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What's Up Fellow Developers? Check THIS out... We are FINALLY hitting the easy button!

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Well, it’s about time. We finally realized that publishing and handing out PDFs with configuration information is not cool. So, we reached out to a few friends in the industry for insight and realized we need to write code. Of course, code rocks and having it available in examples that work out-of-the-box is preferred. I remember when I started doing telemetry work, I was always looking for solid examples that could shed light on how stacks worked, how to integrate, automate and make it scalable. I was always looking for GitHub repos to leverage code and learn how to get it implemented, along with having an easy button. There were some repos that were awesome as well as some that provided breadcrumbs that took me further down a path. One thing I took away from that experience is that sharing out code, specifically opinionated code, was helpful to me.

So, I started thinking…why shouldn’t we share out how we do optimizations? Show how we get to the benchmarking/testing data? What can really be done in the cloud that you may not be aware of? Well, we have turned that corner and are now showing how to finally take our optimizations and put them into code.

What we did is we surveyed the industry for who is the de facto standard for developers and operators for infra provisioning and voila…. “Terraform by HashiCorp” hit the top of the list. We then asked our partners for help in matchmaking with HashiCorp and “boom” we kicked off a Strategic Collaboration.

Sounds fun right? But seriously, the question remained, how can we fix our Optimizations > Code > Industry challenge?

In 2022 we were invited to join HashiConf to talk with developers, DevOps and operations managers. We came in strong with a message (no code yet, see Optimized Cloud Recipes section below) around what we thought was important, IaaS config w/ full stack configuration and optimization instructions with OS level flags & beyond.   

Here's what we heard from the audience:

  • Why is Intel at a developer event?
  • You can pick the infrastructure under PaaS services? Really?
  • What if I want to just use Intel for all my cloud infra -- can you make that happen?
  • Can you help us govern cloud instance selection after provisioning? Can you help us with cost control?
  • Can you layer your optimization in both IaaS and PaaS?

One thing I forgot to mention earlier is that we have been working on Optimized Cloud Recipes for more than three years, taking our on-prem learnings and adapting for both instance and PaaS services. What is interesting is that for the # of knobs, configuration settings are different for each model – bare metal, IaaS, or PaaS, so having that defined is helpful for all of us.

Back to the code. Taking our recipes and moving them to modules became our mission, so we took the top “data workloads” and started building modules with HashiCorp. One of our first workloads was MySQL on Azure Flexible Server and you may notice something I haven’t mentioned yet…Graphs.


Okay. Benchmarking data. We know that we are in a trust and verify relationship when it comes to the cloud, and we need to see the data and then be able to do the test ourselves. So, we are working feverishly to add the benchmarking data behind the recipe/configuration that gets those results to each module. What is cool is that we have this all in the repo, so no more hunting across the inter-webs to find it. 

But wait, there's more. What?!?

How do I use these modules? Quick answer. HashiCorp Terraform Cloud or Terraform Enterprise w/ Sentinel.

Okay, I snuck one more in there, Sentinel. Why? PaC (policy as code) is one of the feedback items we heard at HashiConf. After meeting with customers and partners they told us they want a way to do two things: ensure that we’ve picked the right infrastructure; and have drift detection so if something has changed, they are aware. Sentinel with PaC does that ... wow, right? I heard about PaC 1.5 years back at a conference and I remember thinking, “Where was this when I was in IT? Where was this when I was doing client provisioning and talking to customers about it? Where was this when I was doing server infa for Mfg?” Yeah. I felt it. To solve that issue, we have made sure that this is all integrated into the terraform registry:

So, what's next? More modules, more optimizations, more configurations, more governance...lots MORE.

To learn more, check out Hashi's blog, and if you want to chat with Intel about this please contact your Intel representative.

That's all for now. I will be back to talk more about data workloads, AI workloads and how to future-proof provisioning. Onward!



About the Author
Josh Hilliker is a Senior Cloud Solutions Architect in Data Center Sales focused on advancing our Autonomous Data Center solutions, including telemetry and infrastructure modernization. Josh has held many past roles at Intel including the following: Director in SMG University, Platform Marketing in Business Client Platform Division, Intel GE-Care Innovations as the Director of Social Media, Online Presence and Google Analytics for consumer products, Product Engineer with the IT Land Capital and Acquisitions team, Operations manager for Intel e-Business Infrastructure & OEM Business Link, Architect / Community manager for Intel® vPro ™ Expert Center, Intel Manufacturing, and Director of Small Business initiatives in Intel Architecture Group.
1 Comment

Fantastic writeup Josh. Exactly where Intel needs to be driving - towards deeper collaboration with Developers, and far more integration with Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC), and the ability to automate the knob and button pushes with true optimization of IaaS selections. Great writeup and looking forward to more!!! Awesome!