Quali Torque product updates for June 2024: AI environment design & GitOps enhancements

PUBLISHED
June 27, 2024
READ TIME
10 min
TOPIC
DevOps

Welcome to this month’s roundup of product enhancements for Quali Torque.

If you’re not familiar, Torque is a platform engineering tool that accelerates and simplifies the design, provisioning, and launch of cloud environments for use cases like software development, QA and testing, software demos, and others.

For an introduction to Quali Torque, watch this brief demo:

Here are this month’s updates:

AI Environment Design & Orchestration

We’re thrilled to introduce new generative AI to simplify and accelerate the design and creation of blueprints from your Asset Library.

Torque makes application environments scalable and easy to provision through a combination of:

  • Discovery and normalization of IaC resources in the user’s repositories so they can be used to orchestrate environments
  • Reusable templates that leverage those resource configurations to define all the infrastructure, services, dependencies, and parameters needed to provision a live environment
  • A self-service catalog and integrations that allow developers and other users to provision these environments by simply clicking “launch”

To make it easier to create environment templates—which are referred to as “blueprints” in Torque—we have recently introduced new generative AI functionality enabling Torque administrators to simply describe the environment needed and the resources required to provision it.

Based on these prompts, Torque will:

  • Create a Designer Canvas showing the IaC resources and the configuration between them
  • Generate a source file defining the code for these resources, which Torque can execute when users launch the environment
  • Allow admins to modify the resources, dependencies, and parameters using the Designer Canvas, which automatically update the code in the source file for the blueprint

In effect, this provides DevOps teams an AI assistant to find and orchestrate the IaC resources from their repository into an Environment as Code definition that can be launched to support their developers’ needs.

Enhanced GitOps Functionality via Environments as Code

Earlier this year, we introduced the ability to extend GitOps to environments with our Environments as Code (EaC) functionality.

This allows users to automate the creation of environment blueprints in YAML via Torque, export them to their Git repositories, and operationalize them by launching and updating application environments by simply committing code in Git.

We’ve recently expanded on our EaC capabilities, including:

  • Modify Resources in Live Environments: Streamline the updating of live environments deployed via EaC with the ability to add or remove grains without having to pause or tear-down your environments. Learn More
  • Ad Hoc Environments: Increase flexibility for GitOps with the ability to spin up environments based on your EaC blueprints quickly, without the need to create a new Blueprint in Torque.
  • EaC Management Page: Providing better visibility and control over your EaC environments with a dedicated management page.

Expanded Automation Capabilities via Torque Workflows

In Torque, administrators can automate recurring actions for live environments on a recurring basis via workflows. Common examples include:

  • Powering-on and powering-off cloud VMs based on a daily operational schedule
  • Conducting a recurring health check on the configuration and resources powering a live environment
  • Automatically checking for and implementing upgrades to application components in live environments

Recent updates to functionality for Torque workflows include:

  • Support for Ansible so users can automate complex, multi-step processes for Ansible resources in environments
  • Cron expressions in workflows to allow automatic execution

Updates to Support for Ansible, Helm, ArgoCD, and Terraform

To create environment blueprints and simplify provisioning, Torque leverages resource configurations defined via IaC and other automation tools.

Recent updates include:

Ansible Enhancements: To support our growing base of users who rely on Ansible, we’ve rolled out recent updates that include:

Terraform Grain Enhancements: Effortlessly inject provider blocks into your Terraform configurations, ensuring seamless integration with diverse infrastructure providers. Learn More

ArgoCD Integration: Define your ArgoCD servers in a central location for improved control and visibility.

Helm Enhancements: Recent updates to support for Helm include support for multiple values.yaml files—making it easier to manage complex Helm deployments—and the ability to pass command-line arguments to Helm grains.

Improved Developer Experience for Self-Service Environment Deployment

To democratize access to provision cloud environments, Quali Torque provides a self-service catalog for those with end-user permissions to find and launch environments based on pre-configured blueprints.

Recent updates to enhance the experience of our self-service catalog include:

  • Improved Developer Experience with a New Environment Launch Form: Expanding upon our simplified developer experience for launching environments, Torque’s new Environment Launch form provides a streamlined and cleaner deployment experience. This allows users to launch environments in just a few clicks—with default values for details like parameters and tags set by administrators—while also providing all the detail they may need to review prior to launch.
  • New Environment Filters: Users can now set persistent filters for environments in the catalog, including the ability to filter on Always-On environments.