky ( @issielapowsky) is Protocol's chief correspondent, covering the intersection of technology, politics, and national affairs. She also oversees Protocol's fellowship program. Previously, she was a senior writer at Wired, where she covered the 2016 election and the Facebook beat in its aftermath. Prior to that, Issie worked as a staff writer for Inc. magazine, writing about small business and entrepreneurship. She has also worked as an on-air contributor for CBS News and taught a graduate-level course at New York University's Center for Publishing on how tech giants have affected publishing.

Protocol | Enterprise

Alphabet goes deep into industrial robotic software with Intrinsic

If it succeeds, the gambit could help support Google Cloud's lofty ambitions in the manufacturing sector.

Alphabet is aiming to make advanced robotic technology affordable to customers.

Photo: Getty Images

Alphabet launched a new division Friday called Intrinsic, which will focus on building software for industrial robots, per a blog post. The move plunges the tech giant deeper into a sector that's in the midst of a major wave of digitization.

The goal of Intrinsic is to "give industrial robots the ability to sense, learn, and automatically make adjustments as they're completing tasks, so they work in a wider range of settings and applications," CEO Wendy Tan-White wrote in the post.

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.

Latest Stories