10 Infrastructure as Code Tools for DevOps Professionals
Find the ideal tool to help your enterprise work more efficiently while using DevOps best practices
DevOps methodologies have changed the way tech companies work. They have also opened up a whole new field of technical intricacies and requirements that persist throughout a product’s lifetime. While it’s possible to address these requirements manually, it takes a substantial time and resource commitment — and it’s far from a one-time investment.
DevOps automation allows organizations to force multiply their existing base of skilled engineers, which is why Infrastructure as Code tools have become an integral part of countless organizations. It’s also why there are so many different kinds of Infrastructure as Code platforms out there. To give your business a head start in finding its perfect solution, here are 10 of the best tools across multi-cloud and platform-specific purposes.
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Benefits of Infrastructure as Code tools
Building your next project with Infrastructure as Code tools is an important decision to make, ideally done early in the planning process. If you aren’t sure what they could mean for your team, or if you’re looking for elements to prioritize, here are some to get you started:
- Speed: Helping your organization hit the cloud running is one of the biggest reasons to build with Infrastructure as Code Tools. Instead of spending months reinventing the wheel to ensure your startup or SMB has the base it needs to deliver its minimum viable product, you can spend more of your time working on what makes your product unique.
- Security and compliance: Moving fast can sometimes be the enemy of moving safely — fortunately, that isn’t the case when you’re building on the right Infrastructure as Code platforms. On the contrary, using tools that are built to provision security controls out-of-the-box gives your organization a boost toward compliance while heading off potential issues before they arise.
- Flexibility: Rather than building your own infrastructure from scratch to support your specific needs in the moment, most Infrastructure as Code tools are built to support a variety of use cases and integrations. The flexibility they lend to your business also extends to staffing needs — allowing you to grow at your own pace rather than needing to open up recruitment at each new stage of development.
- Support: Sometimes you hit “enter” on your next big implementation and everything just works. Sometimes you hit enter and run into a gaggle of errors. Using an Infrastructure as Code tool with a dedicated support team means having help available during critical times rather than relying solely on your own internal support structure.
10 Infrastructure as Code Tools for DevOps Professionals
Many of the foremost Infrastructure as Code DevOps tools available today are cloud-agnostic. Most even allow for IaC across multiple cloud platforms simultaneously, including major players such as AWS, Azure, and GCP.
Multi-environment tools for Infrastructure as Code
DuploCloud is a powerful no-code/low-code DevOps automation suite that provisions a secure and compliant infrastructure out of the box. Its native integration of security controls into SecOps workflows includes PCI-DSS, HIPAA, SOC 2, GDPR, and others, allowing your team to keep its focus on delivering your value proposition rather than ticking off lengthy compliance checklists. Developers can seamlessly provision cloud-native infrastructure, or even work in hybrid-cloud setups with Kubernetes on-prem.
DuploCloud is leading the way in DevOps automation. If you’d like to learn more about how our platform can speed your deployments and lower costs, follow the link below.
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.
Progress Chef (formerly just Chef) is an open-source configuration management tool that has been helping developers with server-based deployments for nearly 15 years. Its central premise is the use of repeatable system configuration “recipes.” Much like following an established recipe ensures reliable results in cooking, Progress Chef’s recipes help developers lay out repeatable steps for repeatable results across a range of implementations. Its secure infrastructure management helps teams test, deploy, and validate their hardened infrastructure, while its cloud security and CSPM help maintain compliance all across your cloud-native assets.
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.
Pulumi is an open source Infrastructure as Code tool that lets developers author infrastructures using the languages they’re already accustomed to. Rather than jumping over to YAML or JSON supersets, users stay plugged into their IDE as they write statements to define their infrastructure, complete with the autocomplete, type checking, and documentation features they expect. Pulumi supports validation and deployment to any cloud, and its Automation API helps further speed up development by compacting complex cloud infrastructures. Pulumi’s Migration Hub even helps users of other Infrastructure as Code platforms (as well as manually provisioned resources) make the transition.
Spacelift is a CI/CD platform built to unify and monitor other Infrastructure as Code tools, helping developers distributed both geographically and by specialty remain on task while minimizing the potential for conflicts. Spacelift aims to make IaC “multiplayer” with native pull request integrations for custom delivery workflows, real-time approvals with security and compliance teams, and a self-service infrastructure that helps distributed teams understand the impact of proposed changes. Its visualize options help account for provisioned and deployed infrastructure across groups, and it can even help automatically discover and remediate infrastructure drift.
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. HashiCorp’s decision to move Terraform away from an open-source license has left some questioning its continued role as a common underpinning of cloud architectures, though an open-source fork of its last version before the license change is already underway.
Platform-specific tools for Infrastructure as Code
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:
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.
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 the 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.
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.