Home Tech 11 Best Terraform Alternatives To Automate Infrastructure on Any Cloud

11 Best Terraform Alternatives To Automate Infrastructure on Any Cloud

Are you looking for the best Terraform alternatives To Automate Infrastructure on Any Cloud? If yes, you have stumbled upon the right webpage. In today’s article, we will review some of the best Terraform alternatives.

So, without any further ado, let’s get started –

Best Terraform Alternatives – Our Pick👌👌

Terraform is one of the most popular cloud infrastructure automation tools businesses can use to set up and manage cloud services, private infrastructure, and public cloud.

Some of the key features of Terraform include cloud computing, data migration, configuration management, log access, data security, cost estimation, audit logs, performance monitoring, and others.

It boasts SSO functionality for team management, while administrators can manage an organization according to teams, business units, and users via their role-based access controls.

Terraform allows it to operate several cloud-based services using the command line interface and open-source infrastructure as code. It comes with the HashiCorp Configuration Language, which provides a declarative language to manage data centers.

Besides that, Terraform is an open-source tool with over 32.7K GitHub stars and 7.6K GitHub forks. The user interface of Terraform is also quite easy to use and is compatible with Windows, Linux, macOS X, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, and Solaris.

While Terraform is a powerful tool, it is not the only option for IT automation. Below, we have listed some of the best Terraform alternatives that can help you with the IT automation process –

1. Ansible – Terraform alternatives For Simple IT Automation

Ansible was initially an open-source tool for automating IT infrastructure and software development.

However, the company expanded its commercial support when the product started to grow. As a result, in 2015, Red Hat showed interest in the product and acquired Ansible, now a Red Hat product.

Ansible is a great tool that can be used for software provisioning, configuration management, application deployment, and other IT automation tasks. Plus, its simple and easy-to-learn UI, detailed documentation, and knowledge base make it a great tool for IT automation.

Best Terraform Alternatives

It runs on Unix-like machines but can be easily configured on both Linux-based systems as well as Windows machines. Ansible isn’t a system-dependent tool, meaning it can run tasks sequentially, and whenever it encounters an error, it stops. This makes the troubleshooting process faster and easier, especially for beginners.

The entire program is written in Python, making it readily available for Linux machines since most Python libraries are, by default, available in Linux distros. However, it supports modules written in any language as long as it returns the data in JSON format.

For managing end nodes, Ansible uses standard SSH and Paramiko, meaning you don’t have to install any agent on remote systems.

Besides that, the Ansible configuration files, aka playbooks, are written in YAML. It is much easier to read language than JSON, supports comments, and lets you use the anchors for reference.

There is also Ansible Galaxy, a repository to find, reuse and share Ansible content. Here you can easily find configurations, applications, and more to make the deployment process faster.

What Is Ansible? | How Ansible Works? | Ansible Playbook Tutorial For Beginners | DevOps|Simplilearn

2. Attune – Terraform alternatives For IT Automation & Orchestration solution

Attune is one of the best Terraform alternatives. It is a cross-platform Python-based automation tool compatible with macOS, Windows, and Linux platforms. You can use it for provision, patch, and automate build procedures & compliance for both physical and virtual servers.

It helps businesses enhance their security and accelerate digital transformation by automating the build and deployment of servers.

You can use this tool for automation using existing scripts running as a Windows batch file, PowerShell scripts, CMD commands, and scripts designed for a custom interpreter on a Windows machine.

Since this tool is based on Python, it can easily execute scripts written in Python along with scripts written in Perl, Bash, SQL, and PL/SQL. There is a node automation feature of Attune that lets you automate operations such as Docker or Raspberry Pi configuration, Home lab setup, and more.

The tool’s user interface is quite simple and easy to use, making it extremely easy to manage all your servers. Attune boasts portable procedures that can be easily shared.

Attune Server Automation Demo Building a NextCloud server

3. Kubernetes

Kubernetes, aka K8s, is another popular Terraform alternative you can opt for. It is an automation platform widely used for application deployment, scaling, managing individual containers, and more.

