7 Infrastructure as Code Tools & Platforms for DevOps Professionals
Using the right tools will help your organization boost efficiency and minimize risk through modern DevOps best practices
Infrastructure as Code (IaC) uses DevOps methodology to define and deploy infrastructure consistently and at scale. It’s a critical element of modern platform engineering, especially as the complexities of cloud architectures become increasingly thorny. That’s where various Infrastructure as Code tools come in handy — whether you use a multi-environment IaC platform or one that is cloud-specific, finding the right tool can make it that much easier to implement an Infrastructure as Code approach across your organization. In this article, we’ll explore seven of the most popular tools that today’s DevOps professionals need to know.
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7 Infrastructure as Code Tools for DevOps Professionals
Many of today’s best known Infrastructure as Code platforms are cloud-agnostic. In fact, most allow for IaC across multiple cloud platforms simultaneously, including major players like AWS, Azure, and GCP.
Multi-environment tool for Infrastructure as Code: DuploCloud
DuploCloud is a powerful no-code/low-code platform designed to make Infrastructure as Code as accessible as possible for businesses of all sizes. The tool mitigates risk by ensuring regulatory compliance from an application’s foundations through to each deployment, while simultaneously leveraging automation and orchestration capabilities to reduce human error and decrease overhead costs. Features like fully automated provisioning and 24/7 compliance monitoring make it possible for organizations to implement security frameworks in days, instead of months. In essence, DuploCloud accelerates time to market by leveraging all the benefits of Infrastructure as Code.
Learn more about how DuploCloud’s turnkey solution uses Infrastructure as Code to deploy cloud applications 10x faster in our free DevOps whitepaper.
Multi-environment tool for Infrastructure as Code: Ansible
Ansible is an open source cloud orchestration and configuration tool designed by Red Hat. Using Ansible specifically for Infrastructure as Code requires configuration models (referred to as Playbooks) written in a YAML-based DSL. The idea is that although configuring Playbooks does require an up-front time investment, once they’re established it’s easy to create and manage infrastructure resources. It also speeds up the process of deploying identical environments with security and compliance protocols already in place. Pre-configured modules are available for virtually every common use case, and the open source spirit is alive in a huge library of modules uploaded by community members, but Ansible also allows for custom configurations.
Multi-environment tool for Infrastructure as Code: Puppet
Puppet is a common declarative Infrastructure as Code tool specifically for organizations controlling multiple application servers at the same time. It employs a Ruby-based DSL to allow users to describe the desired end state of their infrastructure. Once the user has determined their preferred configurations, Puppet works to establish the best way to achieve those Infrastructure as Code goals. Other IaC functionality available through the tool includes modules pre-configured by Puppet’s in-house development team and multiple cloud automation supporting all the major platforms.
Multi-environment tool for Infrastructure as Code: Terraform
HashiCorp’s Terraform is a popular cloud automation tool that supports a range of commonly used cloud platforms and cloud service providers. This is particularly useful for organizations that employ hybrid and multi-cloud environments, since Terraform can help unify a consistent declarative Infrastructure as Cloud plan across multiple platforms using the same workflows. The Cloud Development Kit for Terraform (CDKTF) supports many programming languages, including TypeScript, Python, Java, C#, and Go. And because it was designed as an open source project, there is also a whole ecosystem of third-party integrations out there that build on top of Terraform to provide augmented capacities like cost management, security, and regulatory compliance.
While the previously-mentioned tools work across clouds, the following Infrastructure as Code tools are dedicated to a single cloud platform or provider. These are the prominent platform-specific IaC tools that DevOps professionals should be familiar with:
Platform-specific tool for Infrastructure as Code: AWS
CloudFormation is a declarative Infrastructure as Code platform designed to support the creation and management of AWS resources. Automation templates written in YAML or JSON format can help make the process of provisioning and deploying those resources lightning fast, no matter where in the world a company operates or an account is located. CloudFormation also offers helpful features like pre-deployment previews (to check the impact IaC changes will have before releasing them) and Rollback Triggers (that return code to its previous state in case of errors). Because it’s AWS-specific, CloudFormation users can also benefit from Amazon’s other cloud service offerings like governance controls.
Platform-specific tool for Infrastructure as Code: Azure
Microsoft’s Infrastructure as Code platform is called Azure Resource Manager (ARM). Organizations can use a single core ARM template to govern test, staging, and production environments. Other ARM templates make it easy to deploy resources together and repeat deployments consistently, while organization features allow for management of resources grouped by shared life cycles or dependencies. ARM also includes a range of standard Infrastructure as Code capabilities like role-based access control and detailed audit logs.
Platform-specific tool for Infrastructure as Code: GCP
Cloud Deployment Manager is a declarative Infrastructure as Code tool dedicated specifically to GCP. Using flexible templates and configuration files written in YAML or Python, organizations can designate various Google Cloud resources into groups that can then be managed as a unit, rather than individually. Simultaneous deployment configurations are treated as code so that they can be replicated consistently across the organization. Cloud Deployment Manager is essentially built into the development console, which makes it an embedded part of the Google experience — so there’s no additional price tag to use the tool, either.
Finding the right choice among these top Infrastructure as Code DevOps tools will have a lot to do with the realities of your business circumstances and goals. One great way to approach Infrastructure as Code is with a turnkey solution like DuploCloud; we make cloud automation and orchestration easier, faster, and more affordable for small and medium-sized businesses that don’t have the runway or resources to staff an entire DevOps team from day one. Ready to adopt Infrastructure as Code 10x faster and reduce operating costs by 75%? Get in touch with us today.