13 Best Terraform Alternatives In 2023: IT Automation Tools

What is IT Automation?
List of Best Best Terraform Alternatives
(Attune, Kubernetes, Chief, Jenkins, Saltstack, HashiCorp Atlas, Vagrant, Pulumi, BMC Control M, Mesosphere DC/OS, Cloud Formation, Ansible, Puppet)
Key Takeaway

When it comes to IT automation, using a tool like Terraform is an excellent choice. It helps you set up new virtual machines, storage, and other cloud services faster than you can do manually. However, the tool isn’t perfect. If you’re considering using Terraform for your own IT automation setup, you might want to look into some Terraform alternatives first.

Why? Because not every tool is universal and there could be more efficient ways of doing things – particularly if you’re just getting started with IT automation. In this article we dive into the different alternatives for Terraform and why planning can make or break any attempt at automating your organization’s infrastructure or software deployment processes.

Let’s begin with the understanding the process of IT automation first.

What is IT Automation?

IT automation is the process of automating your infrastructure and software deployment workflows so that you can be more efficient and less reliant on manual work. It’s about using software to do the heavy lifting for you rather than relying on manual processes.

This is particularly useful for organizations with large numbers of employees where it’s just not possible to do everything manually. While documentation is important, automation makes it possible to get things done faster without requiring a huge amount of training.

In fact, it’s often the case that you only need to train one or two people on how to use the automation tool so that everyone can reap the rewards.

List of Best Terraform Alternatives

Attune

Attune is a complete cloud orchestration tool that promises to make it easy to deploy, manage, and scale your application across multiple cloud environments.

  • Using the tool you can launch and manage Kubernetes clusters on Azure, Google Cloud, and Amazon Web Services.
  • In addition to this, you can also create your own clusters and other infrastructure resources.

While Attune is designed to help with Kubernetes-based applications, it’s worth noting that the tool doesn’t actually handle creating your Kubernetes clusters for you. In other words, it’s up to you to provision the underlying infrastructure before you can use Attune.

Kubernetes

Kubernetes is an open-source container orchestration tool that helps you manage and scale your application deployments across multiple environments. It’s managed by Google, and the company behind the tool – Google Cloud – offers a managed Kubernetes service.

This means that you don’t have to set up or manage Kubernetes yourself. Instead, you just have to connect your application to Google’s managed Kubernetes service.

  • Kubernetes can help you simplify application deployment and scalability, resulting in faster and more efficient operations.
  • It can be used with a wide range of different tools, making it a great choice if you’re already using other automation tools.

Chef

Chef is a continuous integration tool designed to help you automate software development. It offers a wide range of different features, including automated testing and container deployment to various cloud services.

Chef is a more advanced tool than Terraform and other automated infrastructure management tools. This means that it’s probably not the best choice for smaller organizations and teams.

  • Chef uses Python as its programming language, and this means that you’ll need to hire or train a team of Python developers to use the tool.
  • Chef is also a less popular tool than Terraform, so you may have a harder time finding help and support if you run into issues.

Jenkins

Jenkins is a continuous delivery tool that can help you automate your software deployment processes. It works across different programming languages and can be used with other tools like Chef.

Jenkins is a great choice if you’re already using Chef or another automation tool. It offers many of the same features as other continuous integration tools, including automated testing, but it’s designed to integrate with other tools so it just works. This is particularly helpful if you’re already using Chef and want to add continuous integration to your workflow without having to switch tools.

One potential downside of Jenkins is that it’s not designed to handle containerized applications, so you’ll need to look for another tool if you’re using containers.

Saltstack

Saltstack is an automation tool for infrastructure and application management. It uses YAML-based configuration files that are easy to read and understand. This makes it easier to scale your organization and manage more engineers than tools like Chef where everything is written in code.

Saltstack is one of the most popular automation tools for enterprises. It’s used by many blue chip companies and it’s been around for years. This means there is a large online community of users and experts that can help you learn and solve issues when you run into them.

Because Saltstack is complex and comprehensive, it may be a better choice for larger organizations with more complex needs than Terraform.

HashiCorp Atlas

HashiCorp Atlas is a SaaS-hosted version of the open source tools that HashiCorp offers. Its main features include –

  • Providing a common user interface for all the tools.
  • Centralizing access to various tools and resources that are hosted in various places.
  • Providing a single source of truth for configuration and other data.
  • Providing a single sign-on integration with existing authentication systems, such as Active Directory and Google.

