With the Linux Foundation launching OpenTofu, there are still a lot of questions remaining on how the open-source alternative will fit into the picture and whether users will continue to use Terraform with the licensing change.
In this episode of TFiR: Let’s Talk, Rob Hirschfeld, Co-Founder and CEO of RackN, talks about what the Terraform changes mean for the community and the customers. He goes into detail about OpenTofu and the potential challenges ahead. He also gives his opinion as to how he thinks users will respond, whether to stay with HashiCorp or to go down the open-source route.
Key highlights from this video interview are:
- Hirschfeld talks about where he feels OpenTofu will fill the gap, saying that users who had previously been using Terraform will be guaranteed vendor portability, and vendor neutrality when they embed the platform into their systems.
- The changes to Terraform will have an effect on RackN, since they have abstractions that take and run Terraform on the customer’s behalf with Digital Rebar. Hirschfeld explains how OpenTofu allows them to continue to use cloud interfacing in that model.
- From talking with clients, Hirschfeld tells us many are expecting to use both Terraform and OpenTofu, or an alternative. While there has been quite a lot of discussion about binary compatibility, Hirschfeld does not feel that this is necessarily important for their customers as long as they can take the Terraform state files and translate them.
- Hirschfeld believes that it is going to be a challenge trying to keep Terraform and OpenTofu the same. However, as Terraformwas free and people were charging for the management layers for it, on OpenTofu they are going to have to differentiate their management platform and this will be where the challenge lies.
- Hirschfeld feels that the OpenTofu community has plenty of challenges ahead, such as if they find a bug in OpenTofu or with a provider that is being depended on, then they will have to upstream the fix or have an alternate distribution model. He talks about the importance of having a process to get the bug fixes through the system.
- Hirschfeld expects to see innovation coming out of Terraform, which will give businesses an opportunity to evaluate whether to license the HashiCorp versions and others will have to find ways to differentiate and add into OpenTofu within the community framework.
- From a users’ business perspective, they need a reliable way to build a cluster or configure a system which is what both Terraform and OpenTofu do. Hirschfeld goes into detail about what this means for the customers and how the priority is how you are solving the customer’s problem without adding friction.
- He also feels that HashiCorp is not going to easily cede any ground to OpenTofu as they know their market very and you can expect more innovation and pushback from HashiCorp.
This summary was written by Emily Nicholls.