Infrastructure as Code (IaC) Tools: Comparison

With the increasing frequency of development and deployment cycles, the adoption of Infrastructure as Code (IaC) practices have changed how software engineers build, test and deliver applications. Automation tools that support these practices are key to enabling faster and more efficient building and configuring of infrastructure, reducing the cost and effort involved.

Infrastructure as Code Tools Comparison

Infrastructure as Code (IaC), enables development and operations teams t0 automatically manage and provision infrastructure using code, rather than using a manual process to configure servers and operating systems. Since this is codified it enables operators to automate infrastructure creation and changes.. The configuration can be stored in version control systems and collaborated on by teams of operators. This provides more consistency,  reduces errors, and decreases time. IaC is a key DevOps practice used in conjunction with continuous delivery.

Note: Ready to save 100’s of hours with Infrastructure as Code? Sign up for an information session to learn more about Shadow-Soft’s Infrastructure as Code solutions.

Why Infrastructure as Code?

  • Model your infrastructure: Model your entire infrastructure and application resources with either a text file or programming languages.
  • Automate and deploy: Provision your application resources in a safe, repeatable manner, allowing you to build and rebuild your infrastructure and applications, without having to perform manual actions or write custom scripts. IaC takes care of determining the right operations to perform when managing your stack, orchestrating them in the most efficient way, and rolls back changes automatically if errors are detected.
  • It’s just code: Codifying your infrastructure allows you to treat your infrastructure as just code. You can author it with any code editor, check it into a version control system, and review the files with team members before deploying into production.

Let’s review three of our favorite Infrastructure as Code tools.

1. Ansible

Ansible is automates cloud provisioning, configuration, and application deployment, and many other IT needs. It uses a very simple language, in the form of Ansible Playbooks, that allow you to quickly and easily declare configurations and orchestrate the steps of any manual ordered process.

When deploying applications into AWS, you can avail of a suite of services rather than a set of servers. This approach greatly accelerates deployment and scaling. The beauty of Ansible automation is that it allows you to manage your AWS environment as a suite of services. Once you create the Ansible playbook to describe your AWS application environment, you can use this over and over to scale your Amazon EC2 instances.

2. Terraform

Terraform allows you to safely provision and manage multi-cloud infrastructure at any scale.

Terraform is used to write, plan, and create Infrastructure as Code. Since this is codified it enables operators to automate  infrastructure creation and changes. The configuration can be stored in version control systems and collaborated on by teams of operators. This provides more consistency,  reduces errors, and decreases time.

Terraform allows you to declare configuration files that can be shared amongst team members, treated as code, edited, reviewed, and versioned. Using Infrastructure as Code, you can consistently provision your infrastructure. Terraform also enables users to easily provision AWS infrastructure on-demand with a library of approved infrastructure.

3. AWS CloudFormation

CloudFormation is a powerful Infrastructure as Code tool that can help automate and manage your AWS deployments. It provides a common language for you to model and provision AWS and third party application resources in your cloud environment.

AWS CloudFormation allows you to use programming languages or a simple text file to model and provision, in an automated and secure manner, all the resources needed for your applications across all regions and accounts. This gives you a single source of truth for your AWS and third party resources.

Ready to save 100’s of hours with Infrastructure as Code? Sign up for an information session today to learn about Shadow-Soft’s Infrastructure as Code solutions.

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