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The company provides automated, collaborative remote-run workflow management for Terraform, Terragrunt, and other IaC cloud deployments. The IaC automation platform, env0, enables users and teams to jointly govern cloud deployments using a range of capabilities that improve deployment provisioning. Used for cloud environments based on IaC templates, the platform provides visibility into GitOps workflows of infrastructure changes. “We take our clients’ existing infrastructure ascode like Terraform, and manage the workflows and governance on top of it. What GitHub did to Git, we’re doing that to infrastructure as code frameworks like Terraform,” mentions Ohad Maislish, CEO of env0.
In an interview with CIO Applications, Maislish shares insights into the value proposition of the env0 platform and its positioning in the market.
What is the value proposition that the env0 platform brings to the market?
env0 is a business solution, unlike the technical frameworks of IaC. For example, with IaC, if the user executes something, it will be provisioned, but it is not that simple in a real organization. Organizations need to have a workflow pertaining to approval, who can execute the code, on which cloud account, policies that need to be added, and what code needs to be executed and what doesn’t. There can be some dangerous code that can create a compliance or security issue and can also generate big, expensive cloud costs. The value proposition that we bring to the table is governance, control, collaboration, and self-service on top of infrastructure as code.
Could you throw more light on the features and functionalities of the env0 platform?
The basic features of the platform are related to the GitOps workflows, Open Policy Agent (OPA) Policy-as-Code, and self-service. GitOps operations allow users to synchronize and make sure there is no drift. The env0 platform provides triggers for the deployment upon merge.And the second feature of the platform is to have a dry run on the pull request before merging, allowing the users to better validate the change.
What GitHub did to Git, we’re doing that to infrastructure as code frameworks like Terraform
Our platform also integrates with Open Policy Agent (OPA), which is the de-facto standard for Policy as Code. With this, our customers can implement rules based on the powerful OPA engine, and those rules will scan the changes and decide whether or not to approve them.
Another prominent feature that our platform provides is self-service which empower developers to provision and update cloud resources without bottlenecks. That eliminates human errors, and provides flexibility to use any module or extension.
Who are your typical customers? Can you share a customer success story?
Our customer base ranges from small start-ups companies to enterprises with thousands of engineers.
Like many of our customers, JFrog has been moving to IaC, and all of their deployments were done by code execution and not manually. They have multi-cloud, different workspaces, and various DevOps engineers that are working on the same code and needed to collaborate better. As they moved toward IaC, they understood that Terraform is just a technical framework but not a business solution.
It was important for them to avoid a complex deployment that may have misconfiguration issues as the code can be manipulated easily. In addition, the client needed to have gaurdrails and workflows on top of infrastructure called deployments of cloud resources. Today, env0 provisions all of JFrog’s cloud resources, all done by Terraform code execution, and not manual clicks.
What does the onboarding process look like for the platform?
Our clients need to do two things to use env0. First, they need to give us read-only access to their IaC or Terraform code in their Git repos. We support all Git repos, including GitHub, GitLab and BitBucket. The second part is that they need to give us access to their existing cloud accounts. From this point onwards, env0 executes all the remote runs, including the execution of Terraform init, Terraform plan, Terraform apply and Terraform destroy. These executions happen only when it matches the business context of those executions. For example, it allows a developer to execute the code on only one cloud account and not on the production.
How has the recent past been for env0, and how has the company aligned itself in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic?
One of the biggest milestones achieved by us in recent times is to raise $17M in Series A funding. The round was led by M12 – Microsoft’s Venture Fund and helped in significantly boosting all of our activities.
I think the pandemic changed two things that are relevant for us. Firstly, the acceleration toward digital transformation. This inevitable need for agility has also accelerated the shift to IaC like Terraform. As a result, the need for solutions like env0 simultaneously increases, bringing ample inbound opportunities for us.
Another aspect where the pandemic has helped us is to be more efficient. As zoom meetings have now taken over the face-to-face interviews, we can save a lot of time traveling and better manage our customers. This helps us focus more on building and providing solutions to our customers, which eventually helps us make stronger bonds with them.
What have you envisioned for the future of env0?
As more companies are shifting to IaC, we are getting huge traction from a lot of organizations. Now that we have a lot of room to accelerate, we plan to hire more people and invest a lot of money in building brand awareness. We want to let people know about our platform, the value adds it brings to the table, and how it compares better to the similar offerings of HashiCorp Terraform Cloud.