Painlessly balance governance and flexibility in the enterprise with StackCraft

StackCraft, our WYSIWYG cloud designer, allows you to drag and drop resources to create new infrastructure templates (stacks). It’s a tool that will revolutionize the way your teams create infrastructure, bringing a new level of visibility and collaboration to your processes. Want to know how we do it? Read on.

TL;DR

Not all members of the team will be happy to define cloud configurations in infra-as-code. To make things easier for them - and for anyone else who wants to take some of the pressure off - we offer StackCraft, a drag and drop infrastructure creator that makes the infra creation process much, much easier.

Governance and flexibility

Although it’s desirable in all organizations, the balance between flexibility and governance is a critical one in the enterprise. Your devs and ops engineers want flexibility, autonomy, and choice, but your organization needs governance to ensure everyone does what’s best for the company. When non-tech profiles get involved, this requirement is magnified, as you need effective, subtle controls to allow them to operate within the bounds of their knowledge and without any danger to the overall process.

Governance

One of the key features of StackCraft (and Cycloid as a whole) is that governance is built-in from the start.

Define common patterns

As a stack designer, you'll be able to design the infrastructures your company needs. By defining tags, rules, and variables, you'll specify common but flexible patterns for all your stack users. It’s another weapon in the fight to keep things on the straight and narrow, but it’s unobtrusive and doesn’t undermine your engineers’ autonomy.

Best practice without really trying

Last, but definitely not least, StackCraft automatically generates infrastructure-as-code and the associated pipeline once you’ve finished your stack. You can then use this Terraform to replicate your stack in your chosen environment and all your infrastructures will be helpfully described in code, as per best practice.

Flexibility

Private vs. public cloud

One aspect of StackCraft that helps you maintain flexibility is the ability to work with whatever cloud provider works best for your organization. If you’ve opted for a private cloud, you’ll be able to connect OpenStack. If you use a public cloud, StackCraft supports, AWS, and Flexible Engine and we’re aiming to expand. Vault Terraform provider will be used by default to access your Cycloid credentials.

The ease of a visual interface

Terraform is the way to interact with your cloud infrastructure, but not every module or variable is easy to understand. In a way, that makes it inflexible, because only a certain type of profile can interact with it. StackCraft allows you to drag and drop your desired cloud configuration into place, allowing you to see and interact with abstract resources visually. This gives you an extra option for people to interact with your cloud infrastructure, adding flexibility to the who and how of interacting with your environments.

Stackcraft - how it works

Using StackCraft is genuinely simple.

  1. Choose your cloud provider - private or public

    choose_cloud_provider_stackcraft
  2. Use drag and drop to choose cloud resources and define the relationship between them
     
    StackCraft_ui-min
  3. Refine resources, tags, rules, and variables to get the infra looking perfect

    define_providers_stackcraft
  4. See possible errors clearly
     stckcraft_error
  5. Generate Terraform and save to Git repository
     
    stackcraft_view tf

More info

If you'd like to take a deeper dive into StackCraft, check out the product page or the tech doc

Video

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