HashiCorp Atlas is an excellent resource to explore Terraform alternatives. It provides a wide variety of services and allows you to use a single user interface for all the tools.

Vagrant

Vagrant is a software development tool that makes it easier to set up and test your application on various operating systems and configurations. It supports many different programming languages and frameworks, including Terraform.

This means that you can use Vagrant to test your Terraform code before you run the code in production.

  • Vagrant also supports many other automation tools, making it a great choice if you’re using multiple tools and want to test them together.
  • Vagrant is particularly well-suited to smaller teams and organizations that are just starting out with automation. You don’t need a large team or lots of technical knowledge to get started.
  • You can use Vagrant to set up development environments and test environments for your application and integrate this with other tools like Jenkins or Chef.

Pulumi

Pulumi is an infrastructure as code tool that can be used to automate your infrastructure and application deployment. It’s designed to be more modern than tools like Terraform and Chef, offering a more intuitive and user-friendly interface.

Pulumi offers a wide range of features and supports a wide range of cloud providers, including Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. This makes it a good choice if you’re looking to deploy your application to multiple cloud providers.

Pulumi is a newer tool, and it’s still being developed and improved. This means that it has fewer users and experts than tools that have been around longer and may offer more support and help if you run into issues.

BMC Control M

BMC Control M is a configuration management tool that can be used to automate your infrastructure. It was designed to be used with big data environments, but it can be used for a wide range of other workflows.

Like Chef and Saltstack, BMC Control M uses code to manage your infrastructure. This makes it more complex to learn and use than tools like Terraform, which use visual tools to create code. However, it also means that you can write reusable code that can be used across your organization.

Overall, BMC Control M is a great choice for larger organizations that need a more robust and scalable automation tool.

Mesosphere DC/OS

DC/OS is a distributed operating system that is designed to run any type of application in any environment. This software enables enterprises to provision and scale their applications in the cloud. It is built on Apache Mesos with a distributed service-oriented architecture.

  • DC/OS lets you create a secure and scalable environment for distributed applications.
  • It provides a central point of control and management for different apps, regardless of the underlying infrastructure.
  • DC/OS is a distributed and open source framework for distributed applications.
  • It is built on Apache Mesos and provides a single point of control and management for distributed applications in any environment.

Cloud Formation

Amazon Cloud Formation is a web service that helps you create and manage a collection of related AWS resources, such as Amazon S3 buckets, Amazon EC2 instances, or Amazon RDS DB instances.

Cloud Formation is primarily used to create and manage a collection of AWS resources. You use a template to create and manage the resources. A template is a text file that contains the information required to create the resources and their interdependencies.

The Cloud Formation template is written in JSON. Cloud Formation uses the template to create and manage resources. It automatically applies the template to create the resources that are described in the template.

Cloud Formation is a great tool for managing the Terraform alternatives. It allows you to create and manage a collection of related AWS resources.

Ansible

In many ways, Ansible is the most popular alternative to Terraform. It is an open source software for configuring and managing machines. It is written in Python and is designed to run on a variety of systems, from lowly Linux boxes to mainframes.

  • Ansible orchestrates tasks across various systems by using Playbooks, which are instructions that are written in YAML. Playbooks describe the state of the system, the desired state of the system, and the relationships between them.
  • Ansible is a simple and powerful IT automation tool that can be used to manage the entire organization.
  • It can be used to manage the configuration of application environments and the execution of different commands in remote systems.

Ansible is an excellent Terraform alternative because it can be used to manage the entire organization smoothly. It provides a simple and powerful framework for managing enterprise-level applications.

Puppet

Puppet is a tool that helps automate repetitive tasks in your infrastructure. The product is designed to manage a large number of servers.

You can use Puppet to manage the software configuration, file contents, network configuration, and any other resource that can be represented in code.

Puppet uses a language called the Puppet language to describe how the resources should be managed by the system. This language is used to create a manifest that describes the end-state of the system. The Puppet language is a declarative programming language. It uses a syntax that is similar to the INI file format.

Key Takeaway

Terraform is a great tool to manage your infrastructure, but it might not be the best option if you are looking for a quick and easy solution. Some of the Terraform alternatives are built for specific environments, such as DC/OS for the cloud or Puppet for infrastructure. There are many alternatives for Terraform, but you need to choose the one that is most suitable for your organization. If you want to manage your infrastructure efficiently, then you should choose one of these alternatives.

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