Deployment Best Practices: Heavybit Panel with Mitchell Hashimoto
Building products for enterprise deployment patterns is a huge challenge. Three experts discuss the best practices for building enterprise-ready products.
Founder & Co-CTO, HashiCorp
One of the biggest challenges for startups that want to enable DevOps and portable applications for enterprises is the custom needs of every company. Offerings need to support on-premises, cloud/SaaS, and hybrid-cloud deployments.
On this panel, moderated by Heavybit's Joe Ruscio, HashiCorp co-founder Mitchell Hashimoto is joined by former Heptio co-founder Joe Beda and LaunchDarkly CEO Edith Harbaugh to discuss the challenges around building enterprise-ready products.
- One huge challenge is the variety of platforms that HashiCorp customers want to run. There is no "normal"—everything is custom.
- Another challenge: On-premises customers hate to install updates, which is the opposite of Agile
- In the early stages of selling software, it's a good idea to reduce the length of "long term" support (LTS) as much as possible. HashiCorp restricts this to one year at the moment. Long support periods have tangible costs to the vendor, because of the inherent technical debt of validation, etc.
- Most Vault customers want their primary instance located on premises. But there's a trend towards using private VPCs for this.
- Multi-cloud is often thought of as an aspirational goal. But the vast majority of HashiCorp's largest customers are already multi-cloud. (There are at least four separate definitions of the term, but how Mitchell describes this is in terms of "workflow portability"—i.e., the way you deploy an app to AWS is the same as for Azure, GCP, etc.) One important reason why this is critical for these customers is to make M&A easier and prevent silos.
- Feature flags are incredibly useful for selling software internationally. For example, in Vault, there are a number of encryption algorithms that are basically illegal, so HashiCorp disables them with flags.
- To sell to the enterprise, Mitchell recommends focusing on customer success—the technical aspects are important, but the soft side is easy to overlook.
- Lest we forget, mainframes are still an important business for IBM.