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Power

HashiCorp thinks turning raw code into running apps should be easier. So it built a new tool.

Waypoint, the latest open-source project from one of the most valuable private companies in cloud tech, should make life far more straightforward for software developers.

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

HashiCorp co-founders Armon Dadgar and Mitchell Hashimoto and CEO Dave McJannet see a big oppurtunity in making life easier for software developers.

Photo: HashiCorp

HashiCorp hopes to make life easier for software developers with a new tool that automates the steps required to build, deploy and release an application onto cloud services or tools like Kubernetes.

On Thursday, the second day of its virtual HashiConf event, the company plans to unveil a new project called Waypoint. It will allow users to automatically configure their software development pipeline with their preferred tools, saving developers from having to configure and package their code in order to take their applications from concept to reality.

"In some sense, Waypoint is glue," said Armon Dadgar, co-founder and co-CTO of HashiCorp, in an interview with Protocol ahead of the event. "It glues all of those things together under a pretty abstraction for the developer, so they don't have to think about it or care about it."

Waypoint is the latest project from one of the most valuable private companies in cloud tech, a 1,000-person cloud infrastructure organization worth $5 billion that seems poised to join the ranks of newly public cloud companies at some point in the not-so-distant future. HashiCorp's tools, currently based on six open-source projects, help all kinds of companies — from startups to multinational corporations — get their applications up and running on cloud services. The company, co-founded in 2012 by Dadgar and fellow University of Washington computer science student Mitchell Hashimoto, has raised almost $350 million so far.

Over the last several years, forward-thinking software teams have embraced a concept called DevOps. The idea is that software developers and operations engineers should work more closely together over the course of the process than they had in the past.

Most developers write code in a development environment like Visual Studio Code, and test it with tools such as Selenium or CircleCI. That code winds up running on cloud providers like AWS, self-managed servers or an abstraction layer like Kubernetes and is evaluated with monitoring software like DataDog or Prometheus by operations engineers.

Waypoint addresses the middle stage of this process, where raw code is "built" into a format that computers can recognize, deployed to its destination, and released into the world, Dadgar said.

"There are very few developers who care if [their software runs] on a [virtual machine], containers or serverless," Dadgar said. Operations people, however, care very much where the code winds up, and with Waypoint they can give developers a tool with default settings that automates the build, deploy and release process for developers with a single command, he said, saving both the developer and the ops person from a tedious task.

There are lots of commercial tools that also address these steps, but HashiCorp thinks many of the alternatives on the market, known as continuous delivery tools, make it hard to figure out what happened when inevitable errors occur. There are also development platforms like Cloud Foundry designed for these needs, but they force developers to use a one-size-fits-all process that doesn't necessarily make sense inside companies with lots of different types of applications, Dadgar said.

At some point, HashiCorp will likely add a managed version of Waypoint to its stable of services, but for now the project will be available under a permissive open-source license. At launch, Waypoint supports cloud deployment services such as AWS' ECS, Microsoft's Azure Container Instances and Google Cloud Run, as well as Kubernetes and Docker.

Politics

'Woke tech' and 'the new slave power': Conservatives gather for Vegas summit

An agenda for the event, hosted by the Claremont Institute, listed speakers including U.S. CTO Michael Kratsios and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

The so-called "Digital Statecraft Summit" was organized by the Claremont Institute. The speakers include U.S. CTO Michael Kratsios and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, as well as a who's-who of far-right provocateurs.

Photo: David Vives/Unsplash

Conservative investors, political operatives, right-wing writers and Trump administration officials are quietly meeting in Las Vegas this weekend to discuss topics including China, "woke tech" and "the new slave power," according to four people who were invited to attend or speak at the event as well as a copy of the agenda obtained by Protocol.

The so-called "Digital Statecraft Summit" was organized by the Claremont Institute, a conservative think tank that says its mission is to "restore the principles of the American Founding to their rightful, preeminent authority in our national life." A list of speakers for the event includes a combination of past and current government officials as well as a who's who of far-right provocateurs. One speaker, conservative legal scholar John Eastman, rallied the president's supporters at a White House event before the Capitol Hill riot earlier this month. Some others have been associated with racist ideologies.

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Emily Birnbaum

Emily Birnbaum ( @birnbaum_e) is a tech policy reporter with Protocol. Her coverage focuses on the U.S. government's attempts to regulate one of the most powerful industries in the world, with a focus on antitrust, privacy and politics. Previously, she worked as a tech policy reporter with The Hill after spending several months as a breaking news reporter. She is a Bethesda, Maryland native and proud Kenyon College alumna.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Databricks plans to take on Snowflake and Google and score a huge IPO

Even against intensifying competition, Databricks hopes to be a hit when it heads to the public markets this year.

Ali Ghodsi is the CEO of Databricks.

Photo: Databricks

Enterprise software had a huge 2020 on Wall Street as companies such as Snowflake and C3.ai went public with blockbuster initial offerings. Databricks CEO Ali Ghodsi is hoping to ride the same wave in 2021.

The public debut of the data analytics startup, valued at $6.2 billion, is among the most-watched IPOs for the year. And for good reason: It competes in a similar space as the much-hyped Snowflake, helping customers find the data to power the algorithms that help with everything from picking which products to order to which candidates to bring in for job interviews. While Databricks has been tight-lipped on its specific plans, including which bankers it is tapping to help navigate the often arduous process, it is taking steps internally to prepare.

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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.

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