Felipe Tomazelli works with MadeiraMadeira as an infrastructure analyst specializing in cloud and DevOps. We spoke to him about why the company migrated from their Terraform provider to Spacelift and what the experience has been like since.
When a major company starts looking for an alternative supplier, you might expect the reasons to boil down to difficulties with pricing or product features, but other underlying relationship issues may be just as important. Although MadeiraMadeira’s search for a new Terraform provider was certainly prompted by changes in their pricing model, the way the changes were relayed to the company did not help matters. As MadeiraMadeira’s infrastructure analyst Tomazelli said, “we had no problems with the product, but we did not have the kind of open communication we have with Spacelift. And for us, clear communication is really important.”
The switch to Resources Under Management (RUM) pricing was particularly brutal for MadeiraMadeira. As probably the company’s biggest South American customer in terms of resource counts, it faced the prospect of bills soaring by between 300% and 500%. “But what upset us most was that we didn’t have an open conversation about it. They just said ‘hey, we are changing the price’, and that was it!” Open communication with partners is one of the most important considerations for MadeiraMadeira – and it was a key reason why they partnered with Spacelift.
Felipe discovered Spacelift on Reddit while he was researching Terraform providers. Based on users and the feature plan selected, Spacelift’s price plan emerged as the most cost-effective alternative to their provider. “Others charged by number of runs. Spacelift had a simpler approach. The only users we have are the five users on our [infrastructure] team, so with Spacelift we saw the opportunity to enable the tool for everyone in the company.” MadeiraMadeira’s ultimate goal is to enable other teams to have a self-managed infrastructure environment with Spacelift. This was not something they could do previously because of the way their provider limited the number of users.
In addition to the attractive pricing model, Spacelift offered features that MadeiraMadeira had not been able to access before. Felipe cites greater versatility with pipelines: “You can change the image you use to run the pipeline, control what happens before and after every runner phase, and in general change more things.”
Spacelift’s approach to policy was also appealing. Spacelift uses Open Policy Agent to execute user-defined pieces of code called Policies at various decision points.“With Policies, we are far more open with what we can do,” says Felipe.
Spacelift’s migration kit was pivotal to the smooth transition. There is no standardized Terraform migration, which is why Spacelift designed the tool to be flexible and easy to adapt to an organization’s needs. In MadeiraMadeira’s case, the migration presented particular challenges because it involves migrating 1,000-plus workspaces to 1,000-plus stacks in Spacelift before the end of 2023.
Despite the scale of the migration, the onboarding process has been very smooth. “Everything went great,” said Felipe. He puts this down to the level of expertise among Spacelift engineers and the openness of communication on the company’s dedicated Slack channel.
MadeiraMadeira became a Spacelift customer at the start of June 2023 and currently uses one team to operate on behalf of everyone in IaC. The next step is to add more Terraform users. “With more users, we will need to add private workers, and then we will look at testing new features,” reveals Felipe.
It is an exciting time for the MadeiraMadeira team as they discover how much they can do with their new cost-effective IaC management platform. Summing up the Spacelift experience, Felipe doesn’t hesitate: “Easy to use. Great communication. Very flexible.”