Supply chain management
With Terraform Cloud, Logixboard’s infrastructure team used to spend hours troubleshooting deployments. They needed a Terraform experience they could depend on. Now they use Spacelift, they have more time for tasks that add real business value.
Bo Beckwith is a senior site reliability engineer with Logixboard. A long-time Terraform user, his experience with the tool has been transformed since the company installed Spacelift in 2022.
Logixboard had been using Terraform Cloud for state management, but it stopped suiting the company as its needs began to evolve. They needed to find a Terraform Cloud alternative.
They wanted to stabilize their Terraform deployments, which were running inside GitLab agents that would disappear or break on a regular basis, and that would cause Terraform state locking, dangling resources, and numerous other issues the team would have to work on almost every day — sometimes multiple times a day.
And that would introduce bugs. “We ended up with services that were malfunctioning because resources and security groups were in places they shouldn’t have been. And so we looked for a stable platform built for managing something as brittle as Terraform,” explains Bo.
“We needed to know that when we started a deploy with Terraform that it was going to actually succeed. Based on our past experiences, we weren’t keen on doing this via anything running inside our own infrastructure, or anything we could build with a CI/CD tool.”
The team needed “deployment as a service” software, designed around the idea that deploying infrastructure is not the same as deploying applications.
After assessing their options, Logixboard was impressed by Spacelift’s ease of use, flexibility, and reliability, which they found to be years ahead of the competition.
“To migrate, we scripted a way to download each of our state 119 from Terraform Cloud. We provided them to our Spacelift configuration management repo, which uploaded each state file to a Spacelift file, and finally, each stack when created can import the state from the state file,” explains Bo.
Logixboard has found Spacelift to be easy to install, configure, and maintain, as well as incredibly reliable.
“Spacelift is able to manage state whenever a worker disappears out from underneath it. There have been situations where we’ve had multiple workers disappear, and we’ve not ended up with dangling resources or broken state,” Bo points out.
Spacelift made it easy for the team to switch off features they don’t need and customize the ones they do. It provides powerful granular control, such as the ability to lock and promote stacks individually and give developers the ability to promote stacks when they need to.
Bo also appreciates the policy engine: “Because it’s based on Open Policy Agent rather than a vendor-specific language, it’s easier to work with. We’ve used it to build our own pipeline inside of Spacelift. It can do the plans for us across all of our pull requests, and generate a clear, easy-to-understand report that sticks around long enough that our developers can see it, without creating noise inside of their comments section.”
Some of Logixboard’s stacks manage Kubernetes resources, such as CRDs, deployments, and ConfigMaps, via some Terraform providers. The company will be creating a lot more stacks as they increasingly utilize Kubernetes, and Spacelift will help them do that with confidence and ease.
“Spacelift is a flexible, stable tool that we just don’t have to think too much about – it simply helps us do our best work,” Bo points out.
Spacelift has made it much easier for Logixboard to work with Terraform. It has integrated seamlessly with their infrastructure, and the reliability it provides has been a game changer for the company.
In all the time Bo has used Terraform throughout his career, he always had to think about dangling resources and fixing state. “Before we began using Spacelift, I would often spend 50% of my day troubleshooting, but those times are behind us,” he reveals. “I don’t have to think about those things anymore. I can move forward and my team can move forward, and we just love that.”
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