It is an open-source container orchestration system introduced by Google in 2014. It also means Kubernetes is entirely free to use without any limitations.

Currently, Kubernetes is being managed and developed by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, a part of a nonprofit Linux foundation that mainly hosts critical open-source components of the global technology infrastructure.

Kubernetes is one of the favorite container orchestration systems because many of its other competitors are either its distributions or forks. This is one of the reasons Kubernetes is highly regarded in the industry.

One of the best things about Kubernetes is its self-healing abilities, though that is only for pods. However, you can further integrate other tools to add additional self-healing layers to increase the application’s reliability and performance.

Best Terraform Alternatives 1
Kubernetes Features

It lets developers draw underlying computing resources to deploy workloads on the entire cluster, not just on a particular server. It also allows administrators to manage and monitor several servers and containers simultaneously.

Whether basic or complex your requirements are, Kubernetes’ flexibility and capabilities can provide you with consistent and seamless application delivery.

Besides IT automation and migrating workloads, it lets you choose between an on-premise, hybrid, and public cloud infrastructure.

What is Kubernetes ? Easy way

You may like to read our guide on 11 Best Kubernetes Alternatives To Automate Deployment.

4. Jenkins – Terraform alternatives For Open-Source automation

Jenkins is another great automation software for developers and organizations that can build, test, and deploy applications. The best thing about Jenkins is that it is an open-source tool, meaning it is completely free, and you don’t need to take any tension about cost.

By default, Jenkins is an awesome IT automation tool that can perform various kinds of actions. But if you want more functionality, Jenkins lets you integrate additional plugins and APIs to take the functionality to the next level while making it capable of executing various tasks.

11 Best Terraform Alternatives To Automate Infrastructure on Any Cloud

Jenkins can be installed on almost all major computer operating systems, such as Windows, macOS, Linux, and more. You can even run Jenkins on the cloud by deploying it on a virtual machine. Additionally, you can use Docker containers in it.

Jenkins has a massive community of developers and users, meaning you can easily find tutorials, solutions, and guides to learn and master this tool. It also offers a knowledge base to get detailed information about different features, user handbooks, tutorials, learning resources, and more.

It is a Java-based program but supports many other languages such as Python, Java, and more for scripting and other purposes. Besides that, it can create jobs in both the freestyle and the pipeline processes.

5. Chef

Chef is a code-driven configuration management tool. It offers the functionality to define infrastructure as a code. It is a code-driven automation and configuration tool, meaning that instead of using manual procedures, you have to write codes to manage infrastructure.

It can be used for automation, infrastructure configuration, app deployment, network configuration management, and more. Its continuous monitoring system lets you ensure that all the servers you manage or configure through it meet industry standards.

Chef is an advanced tool that is also a bit complicated to use. If you want to become good at this tool, you must spend a lot of time learning the basics of it.

However, it is one of the oldest tools, too, meaning that there is a large support base that can help you with any problem and help you learn this tool as fast as possible.

However, the good thing about being such a complex tool is that it offers some great functionalities you may not find on any other tools. It is also capable of handling extremely complex tasks very easily.

Chef Infra in 60 Seconds

Some disadvantages of Chef include its steep learning curve and higher cost. Also, it requires you to know programming languages, especially Ruby.

6. Puppet – Terraform alternatives For infrastructure automation

Puppet is another great software configuration and management tool, widely popular amongst system and cloud administrators. It enables you to configure, install and manage servers along with continuous development, compliance, and configuration management.

Unlike procedural scripts, where you have to define each step of a configuration system, Puppet lets you define the final desired state of your infrastructure and application.

Once you define the final desired state, Puppet starts continuously and automatically enforcing that state, giving you more time to innovate rather than fix script errors.

Puppet uses the master-slave architecture to provide a secured encryption channel layered through SSL. You can use the Puppet orchestrator and code manager tools to move your infrastructure into a continuous delivery pipeline.

Another good thing about Puppet is that it is open-source software, meaning it is completely free, and the tool’s functionality can be extended by building custom modules and libraries.

Puppet has an idempotency feature that only applies changes if a system needs it. If the change isn’t needed or is already present, Puppet will not make any changes. It increases the efficiency of the system.

