• By Abhijeet Dahatonde
  • January 2, 2023
  • AWS


What is Terraform:

Terraform is an open-source, infrastructure as a configuration software tool created by HashiCorp. Users define and provision data center infrastructure using a declarative configuration language known as HashiCorp Configuration Language or optionally JSON. Terraform is an IAC tool primarily used by DevOps teams to automate various infrastructure tasks. One of Terraform’s main use cases is, for example, providing cloud resources. It is a cloud-agnostic open-source provisioning tool written in Go and created by HashiCorp.

Terraform allows writing all infrastructure code of the cloud infrastructure instead of manual hard work. Even if your servers come from different providers, such as AWS or Azure, Terraform helps you create and manage these resources in parallel across providers.


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History of Terraform:

  • In July 2014,  Terraform was first introduced by Mitchell.
  • Invented by Mitchell Hashimoto.
  • Terraform tools were written in the go language.
  • is very useful in the case of multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds like OpenStack with AWS.
  • Terraform uses the Hashcorp configuration language.
  • It is similar to JSON, but in a human-readable format that is easy to understand.


Different cloud providers have tools that work like Terraform but run on specific cloud infra like….

  • AWS – CloudFormation
  • Azure – ARM template
  • GCP – Deployment Management
  • OpenStack – Heat
  • Opensource – Terraform, Ansible,


Infrastructure as code – Tools

There are many tools that allow you to deploy infrastructure as code:

  • Terraform
  • CloudFormation
  • Heat
  • Ansible
  • SaltStack
  • Cook, puppet, others

Not all of these tools are aimed at the same purpose. Every tool has its advantage or drawbacks to creating infrastructure coding, so need to understand the difference between Configuration Management and Infrastructure Orchestration tools.

Ansible, Chef, and Puppet are configuration management tools, meaning they are primarily designed to install and manage software on existing servers.

Terraform and CloudFormation are infrastructure orchestration tools designed to provision the servers and infrastructure themselves.

You can use infrastructure orchestration tools and configuration management tools in tandem. For example, you can use Terraform to create a new EC2 instance on AWS, Terraform can then call Ansible to install and configure software and applications on the EC2 instance. SevenMentor offering extensive Training for the AWS course in Pune with certified industry experts.


Benefits of Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC)

IaC replaces standard operating procedures and the manual effort required to manage IT resources with lines of code. Instead of manually configuring cloud hardware resources such as VPC, Routing table, subnet, storage devices, and others, IaC tools allow us to write the specific code to configure hardware as per requirement in the form of source code. Here are some of the top key benefits of using an IaC solution like Terraform:

Speed ​​and simplicity: IaC eliminates manual processes, accelerating delivery and management lifecycles. IaC allows you to spin up the entire infrastructure architecture just by running a script.

Team collaboration: Different team members can collaborate on IaC software the same way they would on regular application code using tools like GitHub. Code can be easily linked to issue-tracking systems for future reference and reference.

Error reduction: IaC minimizes the likelihood of errors or deviations in the provisioning of your infrastructure. The code completely standardizes your setup and allows applications to run smoothly and error-free without the constant supervision of an administrator.

Disaster recovery: With IaC, you can actually recover from disasters faster. Because manually built infrastructure must be manually rebuilt. But with IaC, you can usually just run the scripts again and get the exact same software provisioned again.

Improved security: IaC relies on automation to eliminate many of the security risks associated with human error. When an IaC-based solution is properly installed, the overall security of your computing architecture and related data is greatly improved.

While there are many other benefits to using IaC, things like speed, accuracy, data visibility, and security are key reasons why organizations choose to implement a solution like Terraform.


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Terraform vs. competitors:

There are alternatives in the IaC market, each with its own advantages and disadvantages when pitted against Terraform. Here are a few other IAC major tools available in the market we compare them with Terraform, and each tool has its own advantages or drawbacks which tool better choice or bad as per the situation or working environment?

Terraform vs. Ansible

Ansible is an IaC tool designed to automate system configuration and management. The main difference is that Ansible is not a provisioning tool and follows a procedural approach, which means that the user must manually specify the provisioning steps. This gives DevOps users more control, but also requires more work. Ansible is best for providing servers with the right software and updates already configured, while Terraform can set up and orchestrate the infrastructure from scratch. Finally, terraform provide complete lifecycle management, while Ansible does not allow to complete lifecycle management.


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Terraform vs. Pulumi

Pulumi is one of the popular open-source IaC tools, which is can be also used to design, deploy and manage cloud infrastructure resources. Unlike Terraform, Pulumi is not using a domain-specific software language, allowing users to deploy in GO, .NET, JavaScript, and etc. And while Terraform follows strict coding guidelines, Pulumi doesn’t, making it a bit more flexible in certain scenarios. However, the Pulumi community is significantly smaller than the Terraform community, which means there is less documentation available. While Pulumi has some flexibility advantages, Terraform is generally better the larger the deployment range. AWS Training in Pune recognizes IT, professionals, with the skills and knowledge to design, deploy and operate applications and infrastructure on AWS.



Abhijeet Dahatonde

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