Infrastructure as code tools

Infrastructure as Code Tools

As organizations think about moving partly or wholly to the cloud, infrastructure as code (IaC) has become a fundamental element in enhancing the time to build and deliver their applications. However, enterprise infrastructure experts must operate the right resources and techniques to create the infrastructure needed to run applications in the cloud. Let’s review all Infrastructure as Code Tools.

IaC is one of the principal pillars of DevOps; its adoption can support engineers handling the whole application life cycle and developing processes to enhance productivity. Some advantages of leveraging IaC contain the following:

  • Version control: The use of versioning is a fundamental practice. It supports software engineers working together by tracking versions and modifications pushed to the code to make it more straightforward to review and recover if required. Version control can even allow configuring pipelines for continuous integration and delivery to automate the necessary steps to deploy a new application version into several environments, like production.
  • Scalability: Teams can quickly scale their environment as IaC can support automated deployment strategies while decreasing the chance of human errors. The environments can be provisioned via automated pipelines to guarantee consistency and remove the risk of misconfigurations.
  • Configuration management and reusability: Operating extensive environments can become a challenge; by leveraging IaC, the chosen configuration of a system can be determined early and can decrease the complexity by being retained in templates. The method can be automated to deploy the same environment across multiple regions or reuse the exact templates with distinct configuration parameters for various deployments.

The Best Infrastructure as Code Tools in 2022?

  1. Terraform
  2. Ansible
  3. AWS CloudFormation
  4. Azure Resource Manager
  5. Google Cloud Deployment Manager
  6. Chef
  7. Puppet
  8. Vagrant

Terraform

Everybody who has followed us for a while, here on bitslovers, we have several articles about Terraform. And the reason for this it’s because

the Terraform is the most famous Infrastructure as Code Tool and is open-source for automation. The main goal is to support us in provisioning, configuring, and handling the infrastructure as code. Also, we can efficiently plan and build IaC across multiple cloud providers with an identical workflow. 

One crucial characteristic of Terraform is using the declarative strategy to determine the required infrastructure as code.

Terraform permits engineers to have a pre-execution inspection (Terraform Plan phase) to validate whether the configurations satisfy the result that we expect or not before updating or provisioning the infrastructure.

In addition, it allows engineers to have their preferred infrastructure across multiple cloud providers via a single and uniform CLI process. As a result, we can quickly provision distinct environments utilizing the identical configuration and control the whole lifecycle of our desired infrastructure, consequently decreasing human mistakes and growing automation in the infrastructure provisioning and administration process.

Ansible

Ansible was created to simplify the way we provision computing in the cloud. Created by Redhat, your first release was in 2012. It’s also an open-source project with a vast community.

When we talk about Ansible, immediately identify that Ansible drives several modernization and improvements in the life of any DevOps team because it delivers quickly, trustworthy, and collaborative application deployments.

Also, Ansible helps us establish a standard and replicate several servers following the same configuration for different environments quickly. Furthermore, we can easily combine the Ansible scripts (playbooks) to a Git repository and add revision control.

Ansible is the easiest method to automate the provision because it does not depends on agents to be installed and can connect to computers and execute commands via SSH. Furthermore, its scripts are composed in YAML, known as Playbooks, making it effortless to comprehend and deploy your infrastructure.

We can even extend the components of Ansible by writing our own Ansible modules (to reuse them in multiple projects and avoid rewriting the same code in several places) and plugins.

AWS CloudFormation

The CloudFormation is an Infrastructure as code tool created and available for free inside the AWS cloud platform. The CloudFormation delivers you with an effortless way to fast and efficiently provision. Also, handle a collection of numerous related AWS and even third-party resources utilizing Infrastructure as Code.

 It permits implementing all the necessary best practices helping the DevOps team also GitOps. With CloudFormation, you can efficiently handle the scaling of your resources and even automate different resource administration by combining CloudFormation with other required AWS resources.

Besides this, AWS CloudFormation again permits you to operate its open-source command-line tool to make your resource providers provision and control the third-party application resources and native AWS resources.

The scripts for CloudFormation are written in YAML or JSON format. So, you need to design your desired infrastructure from scratch with the valid template language and use the AWS CloudFormation to provision and manage the stack and resources described in the template.

