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Why should Terraform be one of your DevOps tools?

By Pavan Belagatti.May 03, 2018

6 Reasons to Consider Terraform!

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Terraform is one of the tools you should be using in your DevOps toolchain. This blog post describes the essential reasons to consider Terraform as one of your DevOps tools.

Recently, we saw the whole software industry going gaga over this tool ‘Terraform,’ and hence we thought it’s a good idea to do some research around this tool and see the factors causing it to be an extraordinary tool and famous when it comes to DevOps. Just to test our curiosity, we shared our two articles (already written) related to Terraform, ‘Setup a Container Cluster on AWS with Terraform Part 1-Provision a VPC’ and ‘Provisioning AWS infrastructure with Terraform’ on LinkedIn and below are the results,

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Bitly link analysis for the blog ‘Setup a Container Cluster on AWS with Terraform Part 1 — Provision a VPC
Bitly link analysis for the blog ‘Provisioning AWS infrastructure with Terraform’

150 and 74 clicks within a week, this made us realize how important this tool has become and just to make it more interesting, we asked a question on Reddit to see how DevOps experts responses. The question asked was, ‘Why Terraform is important when it comes to DevOps?
We received some noteworthy comments, and this article summarizes the same Reddit thread and also helps you understand the necessity of the tool Terraform.

My thread about Terraform on DevOps subreddit

What Is Terraform And Why Is It In The Boom?

Take a look at this Google trend for the term ‘Terraform’. The image clearly depicts the popularity of this tool worldwide. Since from 2016, this tool is making a good progress and many have adopted it as one of their essential tools in their DevOps tool chain.

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Google Trend for the term ‘Terraform’

Terraform is a tool for developing, changing and versioning infrastructure safely and efficiently. Terraform can manage existing and popular service providers as well as custom in-house solutions. Terraform is the first multi-cloud immutable infrastructure tool that was introduced to the world by HashiCorp, released three years ago, and written in Go. DevOps is about culture and practices that aim at uniting development processes. Terraform is a tool and has become more popular because it has a simple syntax that allows easy modularity and works against multi-cloud. One Important reason people consider Terraform is to manage their infrastructure as code. Infrastructure as code is also a key and foundation for DevOps practices such as version control, code review, continuous integration and continuous deployment. If you try to search “infrastructure-as-code” on Google, you will come up with a list of tools, and anybody will get confused to see so many options. But Terraform is one tool to consider because of its excellent features and exceptional reasons (that we have listed further in this article) when compared to other similar tools.

Reasons to Consider Terraform for DevOps

As we already know, the goal of DevOps is to perform software delivery more efficiently, and we need some tools to make this delivery quickly and efficiently, this is where the tools like Terraform help companies with infrastructure as code and automation.
Terraform is revolutionizing the DevOps world by transforming the way infrastructure is managed, and making it faster and more efficient to execute DevOps. You might have used technologies like Ansible, Chef, or Puppet to automate and provisioning of software, Terraform starts from the same law, infrastructure as code, but focuses on the automation of the infrastructure itself. Your whole Cloud infrastructure (instances, volumes, networking, IPs) can be easily defined in terraform.

Let us see the reasons to consider Terraform as one of your DevOps tools,
  1. Terraform lets you define infrastructure in config/code and will enable you to rebuild/change and track changes to infrastructure with ease. Terraform provides a high-level description of infrastructure.

  1. Terraform is the only sophisticated tool that is completely platform agnostic as well as supports other services while there are a few alternatives but they are focused on a single cloud provider.
  2. Terraform enables you to implement all kinds of coding principles like having your code in source control, the ability to write automated tests, etc
  3. Terraform is the right tool for infrastructure management as many other tools have a severe impedance mismatch from trying to wrangle an API designed for configuring management to control an infrastructure environment. Instead, Terraform matches correctly with what you want to do- the API aligns with the way you think about infrastructure.
  4. Terraform has a lively community and is open source, there is a massive community developing around this tool. Many people are already using it, and it’s easier to find people who know how to use it, plugins, extensions, professional support, etc. This also means Terraform is evolving at a much faster rate. They do releases very often.
  5. Terraform’s speed and operations are exceptional. One cool thing about Terraform is, it’s plan command lets you see what changes you’re about to apply before you apply them. Code reuse feature and Terraform tends to make most changes faster than similar tools like CloudFormation.

For the reasons mentioned above, Terraform makes a great tool when it comes to DevOps and hence this tool is getting a lot of attention recently. What is your take on this tool? Let us know if you have any other reasons to use Terraform that we have not mentioned in the list.

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The original article published on Medium.

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