back to article Where do Terraform and OpenTofu go from here?

Oracle is dropping Terraform for OpenTofu, and IBM's CEO is talking up open source. What does all this mean for both programs? Here's what I see happening.  The Terraform tale has been… interesting. And, with Oracle quietly dumping Terraform for OpenTofu and IBM CEO Arvind Krishna saying real open source matters for …

  1. spireite Silver badge

    IBM Death Spiral.....

    I'm aware of smaller shops migrating this way after the IBM takeover, but nobody would notice.

    This is a big name, and somebody at IBM should notice. If they don't, they could well be see the market move rapidly!

    1. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

      Re: IBM Death Spiral.....

      THey dont care.

      Leadership dont actually care whether they do good or bad, they are treating their employees and customers as fodder ina. lottery, where they bullshit this way and that. Either way they still win, its just a metter of how much they can rip of either with bonuses.

  2. beardman

    For what it's worth...

    Terraform has _never_ been cloud agnostic. You should still know which cloud and which resource you're writing Terraform/OpenTofu code for.

    1. Michael Hoffmann Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: For what it's worth...

      Amen! The arguments I've had on that topic.... good gods.

      Funnily enough, you can use Pulumi with its lowest-common-denominator CrossCode and have that be truly agnostic - but you only get a fairly small set of cloud resources. Then use the version that produces Terraform. About the closest you'll get.

    2. notiggy

      Re: For what it's worth...

      It is cloud agnostic in the sense that you can use one tool (and perhaps more importantly one language) to control more than one cloud service.

      It isn't agnostic in the sense that you can write one resource block that will do something on more than one cloud. I'm fairly certain that wouldn't even be a good idea. You'd either have so much bloat for each resource (to cover each cloud's differences) or you'd have a seriously limited tool by design (to only capture each cloud's similarities).

      I've seen shops write modules that created resources in different clouds. It worked but they weren't pretty.

      1. spireite Silver badge

        Re: For what it's worth...

        When I see terms like agnostic thrown around, I expect to see the same definition, with a parameter of 'targetcloud'.

        I was massively disappointed to see that if I did something for AWS, it was a whole new set of tags for targeting Azure.

        If it wasn't free, I'd say it was missold.

        I appreciate that the clouds do not have a 1-1 match in capabilities but they could have made it easier for the ones that do broadly match.

        1. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

          Re: For what it's worth...

          The big tech clouds dont want to make it easy for you to jump from one to another, thats the whole point.

          Google even went a few steps further by forcing you to use APIs that dont exist anywhere else, which basically means you have to rewrite to deploy somewhere else.

      2. JamesTGrant

        Re: For what it's worth...

        I’d suggest that using the vendor’s CLI and API reference documentation and BASH or python is a more vendor agnostic strategy for doing IaC (infrastructure as code) - more so than Terraform.

        It’s the 95/5 rule - Terraform will get you to 95% in 5% the time. But by the time you’ve got through the last 5% you’ll wish you’d just done it yourself ‘properly’, in a supportable and introspectable way.

        At some point in a project, You’ll have to face the prospect of throwing a bunch of Terraform away but eventually it becomes a more palatable option than persisting with Terraform. If you can spell idempotent then, at any scale, diy will be cheaper and less disaster prone. Of course just my opinion!

        Even the vendor recommended modules have a tendency to be really hard work and not quite what you were needing.

        Ansible on the other hand is a gem of a tool - I use it way more but spend a lot less time fighting it. I mention this because it’s common to hear ‘Terraform is like Ansible for infrastructure’ - it is not!

        1. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: For what it's worth...

          You will end up having to build a lot of things yourself, for example the way to let multiple users continue to deploy things without stepping on each other. Tools built into or around Terraform already exist to do some of this. When I've used it, I often have thought about building some of this myself, but I am a programmer and I deploy infrastructure when needed, not as my primary job. There are plenty of people who can use these things that would not be able to write the management components, either to an acceptable quality or at all, but are perfectly good at knowing what needs deploying and may know more than programmers do about managing it.

          No matter how tightly they couple the devops role, most people I know tend to be better at one or the other. I am stronger on the dev side, although I flatter myself that my ops skills aren't too bad, but I know devs who are bad at admin and admins who can't write software, and prebuilt software can help with both. Terraform isn't great, but it is an established tool in that area and probably won't go away.

  3. nematoad Silver badge

    We shall see.

    Everyone will be better for it.

    Yes, I suppose they might, but those best off will be the people who cashed in on the Terraform sale.

    We will have to see, but IBM?

    I'm not sure that I would describe them as a safe pair of hands.

    Look at what they have done with CentOS.

    1. Michael Hoffmann Silver badge

      Re: We shall see.

      Indeed. So, OpenTofu would be to CentOS as Terraform is to RHEL.

      And when they feel like it, they pull out the rug.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    here's a quick summarization ...

    Is that related to

    here's a quick summary ...

    1. cornetman Silver badge

      Re: here's a quick summarization ...

      Or summarizification?

      I actually saw "conversating" the other day. WTF are Americans doing to our language?

      1. Will Godfrey Silver badge

        Re: here's a quick summarization ...

        Bastardizationing it

        /s {in case it's needed}

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: here's a quick summarization ...

