»Consul Integration Program
The HashiCorp Consul Integration Program enables prospective partners to build integrations with HashiCorp Consul that are reviewed and verified by HashiCorp. Consul can be consumed in three ways:
- Self-Managed. Open source, always free
- HashiCorp Cloud Platform (HCP). A hosted version of Consul managed in the cloud
- Consul Enterprise. Self-managed, with additional features for custom deployments
The program is intended to be largely self-service with links to resources, code samples, documentation, and clear integration steps.
»Categories of Consul Integrations
By leveraging Consul’s RESTful HTTP API system, prospective partners are able to build extensible integrations at the data plane, platform, and the infrastructure layer to extend Consul’s functionalities. These integrations can be performed both with the open source version of Consul, Consul Enterprise, and HCP Consul.
The Consul ecosystem of integrations:
Data Plane: These integrations extend Consul’s certificate management, secure ACL configuration, observability metrics and logging, and service discovery that allows for dynamic service mapping APM and logging tools, extend sidecar proxies to support Consul connect, and extend API gateways to allow Consul to route incoming traffic to the proxies for Connect-enabled services.
Control Plane: Consul has a client-server architecture and is the control plane for the service mesh.
Platform: These integrations leverage automation of Consul agent deployment, configuration, and management. Designed to be platform agnostic, Consul can be deployed in a variety of form factors, including major Public Cloud providers (AWS, GCP, Azure) as well as in bare-metal, virtual machine, and container (Docker, Kubernetes) environments. They include the Consul agent running in both client and server mode.
Infrastructure: There are two integration options in this category: natively through a direct integration with Consul or via Consul-Terraform-Sync (CTS). By leveraging Consul’s powerful Network Infrastructure Automation (NIA)* capabilities through CTS, changes in an infrastructure are seamlessly automated when Consul detects a change in its service catalog. For example, these integrations could be used to automate IP updates of load balancers or firewall security policies by leveraging Consul service discovery.
Network Infrastructure Automation (NIA)*: These integrations leverage Consul’s service catalog to seamlessly integrate with Consul-Terraform-Sync (CTS) to automate changes in network infrastructure via a publisher-subscriber method. More details can be found here.
HCP Consul: HCP Consul is secure by default and offers an enterprise-level service level agreement (SLA) to deploy an organization’s most important applications. Sign up for HCP Consul is free and available here.
Consul integration verification badges: Partners will be issued the Consul Enterprise badge for integrations that work with Consul Enterprise features such as namespaces. Partners will be issued the HCP Consul badge for integrations validated to work with HCP Consul. Each badge would be displayed on HashiCorp’s partner page as well as be available for posting on the partner’s own website to provide better visibility and differentiation of the integration for joint customers.
Developing a valid integration with either Consul Enterprise or HCP Consul also qualifies the partner for the Premier tier of the HashiCorp Technology Partners program. The process for verification of these integrations is detailed below.
The Consul integration development process is described in the steps below. By following these steps, Consul integrations can be developed alongside HashiCorp to ensure new integrations are reviewed, approved and released as quickly as possible.
- Engage: Initial contact between vendor and HashiCorp
- Enable: Documentation, code samples and best practices for developing the integration
- Develop and Test: Integration development and testing by vendor
- Review/Certification: HashiCorp code review and certification of integration
- Release: Consul integration released
- Support: Ongoing maintenance and support of the integration by the vendor.
Please begin by completing Consul Integration Program webform to tell us about your company and the Consul integration you are developing.
Here are links to resources, documentation, examples and best practices to guide you through the Consul integration development and testing process:
- Ambassador Integration documentation
- F5 Terminating Gateway Integration Documentation
- Traefik Integration with Consul Service Mesh
- Kong's Ingress Controller Integration with Consul
Application Performance Monitoring (APM)
- Consul Telemetry Documentation
- Monitoring Consul with Datadog APM
- Monitoring Consul with Dynatrace APM
- Monitor Consul with Logz.io
- Monitor Consul with Splunk SignalFx
- Consul Datacenter Monitoring with New Relic
- Consul-AWS for AWS Cloud Map
- Consul Integration with AWS ECS
- Consul Integration with Layer5 Meshery
- Consul Integration with VMware Tanzu Application Service
Note: The types of integration areas below could be developed to natively work with Consul or through leveraging Consul-Terraform-Sync and Consul’s network automation capabilities.
Network Infrastructure Automation (using CTS):
- Automated Firewalling with Check Point
- Automated Firewalling with Palo Alto Networks
- Automated Firewalling with Cisco FMC
- Automated Firewalling with Fortinet FortiManager
Software-Defined Networking (SDN)
Network Infrastructure Automation (using CTS):
Application Delivery Controllers (ADC):
»3. Develop and Test
The only knowledge necessary to write a plugin is basic command-line skills and knowledge of the Go programming language. Use the plugin interface to develop your integration. All integrations should contain unit and acceptance testing.
HCP Consul: The process to configure a testing instance of HCP consul is very simple. HCP has been designed as a HashiCorp managed service so configuration is minimal as only Consul client agents need to be installed. Furthermore, HashiCorp provides all new users an initial credit which should last approximately 2 months using a development cluster. When deployed with AWS free tier services, there should be no cost beyond the time spent by the designated tester.
Please note that HCP Consul is currently only deployed on AWS so the partner’s application should be able to be deployed or run in AWS. For more information, please refer to Peering an HVN to an AWS VPC for HCP Consul.
»HCP Consul Resource Links:
- Getting Started with HCP Consul
- Peering an HVN to a VPC for HCP Consul
- Connecting a Consul Client to HCP Consul
- Monitoring HCP Consul with Datadog
Consul Enterprise: An integration qualifies for Consul Enterprise when it is tested and compatible with Consul Enterprise Namespaces.
»4. Review and Approval
HashiCorp will review and approve your Consul integration. Please send an email to email@example.com with any relevant documentation, demos or other resources and let us know your integration is ready for review.
At this stage, the Consul integration is fully developed, documented, reviewed and approved. Once released, HashiCorp will officially list the Consul integration.
Many vendors view the release step to be the end of the journey, while at HashiCorp we view it to be the start. Getting the Consul integration built is just the first step in enabling users. Once this is done, ongoing effort is required to maintain the integration and address any issues in a timely manner.
The expectation for vendors is to respond to all critical issues within 48 hours and all other issues within 5 business days. HashiCorp Consul has an extremely wide community of users and we encourage everyone to report issues, however small, as well as help resolve them when possible.
Below is a checklist of steps that should be followed during the Consul integration development process. This reiterates the steps described above.
- Complete the Consul Integration Program webform
- Develop and test your Consul integration following examples, documentation and best practices
- When the integration is completed and ready for HashiCorp review, send us the documentation, demos and any other resources for review at: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Plan to continue to support the integration with additional functionality and responding to customer issues.
For any questions or feedback, please contact us at: email@example.com