Mesosphere vs Terraform

Mesosphere

77
86
+ 1
6
Terraform

5.8K
4.3K
+ 1
275
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Mesosphere vs Terraform: What are the differences?

What is Mesosphere? Combine your datacenter servers and cloud instances into one shared pool. Mesosphere offers a layer of software that organizes your machines, VMs, and cloud instances and lets applications draw from a single pool of intelligently- and dynamically-allocated resources, increasing efficiency and reducing operational complexity.

What is Terraform? Describe your complete infrastructure as code and build resources across providers. 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.

Mesosphere belongs to "Cluster Management" category of the tech stack, while Terraform can be primarily classified under "Infrastructure Build Tools".

Some of the features offered by Mesosphere are:

  • Built on top of open source technology
  • Grow to tens of thousands of nodes effortlessly while dynamically allocating resources with ease.
  • Mesosphere keeps your apps running by rebalancing resources and restarting failed tasks automatically.

On the other hand, Terraform provides the following key features:

  • Infrastructure as Code: Infrastructure is described using a high-level configuration syntax. This allows a blueprint of your datacenter to be versioned and treated as you would any other code. Additionally, infrastructure can be shared and re-used.
  • Execution Plans: Terraform has a "planning" step where it generates an execution plan. The execution plan shows what Terraform will do when you call apply. This lets you avoid any surprises when Terraform manipulates infrastructure.
  • Resource Graph: Terraform builds a graph of all your resources, and parallelizes the creation and modification of any non-dependent resources. Because of this, Terraform builds infrastructure as efficiently as possible, and operators get insight into dependencies in their infrastructure.

"Devops" is the primary reason why developers consider Mesosphere over the competitors, whereas "Infrastructure as code" was stated as the key factor in picking Terraform.

Terraform is an open source tool with 17.7K GitHub stars and 4.83K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Terraform's open source repository on GitHub.

According to the StackShare community, Terraform has a broader approval, being mentioned in 509 company stacks & 312 developers stacks; compared to Mesosphere, which is listed in 12 company stacks and 8 developer stacks.

Decisions about Mesosphere 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
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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What is Mesosphere?

Mesosphere offers a layer of software that organizes your machines, VMs, and cloud instances and lets applications draw from a single pool of intelligently- and dynamically-allocated resources, increasing efficiency and reducing operational complexity.

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.
What companies use Mesosphere?
What companies use Terraform?

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What tools integrate with Mesosphere?
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What are some alternatives to Mesosphere and Terraform?
Kubernetes
Kubernetes is an open source orchestration system for Docker containers. It handles scheduling onto nodes in a compute cluster and actively manages workloads to ensure that their state matches the users declared intentions.
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.
Red Hat OpenShift
OpenShift is Red Hat's Cloud Computing Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering. OpenShift is an application platform in the cloud where application developers and teams can build, test, deploy, and run their applications.
Apache Mesos
Apache Mesos is a cluster manager that simplifies the complexity of running applications on a shared pool of servers.
CoreOS
It is designed for security, consistency, and reliability. Instead of installing packages via yum or apt, it uses Linux containers to manage your services at a higher level of abstraction. A single service's code and all dependencies are packaged within a container that can be run on one or many machines.
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