        "WTF are Americans doing to our language?"

        OK, I see where the problem is, and it is quite simple to fix !!!

        'Our' is an assumption that is wrong ...... so so wrong !!!

        Although the language used in the US of A and some 'other' countries appears to be the same, it is *not* the same !!!

        English comes in many forms throughout the world and rules of use are equally varied !!!

        Although I like 'British English' it is somewhat arrogant to assume that all others speak and write this form of english.

        Maybe a little leeway is in order and perhaps we (British English Speakers) could be afforded the same courtesy in return !!!


        1. cornetman Silver badge

          Re: here's a quick summarization ...

          > Maybe a little leeway is in order and perhaps we (British English Speakers) could be afforded the same courtesy in return !!!

          I get that there will be some evolved variation in usage between the various forms of English, (like in Britain we stopped using faucet and replaced it with tap generally), but the point of the above comments is related to the weird, recent fetish of creating more complex variants of words from existing simpler words that mean the exact same thing, "conversating" and "summarization" (to supplant "summary", rather than the act of creating a summary) being good examples.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: here's a quick summarization ...

            Here's another one which realy pisses me off - and it's seeped back into UK English.

            "Give" is a perfectly good verb.

            From that we obtain the noun "gift" meaning that which has been given.

            Straightforward - enough? "Give", verb, "gift" noun.

            No. for some reason that which has been given is suddenly a verb meaning, it appears, the exact same as its root, "give". Why?

            If you use "gift" as a verb you might think you're trying to do somethin fancier or more important than if you use "give". You aren't. You're just telling me there's something amiss with your vocabulary.

  5. doublelayer Silver badge

    The agnostic line doesn't mean that you don't care what cloud, although if you're using a sufficiently restrictive set of services there are things you can do to make it help you shift infrastructure to another cloud automatically. However, that's not what they meant by saying it. The point is that you can use this tool for almost any cloud provider or some local systems in the same way. If you learned CloudFormation (sorry, I'm sure that wasn't fun), and now you want to deploy on something other than AWS, you will need to learn a different language, to have a different backend storing state, and to rebuild all your non-resource code. If you're using Terraform, you have to change only those things specifically identifying resources, but your infrastructure can be the same and your non-resource components can remain unchanged.

  6. David Newall

    Language evolves...

    ... sometimes in awful ways. My current pet hate is "incentivize". I wish there was a real word, and that people were motivated to use it. Dare I dream?

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Language evolves...

      Incentivize and motivate mean different things. A motive is a reason to do something. An incentive is a specific reward for doing something. You can be motivated to do something by wanting the incentive you'll get if you do it, but you might also be motivated just because that's what you enjoy doing, because you'll feel good at the end, because having the thing on your list of tasks is getting annoying, all without an incentive being present. Therefore, when we talk about incentivizing a behavior, we mean that there is a specific, external thing motivating someone to take an action. This could be intended (let's incentivize people to do this task because motivating them without one is not working) or a problem (people are incentivized to lie about their progress because we give bonuses if you say you're done but we don't check, and we could try to fix that problem by removing the incentive).

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Language evolves...

        "let's incentivize give* people an incentive to do this task because motivating them without one is not working"

        Not exactly hard.

        * Not gift!!! See above.

        1. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: Language evolves...

          Now you're fighting against making nouns into verbs, but that's not going to stop. Do you ever phone or email someone? What, you don't always say "use a phone to talk with someone" or "use email to send a message to" someone? You don't have to because those verbs are easy to understand. Thus, if you agree that there is a difference between an incentive and a motive, then it shouldn't be very surprising that people who frequently use the concept of "offer an incentive for the following behavior" would shorten it.

          There are lots of invented words that fit into your category. The one I've heard more often (in complaints anyway, I don't hear that many people actually say it in real conversation) is "burglarize", which wouldn't appear to say anything that "burgle" doesn't. I don't think that "incentivize" hits the same mark. Not to mention that English also has plenty of synonyms, and we don't need to channel the Newspeak dictionary and start eliminating them.

          1. cornetman Silver badge

            Re: Language evolves...

            The particularly egregious examples are not simply conversions of nouns to verbs, but verbs, converted into nouns, then back into verbs again. "Verbing" is an OK thing to do, but I wonder sometimes if these more complex cases are merely attempts by pseudo-intellectuals to make themselves sound more educated than they actually are.

            I have seen some online discussion about the "burgle" example, with some commenting that burgle as a base word is actually a more recent innovation. I'm not qualified to suggest otherwise but I almost always prefer innovative simplicity over more complexity.

    2. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

      Re: Language evolves...

      What about the word "culture" or "family"...

    3. Crypto Monad Silver badge

      Re: Language evolves...

      I wish there was a real word, and that people were motivated to use it.

      Don't you mean motivized?

  7. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

    > Oracle CEO Larry Ellison wouldn't be doing this if he wasn't sure OpenTofu was prime-time ready.

    How would Larry know when his only qualificatins are bullshitting and being an areshole ?

  8. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

    terraform and opentofu are solutions that most companies shouldnt have in the first place.

    THey shouldnt be using the cloud, thats the real problem. Its not cost effective and bad stuff happening out of your control is going to become a larger problem.

    People really need to stop being copy cats and grow a brain for once.

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