Vagrant has become a trusted tool in the industry in the three years since its release, with users ranging from individuals to entire development teams in large companies. All this despite it being a side project for me, receiving 2-4 hours a day when I had free time.
I want to make Vagrant better. I want to dedicate my time to the product, its ecosystem, and its users. Forming HashiCorp gives me the framework for realizing my goals for Vagrant.
I must stress that Vagrant will always remain open source and liberally licensed. The difference moving forward is that I will be working on it full-time. While various companies have offered me amazing opportunities to work on Vagrant full-time, I feel this is the best path for Vagrant as well as its community.
To kick things off, HashiCorp will launch a brand new dedicated documentation site for Vagrant in the coming weeks. Designed specifically for documentation, the site will have a much improved user experience. Vagrant documentation will continue to be open source, so it will still be easy to contribute improvements. Expect a formal announcement mid-December.
On the product development front, the separation of Vagrant from VirtualBox will be a reality soon. I have a working proof of concept of Vagrant powering VMWare Fusion, with support for vSphere and Workstation to follow. The interface to build these providers is open and will be fully documented – the open source community will have all it needs to build providers for AWS, KVM, LXC, and more. Expect an update January 2013.
To support the continued development of Vagrant, HashiCorp will have multiple sources of revenue: support, training, services, and paid add-ons.
Complete support packages and training programs are a priority, so that organizations can learn how to get the most out of Vagrant and have a direct line of support should anything go wrong. Professional support is often requested, and I want to provide that as soon as possible.
Next, I have some pretty great services on top of Vagrant planned. These will streamline Vagrant use, e.g. using Vagrant in large test environments, building base boxes more efficiently, and making Vagrant more user-friendly for team members with a less technical focus. The services will vary in revenue model, from monthly fees for managed services to license fees for premium software additions.
Finally, the upcoming version of Vagrant has an extremely powerful plugin system. HashiCorp will build commercial plugins, i.e. paid add-ons, for Vagrant. This plugin system is already completely open source and will be fully documented, so that everyone has the same access to the interfaces HashiCorp will use. The paid add-ons HashiCorp will develop are for augmenting Vagrant in a non-fundamental way, and to improve what it can already do. I want to emphasize that no paid add-on will ever be required to use Vagrant.
I started building Vagrant in my college dorm room in 2010 as an attempt to solve a specific problem I had. I never expected or planned for Vagrant to be the foundation of a company. This is only possible because of the massive support from the open source community and the trust that has been placed in the project. I want to say thank you, thank you, thank you, for allowing me to work on something I truly love and care about.
Though the capacity in which I am able to work on Vagrant may have changed, my underlying philosophy has not. I will continue creating powerful tools and making these tools accessible to everyone, now under the banner of HashiCorp.