Graph theory 101: infrastructure as code

  • Infrastructure
  • Terraform
  • Graphs

Graphs are mathematical structures used to model relationships between objects. Modern infrastructure is a series of resources (objects) that have dependencies and ordering requirements (relationships). Thus, modern infrastructure can be represented as the mathematical construct of a graph. With just a few nodes, the relationships between resources in an infrastructure are easy to understand, but at a certain scale, the relationships become impractical to reason about. Terraform uses on years of research on graph theory to model the relationships between infrastructure resources so operators can safely manage and change infrastructure resources across bare metal, IaaS, PasS, and SaaS. Terraform models and potentially prevents that simple change with unforeseen consequences so operators don't have to. In this talk Seth Vargo explores the relationship between infrastructure as code and graph theory.

Seth Vargo


Seth Vargo is the Director of Technical Advocacy at HashiCorp. Previously, Seth worked at Chef (Opscode), CustomInk, and a few Pittsburgh-based startups. He is the author of Learning Chef and is passionate about reducing inequality in technology. When he is not writing, working on open source, teaching, or speaking at conferences, Seth enjoys spending time with his friends and advising non-profits. He loves all things bacon.

Seth graduated from Carnegie Mellon in 2013, but he remains rooted in Pittsburgh, PA while traveling the world.

We did an interview with Seth Vargo.

Read the long version of the interview

Read the short version of the interview

  15:20 - 16:05
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