The way DevOps grows as a culture, tools such as Ansible and Terraform show great demand and popularity.
Both instruments are considered Infrastructure as Code (IaC) solutions that help deliver the code and the infrastructure. While Ansible acts as a configuration management solution, usually abbreviated to CM, Terraform is an orchestration or service delivery tool.
Please note that there is an overlap and that these conditions do not necessarily exclude each other. That’s what confuses people, so I’ll compare Ansible and Terraform.
I will explain to you what these instruments are used for, what their advantages and disadvantages are. This will help you decide whether you want to use tolerance or terraforming in your projects.
First, let’s take a look at these popular DevOps tools.
What is acceptable?
A computer automation tool is possible. It can configure systems, deploy software and perform more complex IT tasks, such as continuous deployment or updates without downtime.
What is Terraform?
Terraform is a tool for creating, adapting and setting up infrastructures safely and efficiently. Terraform can manage existing and popular service providers as well as individual proprietary solutions.
Before we emphasize the differences between these two instruments, we must first understand what configuration management and orchestration are.
Anti-orchestra configuration control
Configuration management is a set of processes and procedures that ensure that the desired and stable state of your infrastructure, including servers and software, is always maintained. In other words, it is a way of ensuring that the system works as intended, as changes are made over time.
Content management tools provide faster, incremental, repeatable, scalable, predictable and stateful tools that bring managed assets into expected condition.
Tools such as Ansible are used to manage the configuration.
When it comes to orchestration, you can use not only servers, but also databases, caches, load balancers, queues, monitoring, subnet configuration, firewall settings, routing rules, SSL certificates and almost every other aspect of your infrastructure, especially the public cloud infrastructure.
The Terraform is an instrument for orchestration. It is designed to provide the instances of the server itself and leave the task of configuring these servers to other tools.
Procedural and reporting languages
DevOps tools can be divided into procedural and declarative tools, depending on the way they perform their actions in the application.
A procedure describes an application where specific steps have to be defined in a code, while a declaratory procedure indicates exactly what is needed, not the process by which the result is achieved.
It is acceptable to use a procedural style in which you write code that displays tasks step by step to achieve the desired final state.
While tools like Terraform, AWS CloudFormation all define the process by which you write the code that defines the desired end state. For example, if you needed 5 times EC2, you would get 5 times EC2 after running the code.
Allowed and terraformable: Comparison
Let’s look at the pros and cons of using Terraform :
- Terraform supports the entire cloud infrastructure and makes these resources available in code form. This makes the process of gradual change very simple.
- Modular design.
- Simple and easy to learn
- It retains the status of the resources created. All objects created by Terraform are recreated when they are deleted by another process.
- Seamless integration with CI/CD lines.
- This allows you to import existing resources to terraform them.
- When you execute the terraforming plan, it shows the changes applied to existing resources. This gives the DevOps engineers an idea of the changes they will make, especially if those changes do not meet expectations.
Consolidation of Terraform
- No bribes. We have to destroy everything, and we have to restart the TF script.
- Error handling is not mature yet. Since version 12.20 of Terraform, two new features, try() and can(), are available to consumers.
- Creating terraform scripts directly from status files is not allowed.
- The Terraform tool is still under development and goes through many beta versions every month.
- Not all items can be imported. With the terrafom import command, only one raw material can be imported at a time. This means that you can’t yet focus Terraform’s import on a whole collection of resources, such as AWS VPC, and import everything.
Advantages and disadvantages of using the tolerance
Now let’s look at the pros and cons of what’s allowed.
Surplus of acceptable
- Simple and easy to learn
- Make the entire implementation process automated and user-friendly for developers.
- Simple and easy to read scripts based on YAML (Ansible Playbooks)
- Huge modular support
- Provision of a central repository, called Ansible Galaxy, for searching and reusing Ansible content.
- Shortcomings of the UI proposal. The AWX, which in the course of time has become the Tour Ansible, still has a lot to do.
- No public service. It may not take into account dependencies. It simply performs a series of consecutive tasks and stops if it fails, fails or encounters an error.
- Not to its full extent when it comes to support for Windows operating systems. The ability to expand Windows support is still in its infancy.
- It’s not so easy when you have to write complex scenarios with extensive game logic.
- Society’s support is not yet mature/reliable.
- There are no descriptive error messages when debugging complex text balloons.
Terraform or acceptable? What’s best for you?
Believe me, this is not an easy question. Because it depends a lot on your wishes.
In the real world, in IT organizations, people never rely on a single tool, but use a combination of different tools to achieve the desired results.
And Ansible and Terraform tools do a lot of things pretty well. Personally, I prefer to use Terraform for orchestration/presentation and Ansible for configuration management.
Terraform works with maximum efficiency when used for infrastructure orchestration (Cloud Resource Management), because that’s what it’s made for.
On the other hand, it is most suitable and optimized for configuration management tasks (software and machines). It can also be used to perform orchestration tasks, but that’s only part of what it does.
My suggestion is to use the best and most original for the task you want to accomplish.
But even this is not a rule of thumb, because there are people who prefer one tool for everything, and it works for them!
Both tools have their advantages, but also their limitations when it comes to designing an infrastructure such as an automation code environment. And yes, success depends entirely on knowledge of the tools used in the various professions.
I hope I made you understand a few things about Permissible and Terraform. If you have any questions or suggestions, let me go to the comment section.
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