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.

Entertainment

Niantic’s future hinges on mapping the metaverse

The maker of Pokémon Go is hoping the metaverse will deliver its next big break.

Niantic's new standalone messaging and social app, Campfire, is a way to get players organizing and meeting up in the real world. It launches today for select Pokémon Go players.

Image: Niantic

Pokémon Go sent Niantic to the moon. But now the San Francisco-based augmented reality developer has returned to earth, and it’s been trying to chart its way back to the stars ever since. The company yesterday announced layoffs of about 8% of its workforce (about 85 to 90 people) and canceled four projects, Bloomberg reported, signaling another disappointment for the studio that still generates about $1 billion in revenue per year from Pokémon Go.

Finding its next big hit has been Niantic’s priority for years, and the company has been coming up short. For much of the past year or so, Niantic has turned its attention to the metaverse, with hopes that its location-based mobile games, AR tech and company philosophy around fostering physical connection and outdoor exploration can help it build what it now calls the “real world metaverse.”

Keep Reading Show less
Nick Statt

Nick Statt is Protocol's video game reporter. Prior to joining Protocol, he was news editor at The Verge covering the gaming industry, mobile apps and antitrust out of San Francisco, in addition to managing coverage of Silicon Valley tech giants and startups. He now resides in Rochester, New York, home of the garbage plate and, completely coincidentally, the World Video Game Hall of Fame. He can be reached at nstatt@protocol.com.

Every day, millions of us press the “order” button on our favorite coffee store's mobile application: Our chosen brew will be on the counter when we arrive. It’s a personalized, seamless experience that we have all come to expect. What we don’t know is what’s happening behind the scenes. The mobile application is sourcing data from a database that stores information about each customer and what their favorite coffee drinks are. It is also leveraging event-streaming data in real time to ensure the ingredients for your personal coffee are in supply at your local store.

Applications like this power our daily lives, and if they can’t access massive amounts of data stored in a database as well as stream data “in motion” instantaneously, you — and millions of customers — won’t have these in-the-moment experiences.

Keep Reading Show less
Jennifer Goforth Gregory
Jennifer Goforth Gregory has worked in the B2B technology industry for over 20 years. As a freelance writer she writes for top technology brands, including IBM, HPE, Adobe, AT&T, Verizon, Epson, Oracle, Intel and Square. She specializes in a wide range of technology, such as AI, IoT, cloud, cybersecurity, and CX. Jennifer also wrote a bestselling book The Freelance Content Marketing Writer to help other writers launch a high earning freelance business.
Climate

Supreme Court takes a sledgehammer to greenhouse gas regulations

The court ruled 6-3 that the EPA cannot use the Clean Air Act to regulate power plant greenhouse gas emissions. That leaves a patchwork of policies from states, utilities and, increasingly, tech companies to pick up the slack.

The Supreme Court struck a major blow to the federal government's ability to regulate greenhouse gases.

Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Striking down the right to abortion may be the Supreme Court's highest-profile decision this term. But on Thursday, the court handed down an equally massive verdict on the federal government's ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. In the case of West Virginia v. EPA, the court decided that the agency has no ability to regulate greenhouse gas pollution under the Clean Air Act. Weakening the federal government's powers leaves a patchwork of states, utilities and, increasingly, tech companies to pick up the slack in reducing carbon pollution.

Keep Reading Show less
Brian Kahn

Brian ( @blkahn) is Protocol's climate editor. Previously, he was the managing editor and founding senior writer at Earther, Gizmodo's climate site, where he covered everything from the weather to Big Oil's influence on politics. He also reported for Climate Central and the Wall Street Journal. In the even more distant past, he led sleigh rides to visit a herd of 7,000 elk and boat tours on the deepest lake in the U.S.

Fintech

Can crypto regulate itself? The Lummis-Gillibrand bill hopes so.

Creating the equivalent of the stock markets’ FINRA for crypto is the ideal, but experts doubt that it will be easy.

The idea of creating a government-sanctioned private regulatory association has been drawing more attention in the debate over how to rein in a fast-growing industry whose technological quirks have baffled policymakers.

Illustration: Christopher T. Fong/Protocol

Regulating crypto is complicated. That’s why Sens. Cynthia Lummis and Kirsten Gillibrand want to explore the creation of a private sector group to help federal regulators do their job.

The bipartisan bill introduced by Lummis and Gillibrand would require the CFTC and the SEC to work with the crypto industry to look into setting up a self-regulatory organization to “facilitate innovative, efficient and orderly markets for digital assets.”

Keep Reading Show less
Benjamin Pimentel

Benjamin Pimentel ( @benpimentel) covers crypto and fintech from San Francisco. He has reported on many of the biggest tech stories over the past 20 years for the San Francisco Chronicle, Dow Jones MarketWatch and Business Insider, from the dot-com crash, the rise of cloud computing, social networking and AI to the impact of the Great Recession and the COVID crisis on Silicon Valley and beyond. He can be reached at bpimentel@protocol.com or via Google Voice at (925) 307-9342.

Enterprise

Alperovitch: Cybersecurity defenders can’t be on high alert every day

With the continued threat of Russian cyber escalation, cybersecurity and geopolitics expert Dmitri Alperovitch says it’s not ideal for the U.S. to oscillate between moments of high alert and lesser states of cyber readiness.

Dmitri Alperovitch (the co-founder and former CTO of CrowdStrike) speaks at RSA Conference 2022.

Photo: RSA Conference

When it comes to cybersecurity vigilance, Dmitri Alperovitch wants to see more focus on resiliency of IT systems — and less on doing "surges" around particular dates or events.

For instance, whatever Russia is doing at the moment.

Keep Reading Show less
Kyle Alspach

Kyle Alspach ( @KyleAlspach) is a senior reporter at Protocol, focused on cybersecurity. He has covered the tech industry since 2010 for outlets including VentureBeat, CRN and the Boston Globe. He lives in Portland, Oregon, and can be reached at kalspach@protocol.com.

Latest Stories
Bulletins