MMS • Sergio De Simone
Ephemeral workspaces allows their users to set timeouts to automatically destroy unused resources, reducing infrastructure costs and the effort required for manual resource clean-up. Ephemeral workspaces are now available in public beta on Terraform Cloud Plus.
HashiCorp first talked about ephemeral workspaces at HashiDays 2023.
Ephemeral workspaces work with existing workspace permissions and have a simple workflow. Just set a date when you would like the workspace to be deprovisioned. Then, once that date is reached, Terraform will automatically run a destroy plan and apply it to destroy your managed resources.
According to HashiCorp, ephemeral workspaces can help reduce costs, increase efficiency, and improve security. Cost savings are made possible both by reducing infrastructure costs and reducing the time IT teams spend manually cleaning up unused resources. Administrators can either use the API or a Web user interface to set timeouts for workspaces that should be automatically cleaned-up. Finally, security is improved because by cleaning up unused resources, the overall available attack surface decreases.
As mentioned, auto-destroying workspaces can be managed though Terraform Cloud Web UI, which allows to set a date and time as well as to access diagnostic logs in case auto-destroying a workspace fails. Terraform Cloud is also able to send notification both before and after destroying a resource.
Workspaces are a mechanism to create multiple copies of a deployment that you can create or destroy as required. Using multiple workspaces, you can manage different instances for different environments. While workspaces are part of the free Terraform Cloud, ephemeral workspaces are a premium feature.
A few weeks ago, HashiCorp announced a change in its source code licensing, moving from Mozilla Public License v2.0 (MPL 2.0) to the Business Source License v1.1 (BSL 1.1) on all future releases of HashiCorp products. While HashiCorp argued they are in alignment with other companies that have recently restricted commercial use of their software in competitive products, the decision sparked rather negative reactions from the community.