CloudFormation also utilizes Rollback Triggers to patch infrastructure stacks to a previously deployed state if errors are observed to guarantee that deployment and upgrading of infrastructure are accomplished in a controlled way.

Azure Resource Manager

Microsoft invested in providing a new method to manage better the resources deployed in Azure. That investment resulted in a new pathway that facilitated the deployment, security, organization, and governance of applications in the cloud, called Azure Resource Manager (ARM).

Azure Resource Manager delivers a consistent managing layer for your resources deployed in Azure. It supplies a single API endpoint for numerous clients to intercommunicate with all the different services or parts that live in Azure.

The individuality of Azure Resource Manager applies a technology designed for the public cloud, but it also transits across the Azure Stack Hub offering. So, Azure Resource Manager now delivers a managing layer for applications in the public cloud or an on-premise data center.

Azure Resource Manager is currently the manner to develop, edit, and handle your resources in the Microsoft Cloud. Besides that, Azure will supply you with the proper instruments for a suitable job to control your environments in the Microsoft Cloud offering. These tools are SDK, APIs, and IDEs to help you handle your environments much better.

Google Cloud Deployment Manager

In GCP, the cloud-native IaC-native offering is named Deployment Manager. Deployment Manager delivers an instrument to determine the Google Cloud infrastructure resources utilizing a declarative language.

For example, the deployment Manager allows engineers to architect and structure their GCP resources utilizing IaC principles to use the source code management and versioning tools of software development to support granular control over what is deployed and automate the provisioning strategy.

Chef

The Chef can be counted among the industry’s most renowned Infrastructure as Code Tool. Chef utilizes the procedural style language wherein the engineers have to code and determine how to reach the expected state. It relies on the engineers to choose an optimal deployment strategy. Utilizing its Ruby-based DSL, Chef permits you to make recipes and cookbooks. These recipes and cookbooks determine the precise steps needed to reach the desired configuration of your server, application, and utilities.

This infrastructure administration tool concentrates on deploying and modeling a scalable and secure infrastructure automation strategy across any desired environment. Chef and DevOps teams can also configure and deploy on-demand infrastructure pretty quickly. As a result, the chef is one of the most typical configuration management that companies utilize in their continuous integration and delivery processes.

Puppet

The direct contrast between Puppet and Chef is that it employs a declarative approach, where you have to determine what the configurations you want look like, and then Puppet discovers how to reach there.

Puppet can be somewhat strange to technologists who have an experience in shell scripting. Whereas most scripts are procedural, Puppet strives to be declarative. This permits it to bring a node from an unknown state and converge it to a known, desired state. 

Although declarative language has numerous benefits for configuration management, it does impose limitations on the methods used to solve problems. Comprehending the principles behind the design will allow us to contextualize our goal.

Puppet refers to a collection of IaC mechanisms that deploy your infrastructures quickly and on a secure scale. It delivers a broad set of designers who have created modules that support extending the software’s functionality.

In addition, Puppet integrates with nearly all the highest cloud providers, such as AWS, Google Cloud, Azure, and even VMware, allowing numerous cloud automation.

Vagrant

The Vagrant is yet another of the best Infrastructure as Code Tools created by the Terraform creator, HashiCorp.

Vagrant is a tool for creating whole development environments sandboxed in a virtual machine. Vagrant reduces development environment setup time, boosts development/production parity, and carries the concept of disposable compute resources down to the desktop.

Also, the distinction is that Vagrant concentrates on making computing environments that employ a restricted number of virtual machines instead of huge cloud infrastructure environments. It means that can create hundreds or thousands of servers over several cloud providers. 

Follow the list of features that we can do with Vagrant:

  • Changes and define the physical specifications of this virtual machine (e.g., RAM, number of CPUs, etc.).
  • Define the machine’s hostname since many applications depend on this being correctly set.
  • Install any software on the machine via a shell script or configuration management solution such as Chef or Puppet.
  • You can create a virtual machine for you based on an operating system of your choice.
  • Installs network interfaces so that you can access your virtual machine from your computer. Or also from another device on the same network, or even from another VM.
  • Configure shared folders to continue editing files on your machine and mirror those changes to the guest machine.

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