Pulumi Piles into Infrastructure as Code


By: R. Scott Raynovich

Seattle-based startup Pulumi is piling into new products and features – as well as some new money – as it looks to accelerate the growth of its infrastructure as code (IaC) and platform engineering products.

In just the past two weeks, Pulumi has announced a $41 million C round of financing as well as the launch of Pulumi ESC, a new solution for the management of environments, secrets, and configurations for cloud infrastructure.

But that’s not all. Today, Pulumi also announced Pulumi Teams, a solution that helps developers manage, deploy, and maintain development environments with policy and security -- part of a wave referred to as platform engineering. Teams will enable customers to build their own customized Internal Developer Portals (IDPs) with more control and flexibility.

Joe Duffy, Pulumi’s CEO, told me in an interview that the company’s new financing and product push is about expanding Pulumi’s capabilities to help developers and platform engineers maintain and secure the complex elements of applications built for multicloud and hybrid environments.

“A lot of the folks we work with are trying to tame the system and chaos they work with,” Duffy told me. “Clouds have their own secrets stores built in. But in a multicloud world, how do you rotate secrets? It's hard. It can be a pain. We have one common data model.”

Product Push After Terraform Fork

Pulumi’s series of news announcements comes at a critical time for the growth of IaC as well as at the introduction of a new set of capabilities for platform engineers and DevOps teams. These tools are enjoying wider adoption driven by technology pros looking to automate and manage applications in multicloud and hybrid cloud environments.

It certainly looks like these needs will accelerate. Research conducted by Futuriom indicates that hybrid environments are on the rise -- and enterprises are looking for better ways to design, implement, and control distributed, hybrid software environments.

The timing is also interesting, as Pulumi steps up competition with larger companies such as HashiCorp, a public company that is considered one of the leaders in IaC software. HashiCorp in August made a big shift in strategy when it moved its popular Terraform IaC project from open-source licensing to Business Source Licensing (BSL). HashiCorp also has its own product for secrets management, Vault.

HashiCorp's move caused a lot of debate in the open-source community, which wanted to see Terraform stay in the open-source community. Pulumi spoke out against the move publicly and is using the competitive visibility to promote a different approach -- it says its platform is more open and supports a wider array of languages and approaches for both IaC and DevOps.

A group opposed to the commercialization of Terraform has supported an open-source alternative alternative, called OpenTofu (formerly OpenTF). OpenTofu is now managed with the Linux Foundation.

Pulumi Focuses on Platform Engineers

All of this sets up for a great battle for the hearts and minds of developers and platform engineers -- all of whom are looking for ways to manage the chaos, as Duffy says. This helps explain Pulumi's big funding round as well as a round of new product news.

Pulumi is still a small company, with about 100 employees. But Duffy says it has doubled revenue over the past year and now counts over 2,000 customers and 150,000 users on its platform. New enterprise deployments in the last year include Univision, Moderna, Pinecone, the LEGO Group, and others. Pulumi says it now counts half of the Fortune 50 as customers.

In addition to announcing ESC as well as Teams, Pulumi recently announced Insights, which provides analytics and search across cloud infrastructure, and Pulumi AI, which allows developers to generate infrastructure as code using natural language.

In company releases, end users lauded Pulumi’s moves in making development projects easier to manage over multicloud and hybrid infrastructure.

“Pulumi makes it easy to manage infrastructure across complex environments,” said Dennis Sauvé, DevOps Engineer, Washington Trust Bank. “We need to manage an ever-growing number of environments, each with its own configuration and secrets. We are thrilled that Pulumi ESC will help us manage these at scale more robustly with a simple and secure approach.”

Futuriom Take: Pulumi's flurry of announcements and funding news comes at an interesting time, injecting new energy into the development of the IaC and platform engineering markets.