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Decisions about kops and Terraform

Because Pulumi uses real programming languages, you can actually write abstractions for your infrastructure code, which is incredibly empowering. You still 'describe' your desired state, but by having a programming language at your fingers, you can factor out patterns, and package it up for easier consumption.

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Sergey Ivanov
Overview

We use Terraform to manage AWS cloud environment for the project. It is pretty complex, largely static, security-focused, and constantly evolving.

Terraform provides descriptive (declarative) way of defining the target configuration, where it can work out the dependencies between configuration elements and apply differences without re-provisioning the entire cloud stack.

Advantages

Terraform is vendor-neutral in a way that it is using a common configuration language (HCL) with plugins (providers) for multiple cloud and service providers.

Terraform keeps track of the previous state of the deployment and applies incremental changes, resulting in faster deployment times.

Terraform allows us to share reusable modules between projects. We have built an impressive library of modules internally, which makes it very easy to assemble a new project from pre-fabricated building blocks.

Disadvantages

Software is imperfect, and Terraform is no exception. Occasionally we hit annoying bugs that we have to work around. The interaction with any underlying APIs is encapsulated inside 3rd party Terraform providers, and any bug fixes or new features require a provider release. Some providers have very poor coverage of the underlying APIs.

Terraform is not great for managing highly dynamic parts of cloud environments. That part is better delegated to other tools or scripts.

Terraform state may go out of sync with the target environment or with the source configuration, which often results in painful reconciliation.

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I personally am not a huge fan of vendor lock in for multiple reasons:

  • I've seen cost saving moves to the cloud end up costing a fortune and trapping companies due to over utilization of cloud specific features.
  • I've seen S3 failures nearly take down half the internet.
  • I've seen companies get stuck in the cloud because they aren't built cloud agnostic.

I choose to use terraform for my cloud provisioning for these reasons:

  • It's cloud agnostic so I can use it no matter where I am.
  • It isn't difficult to use and uses a relatively easy to read language.
  • It tests infrastructure before running it, and enables me to see and keep changes up to date.
  • It runs from the same CLI I do most of my CM work from.
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Context: I wanted to create an end to end IoT data pipeline simulation in Google Cloud IoT Core and other GCP services. I never touched Terraform meaningfully until working on this project, and it's one of the best explorations in my development career. The documentation and syntax is incredibly human-readable and friendly. I'm used to building infrastructure through the google apis via Python , but I'm so glad past Sung did not make that decision. I was tempted to use Google Cloud Deployment Manager, but the templates were a bit convoluted by first impression. I'm glad past Sung did not make this decision either.

Solution: Leveraging Google Cloud Build Google Cloud Run Google Cloud Bigtable Google BigQuery Google Cloud Storage Google Compute Engine along with some other fun tools, I can deploy over 40 GCP resources using Terraform!

Check Out My Architecture: CLICK ME

Check out the GitHub repo attached

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Pros of kops
Pros of Terraform
    Be the first to leave a pro
    • 104
      Infrastructure as code
    • 71
      Declarative syntax
    • 43
      Planning
    • 26
      Simple
    • 23
      Parallelism
    • 6
      Cloud agnostic
    • 5
      It's like coding your infrastructure in simple English
    • 4
      Well-documented
    • 3
      Automates infrastructure deployments
    • 3
      Platform agnostic
    • 3
      Immutable infrastructure
    • 2
      Automation
    • 2
      Portability
    • 2
      Scales to hundreds of hosts
    • 2
      Extendable
    • 1
      Lightweight

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    Cons of kops
    Cons of Terraform
      Be the first to leave a con
      • 1
        Doesn't have full support to GKE

      Sign up to add or upvote consMake informed product decisions

      What is kops?

      It helps you create, destroy, upgrade and maintain production-grade, highly available, Kubernetes clusters from the command line. AWS (Amazon Web Services) is currently officially supported, with GCE in beta support , and VMware vSphere in alpha, and other platforms planned.

      What is Terraform?

      With Terraform, you describe your complete infrastructure as code, even as it spans multiple service providers. Your servers may come from AWS, your DNS may come from CloudFlare, and your database may come from Heroku. Terraform will build all these resources across all these providers in parallel.

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      What tools integrate with kops?
      What tools integrate with Terraform?
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        Blog Posts

        May 21 2020 at 12:02AM

        Rancher Labs

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        What are some alternatives to kops and Terraform?
        Amazon EKS
        Amazon Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes (Amazon EKS) is a managed service that makes it easy for you to run Kubernetes on AWS without needing to install and operate your own Kubernetes clusters.
        Rancher
        Rancher is an open source container management platform that includes full distributions of Kubernetes, Apache Mesos and Docker Swarm, and makes it simple to operate container clusters on any cloud or infrastructure platform.
        Helm
        Helm is the best way to find, share, and use software built for Kubernetes.
        minikube
        It implements a local Kubernetes cluster on macOS, Linux, and Windows. Its goal is to be the tool for local Kubernetes application development and to support all Kubernetes features that fit.
        Apache Mesos
        Apache Mesos is a cluster manager that simplifies the complexity of running applications on a shared pool of servers.
        See all alternatives