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Erik Lundevall Zara
Erik Lundevall Zara

Posted on • Updated on • Originally published at

Tidy Cloud AWS - Shift focus to solutions from tools

Hello all!

Welcome to this issue of the Tidy Cloud AWS newsletter!

In this issue I write a few reflections on Pulumi, and also OpenTofu vs Terraform. There are many things to write about tools and vendors, but I hope we focus less on the details of specific tools. Instead, the focus should be more on solving the problems and issues we are trying to solve.

Whether we use Neovim, Visual Studio Code, or Intellij, it doesn't affect problem-solving in software development. For some problems, we can ignore that relational database we use, as long as it supports some flavour of SQL.

Will we get to that point with cloud infrastructure automation? I hope we will, in a few years.

Pulumi gets more ka-tching

Last week, Pulumi announced they had got more funding from investors, 41 million USD to be more
. This means they have received about 98.5 million USD in funding, if my numbers are correct.
They also announce that they have now over 100 employees, over 2000 customers on their Pulumi Cloud platform,
and over 150000 community members - people who use their tools.

I am not sure of what the revenue and profit numbers may be for the company. I have seen estimates of both 1.4 and 3.6 million USD in revenue for 2022. So the company might not be profitable yet, in that case. As far as I can see, they have more than doubled the company size, employee-wise, in the past year.

They have fewer employees than HashiCorp (around 2000), and may be larger or about the same size as Upbound (creator of Crossplane).

I think they are in a good spot in the market, though. If you have a software development background, I think it is one of the more approachable offerings out there to manage cloud infrastructure.

Not only is the documentation getting better and better, there are also multiple examples and templates to start a project with. Plus, you can also use their Pulumi AI tool to kick you off to get some idea on how to write the infrastructure. It can be a good starting point.

The strength with Pulumi is that they are on a good path to make the core Pulumi tool itself less relevant. Instead better tools and services will be built on top of Pulumi - either by Pulumi themselves, or by others.

Pulumi AI statistics

In Pulumi's newsletter The Pulumipus #27, they included a small infographic picture about the usage of their
Pulumi AI tool. So far, people have sent about 100,000 prompts, with approximately half of them being for AWS.
Also, Typescript and Python are clearly the dominating languages here.

Pulumi AI infographics

Most likely, these statistics reflect what people use or prefer to use. It could also be where they have the most pain and difficulties, or a combination of those...

Infrastructure as Tofu

If you have an interest in the Terraform ecosystem, you may know that HashiCorp changed their license for all of their core products to no longer be open source, but use a business source license. This includes Terraform, arguably their most widely used tool.

This resulted in a fork being created from Terraform 1.5.x, which still has the open source license, then called OpenTF. Apparently, the name was too close to the original with the TF part, so the name had to change, and it became OpenTofu.

Despite the horrible name, OpenTofu might become a significant part of the infrastructure as code space.
Companies that have been betting on HashiCorp's multi-cloud strategy and use many of their tools will most likely stay with Terraform. Other companies that rely on various non-Hashicorp products and services built on top of Terraform will more likely go with OpenTofu.

My prediction is that in the long run it will not matter that much in a few years. In the long run, we won't care or may not even know if it is Terraform, OpenTofu, or something else, because tooling will mostly hide it in a few years.

The products and services that will succeed are the ones that make it easier to build better interfaces and solutions on top. We are not there yet though, so in the short term, it will still be important.

Those who will make the Terraform vs OpenTofu choice irrelevant for the rest of us will be the winners, I think.

You can find older newsletters and more at Tidy Cloud AWS.
There you can also find other articles to help your cloud engineering work be more productive, efficient,
and enjoyable!

Until next time,


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