It is a cross-platform software that supports all major OS, including Fedora, Debian, RHEL, Solaris, Windows, OS X, and Gentoo. This ensures that you can use this tool without worrying about compatibility with the OS or anything else.

Being a popular tool, Puppet has an active community that can help you learn the tool very easily and solve your doubts. Also, it has an override mechanism that overrides instructions for specific scenarios where exceptions must be made.

However, even though an active community can help you learn the tool, it can be complex for people who are inexperienced in programming, especially in Ruby.

It is entirely developed in Ruby, and therefore if you want to become good at this tool, experience in Ruby is quite essential.

What is Puppet? | How Puppet Works? | Puppet Tutorial For Beginners | DevOps Tools | Simplilearn

7. SaltStack

SaltStack, popular with the name Salt, is an orchestration and configuration management tool. It is an IT automation that can create, manage, optimize, deploy and secure any infrastructure on-premise or in the cloud.

SaltStack is built on Python and not Ruby, unlike most other IT automation software. Since the Python libraries are already present in most Linux distros, it makes Saltstack readily available for all Linux machines.

One thing I like about SaltStack is that it is open-source and supported by its parent company SaltStack. Being an open-source tool, SaltStack is quite popular amongst developers and users, meaning the community and user base are continuously growing. The actively growing community and extensive documentation make it quite easy to learn.

It is based on a unique and powerful automation engine that automatically scans and detects events in a system and provides intelligent solutions.

This makes Salt extremely effective for managing large and complex environments with perfect efficiency. Salt also provides support for both agent-based and agentless environments.

The latest SecOps offering enables Salt to detect security vulnerabilities and misconfigured non-compliant systems easily. Once it identifies the issue, the powerful automation tool helps you fix it to keep your infrastructure secure, compliant, and up-to-date.

Salt can be a great choice if you want a Terraform alternative for Linux. That is because even though Salt can be used on Windows, it is not that good.

Also, the user interface of Salt is quite poor and looks underdeveloped. But overall, it is a great Terraform alternative.

8. ActiveBatch

ActiveBatch is a great Terraform alternative on our list. It is widely used in IT landscape integration, orchestration, and automation. The functionality of this tool makes it easier for you to monitor, manage and deploy distributed IT environments.

This Terraform alternative boasts low-code workflow automation and a job scheduler that can help you with seamless integration and the coordination of a wide range of business process automation (BPA) and IT-related tasks. Overall, this tool has robust IT and BPA capabilities.

ActiveBatch is built on an event-driven architecture, allowing you to set rules and actions based on different events, such as FTP file events, emails, message queues, and more.

11 Best Terraform Alternatives To Automate Infrastructure on Any Cloud

This event-driven architecture also helps you with providing appropriate solutions based on events. This makes ActiveBatch a perfect tool for managing large and complex environments.

It comes with an integrated job library that can be used to streamline development and create automated systems faster. ActiveBatch also helps you innovate and drive digital transformation and improve workload execution.

9. Vagrant

Next, we have Vagrant on our list. Vagrant is also a tool offered by HashiCorp that can help you set up virtual machines right from a single workplace. Vagrant can help you enhance production evenness, set up a development environment fast and easily, and do other things.

The tool uses the declarative configuration file to help you get detailed information on all your software requirements, operating system configurations, packages, and other things. It helps you create virtual machines that use the same OS, packages, configuration, users, and more while allowing the user to choose their favorite editor, browser, and IDE.

Vagrant is a cross-platform tool that currently supports Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems. This gives you the ability to use this tool on any machine.

Users can use this tool to automate the software installation process, modify configurations, and other aspects of the lifecycle used for deployment.

Vagrant in 5 minutes

Another cool feature of Vagrant lets you create custom configurations for simulating environments locally for development and testing. This can be used to learn the software and test your development before applying.

Vagrant has a continuously growing community of developers, operators, and designers. This means you can easily find thousands of tutorials and guides on YouTube and other platforms to learn Vagrant. HashiCorp even provides paid training courses for people to help them become Vagrant experts.

