Case Study

Terraform for On-Premises and Hybrid Cloud at Wayfair

Jeff Dillon, Brendan McGarry, and Dan McAvinue—site reliability engineers at the retailer Wayfair—explain how their team updated their existing on-premises infrastructure to match modern cloud methods.

» Highlights:

  • Needed to be able to elastically scale out from Wayfair's existing three private data centers in Seattle, Boston and Dublin, with 12,000 servers (e.g., on Cyber Monday)—so they needed a hybrid cloud
  • Before Terraform, to provision an on-prem server from need to prod was taking 49 days on average, requiring 13 tickets to complete the workflow
  • Created Terraform plugins to vastly simplify provisioning, triggered by a Git pull request, integrating with Jenkins, and with everything using RESTful APIs
  • Recommendations: Have your infrastructure be composed of isolated, immutable cattle, not pets
  • Do logging in Terraform plugins to a separate file—not into the main tf.log file
  • Documentation: Create it automatically
  • Testing: Do it automatically
  • Wrap all your devices in Terraform modules
  • They've open-sourced their code and named it "Project Argo"

For more information, you can read Wayfair's own blog post on this project.

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