Using configuration files to create repeatable templates and manage your infrastructure is key to deploying resources and managing configurations at scale.Templating all things You can set up a consistent development environment, save time, and greatly reduce the chance of human error.
Terraform and Ansible are two of the most popular Infrastructure as Code (IaC) tools, with some overlapping features and principles, but each solves a unique set of automation and infrastructure management challenges. . So instead of thinking of either solution as one or the other, set your management practices to use both from the beginning.
What is Terraform?
Terraform is an IaC tool built by HashiCorp focused on creating, modifying, and destroying server and cloud resources. Written in Go, Terraform lets you create declarative blueprints that describe what your infrastructure will look like in its final state.
Terraform also offers plugins called “providers” to integrate with various cloud providers. Terraform can create and destroy resources on your behalf via read/write API tokens and execute .tf files containing API endpoints. However, before actually performing any action through Terraform, other commands are used to preview the changes that will be made, to describe the current state of the .tf file, and to provide detailed information about the resource. can be displayed.
What is Ansible?
Ansible is a configuration management tool that provisions software and executes configuration commands on various application infrastructures such as virtual machines and network devices. Ansible operations are described in his human-readable YAML syntax known as Ansible Playbooks. They act like his to-do list of tasks that Ansible automatically completes.
Ansible is procedural, executing commands in a specified order. Playbooks cannot run unless the infrastructure configuration meets certain criteria, making it easy to identify inconsistencies or problems with individual resources. In its simplest form, an Ansible playbook defines a group of target hosts, variables to use within the playbook, remote users to run tasks on, and a set of named tasks to run using related Ansible modules.
Terraform and Ansible Shared Attributes
Based on the explanation above, you can understand the difference between Terraform and Ansible features.But these tools also work very well together Based on their commonalities.
- agentless: Both tools interact with resources through APIs rather than requiring software or daemons on the target server.
- reproducible: Using both in parallel allows you to repeat the same steps as needed. For example, when deploying a new environment that should resemble a production application environment, you can create .tf files and playbooks to deploy the infrastructure and install exactly what you need each time.
- version control: Resources and their configuration are declared in code, so you can identify the exact change and rollback the change by running another .tf file or playbook. However, Terraform’s built-in version control makes it a better state management tool.
- Cloud agnostic: Manage cloud provider infrastructure within the core resources of each tool and use different templates for each cloud provider for multi-cloud deployments.
- Save time: Get more from a single command or commit. Quickly get your infrastructure up and running with minimal steps instead of separate steps to deploy your infrastructure and set up your environment.
In summary, Terraform excels at cloud resource deployment and lifecycle management, and Ansible is the industry leader in configuration management for deployed servers. With Terraform, you can build whatever you want, wherever and whenever you want, and dispose of it when you no longer need it. Use Ansible to configure the servers and required software packages on the deployed infrastructure.
If you’re just getting started with IaC tools, the best way to learn is how to optimize Terraform and Ansible together. Here are some guides and resources to get you started.