10. Pulumi

Pulumi is a modern-day universal Infrastructure as Code solution that lets you create, manage, and deploy modern cloud applications and infrastructure. The best thing about Pulumi is that it is not limited to any language. Instead, you can write scripts in TypeScript, Python, Go, C#, Java, and YAML.

Using a language, you are experienced with makes the scripting process much easier and faster. You can add loops, functions, conditionals, classes, and other things to make your script functional and expressive.

Once you manage to create a working script, you easily share them with others for further modification and reuse purposes.

Best Terraform Alternatives 4

Pulumi supports over 60 cloud service providers, including private, public, and hybrid architecture. You can set up a combination of different cloud services while having the same set of tools, workflows, and languages.

It is an open-source tool with over 12.5K stars on GitHub. It is freely available for individuals, but teams and businesses must opt for the paid service for additional functionalities and prioritize customer support.

11. BMC Control-M

Next, we have BMC Control-M on our list of the best Terraform Alternatives. It is a workload automation software that helps streamline business applications and data workflow orchestration.

This tool makes it extremely easy to design, build, define, manage, schedule, and monitor production workflows, improving reliability, visibility, and service level agreements.

You can use the BMC Control-M to run arbitrary tasks on multiple systems while controlled by a centralized server. The user interface of the tool is quite simple and easy.

It gives you a detailed visibility report which is helpful when controlling and managing complicated, interconnected systems.

Overview: Control-M

BMC Control-M supports various platforms, including Linux, Windows, and OpenVMS. It supports technology and people, is a big theme for DevOps, and is good for everyone. It is perfect for automating the testing process while improving the efficiency of testing and debugging.

It easily integrates many popular cloud services, including Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud platforms.

You can use the GUI to create a workflow and let the system make the script for it, or you can simply use the CLI if you don’t want to waste your time poking around the GUI. Once you create a script, you can save it and schedule or run it later on-demand.

✅FAQ on terraform alternatives

Should I use Ansible or Terraform?

Both tools are considered the best in enabling infrastructure as code. It entirely depends on the user whether, based on the requirement, which software might be a perfect choice here.

While Terraform is great at configuring cloud infrastructures, Ansible is here for configuring servers. There are a lot of similar features on both software that you can check out as well. 

What is wrong with Terraform? 

Even though terraform is known to be the best software to solve the issues of complicated infrastructure, not everything might go the right way. You cannot make stack modifications outside of the provisioning tool.

Moreover, you will rename your resources or even move them into deeper modules; in such cases, it becomes difficult for Terraform to follow the changes. 

Is Terraform difficult to learn?

Terraform isn’t as challenging as it sounds. You might find the terminology a bit difficult once you get started, but as you move ahead and start to understand more about it, it becomes a lot easier. It might take about two weeks or even lesser to master all the components on Terraform. 

What language is Terraform written in?

Terraform is written in HCL or Hashicorp Configuration Language, a fully functional and immutable-based programming language.

All the basics that any other language covers are also found in HCL, such as Loops, variables, If Statements, and other logic. It is easy to learn and perfect for DevOps professionals and other development teams. 

What is the difference between Terraform and Kubernetes?

Terraform is an Infrastructure tool, while Kubernetes is a container tool. Developers use Kubernetes in building, testing, and deploying the applications, they are working on. Similarly, Terraform brings to you codes to define and maintain the infrastructure. 

Is Terraform worth it?

Terraform is one of the best tools for deploying cloud services. It has all the features you can ask for, making it highly flexible to use and integrating hundreds of other cloud providers to help you build the right infrastructure. 

Closing Comments on alternatives to terraform

There you have it – a list of the best Terraform alternatives.

Terraform is a great IT automation tool for automating and monitoring configuration management. Besides that, it is open-source, easy to use, and offers a lot of other perks. However, it is not the only tool you can use for IT automation.

There are plenty of other tools that can be used to replace Terraform. If you are looking for a Terraform alternative, the above-shared list will surely help you.

With that said, here I am wrapping up this article. If you have any questions, feel free to shoot them in the comment section below. Our team will try to respond ASAP.