Announcing SNowForm a ServiceNow and Terraform Integration
- August 25, 2020
We are excited to introduce SNowForm, a new solution that integrates ServiceNow Service Catalog and Terraform Enterprise to quickly and easily build infrastructure on public cloud platforms, including AWS and Azure. The new solution shrinks the time consuming process of requesting, approving, and provisioning cloud infrastructure from weeks to minutes, greatly expediting developer productivity and efficiency.
SNowForm automates this heavily manual process while taking advantage of existing enterprise installs of ServiceNow and Terraform Enterprise. Instead of issuing a ticket to request specific infrastructure and waiting in queue for IT to approve and provision it, engineers now simply use the ServiceNow Service Catalog interface, choosing from pre-approved services that can be automatically deployed in mere minutes.
How SNowForm Works
Leveraging existing ServiceNow workflows to request infrastructure, SnowForm includes a ServiceNow Service Catalog with catalog items of commonly requested infrastructure that can be automatically built using HashiCorp Terraform Enterprise. SNowForm is cloud-agnostic and customers pay no additional ServiceNow or Terraform Enterprise license fees.
The SnowForm integration incorporates pre-built and pre-approved Terraform Enterprise templates into catalog items, which are presented to engineers via a ServiceNow storefront of services that can be ordered by different people in the organization. Once a service is selected, the engineer simply fills in a short form indicating essential details for the requested item, such as the cloud platform where it will be deployed.
Once selected and ordered via ServiceNow, the catalog item invokes a Terraform Enterprise template. From here, Terraform Enterprise automatically provisions the selected service through infrastructure as code along with any security, compliance, and cost-control policies that may accompany it.
SNowForm Speeds Innovation
Governance remains a primary concern across enterprises – and can be especially burdensome in large organizations where there are many manual checks for security, cost control, compliance and other governance issues. Working with a large real estate company, we saw this burden first-hand as each individual architecture was manually checked against a lengthy list of controls.
Working with the DevSecOps and Cloud CoE teams, we identified a handful of application patterns that were frequently used by developers. We automated the patterns for the applications with Terraform Enterprise, incorporating the firm’s governance controls with Cookie Cutter to prevent drift in Terraform modules. In this way, we assure that each architecture is automatically built to a defined criteria, and removes the need for people to pass emails back and forth around each requirement every time the architecture is built, leveraging cutting-edge automation while removing manual redundancy.
Even with ServiceNow already set up, prior to SNowForm, developers at this organization waited one month from the time infrastructure was requested to the time it was deployed. This lengthy delay slowed development and innovation. Now, however, if a developer chooses a pre-approved architecture, it can now be deployed in less than an hour — a 99% decrease in time to provision.
Not too long ago, it took months for developers to introduce new applications. Indeed, six months was considered remarkably fast given the time it took to procure hardware, infrastructure and other assets for application development. With the promise of the cloud, developers move faster, bypassing much of the procurement process. And, now, with SNowForm, we are able to connect the human workflow power of ServiceNow with the infrastructure workflow capabilities of Terraform Enterprise, to even further speed the development process, giving developers more time to spend on coding and innovation that furthers the business.