The Best Infrastructure as Code Tools for 2021

Infrastructure as code tools manage and provision infrastructure via code. Here are some of the best IaC tools for 2021.
infrastructure as code tools

Summary

When it comes to cloud infrastructure, making something consistently replicable is extremely valuable for different reasons. Infrastructure as Code Tools can remove the manual process in a cloud environment with automation.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Legacy IT Infrastructure

In data centers, engineering teams would traditionally have to manually configure additional servers and databases for different application environments. Infrastructure as Code tools automatically scale up cloud resources as needed. Furthermore, they substantially reduce the number of hours it takes to manage public cloud resources. Ultimately it removes the manual process of managing IT for the engineering team.

What is infrastructure as code?

Infrastructure as code (IaC) involves configuring and managing infrastructure in a descriptive model.Think of IaC as the source code to a cloud environment in AWS, GCP, or Azure. If you use the same code every time, you should get the exact same cloud environment outcome.

IaC is a key practice of DevOps and was initially used as a solution for environmental drift. Over time it evolved to deliver a number of tangible benefits.

IaC helps automate the infrastructure deployment process by making deploying applications and cloud resources consistent, repeatable, and predictable. It greatly speeds up a number of processes, minimizes risk, and helps with configuration consistency.

Managing Infrastructure as Code

It’s a common DevOps practice to manage infrastructure as code tools using version control systems like Gitlab or Github. In years past, managing cloud resources would traditionally require a lot of manual labor or a whole team of IT engineers. Managing IT resources made it hard to scale and maintain all of the different environments. 

This is why Infrastructure as Code tools are important to engineering and DevOps teams. Having replicable cloud configuration tools can easily reproduce and deploy resources automatically to scale your application and services. By doing so, your applications and infrastructure will be able to increase performance and handle more customers.

What is code configuration management?

Code configuration management refers to the one true source of the configuration items to be managed. It’s a key component in DevOps and represents the source of configuration items for the applications and cloud services. Code Configuration management uses source codes, binaries, servers, and tools. 

Puppet

Puppet help engineers deliver software. It uses a Ruby-based DSL that can define the desired end state of your infrastructure, then enforces the desired state and applies changes as needed. It can integrate with both AWS and Azure, making it a great choice for deployment on multiple cloud services.

SaltStack

SaltStack offers powerful infrastructure automation tools but also focuses on security and network within the organization. It’s an open-source tool based on Python that is simple to use. Saltstack is especially useful when troubleshooting common infrastructure issues.

Chef

One of the most popular configuration management tools used today is Chef. It uses terms like “recipes” and “cookbooks” to describe the different configurations and how they are deployed.

What are infrastructure as code tools?

IaC tools generally refer to software that helps in the deployment and configuration of cloud infrastructure. They automate various processes when companies are looking to create replicable environments. However, they can also focus on configuring the software and systems within the infrastructure.

AWS CloudFormation

Similar to Terraform and allows for the automated deployment of servers and other infrastructure. However, AWS Cloud Formation is much more deeply integrated with the AWS ecosystem. There are a large number of Cloud Formation templates available on AWS and across the web. 

AWS Cloud Formation templates even allows you to deploy infrastructure stacks across different AWS accounts and regions. This makes AWS Cloud Formation a great option for international businesses.

Google Cloud Deployment Manager

Google Cloud Deployment Manager is an infrastructure as code tools specific to the creation of Google Cloud resources. Like AWS Cloud Formation, Google has training options and many cloud formation templates prepared and ready to use.

Azure Resource Manager

Azure Resource Manager allows you to create templates that hold infrastructure and dependency information. It organizes resources into different groups that can be deployed or deleted with ease. You also have access to a robust permissions system that manages the control access to resources.

Terraform

Terraform is an infrastructure as code tool that allows you to describe your infrastructure as code. It lets users to create “execution plans” that outline what happens when the code is run. It also builds graphs of resources while automating changes with little human interaction. Terraform also has its own DSL known as the Hashicorp Configuration Language.

Pulumi

Pulumi is different in that it doesn’t require the user to learn a DSL, JSON, or YAML. Instead, it allows you to define your cloud infrastructure using a development language of your choice, such as DotNet or Java. This means you can leverage the features of those specific development languages.

Contact Gennovacap for more information

If you’re looking to utilize infrastructure as code tools in your business, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with Gennovacap for DevOps consulting. We can help you reduce costs, deploy faster, strengthen security, and improve developer happiness for your engineering team. Simply contact us today and we’d be happy to schedule an assessment.

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