Spinnaker vs Terraform

Spinnaker

146
216
+ 1
8
Terraform

6.7K
4.9K
+ 1
284
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Spinnaker vs Terraform: What are the differences?

Spinnaker: Multi-cloud continuous delivery platform for releasing software changes with high velocity and confidence. Created at Netflix, it has been battle-tested in production by hundreds of teams over millions of deployments. It combines a powerful and flexible pipeline management system with integrations to the major cloud providers; 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.

Spinnaker belongs to "Continuous Deployment" category of the tech stack, while Terraform can be primarily classified under "Infrastructure Build Tools".

Spinnaker and Terraform are both open source tools. It seems that Terraform with 17.7K GitHub stars and 4.83K forks on GitHub has more adoption than Spinnaker with 6.27K GitHub stars and 902 GitHub forks.

Decisions about Spinnaker 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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    What is Spinnaker?

    Created at Netflix, it has been battle-tested in production by hundreds of teams over millions of deployments. It combines a powerful and flexible pipeline management system with integrations to the major cloud providers.

    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 Spinnaker?
    What companies use Terraform?

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    What tools integrate with Spinnaker?
    What tools integrate with Terraform?

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    What are some alternatives to Spinnaker and Terraform?
    Jenkins
    In a nutshell Jenkins CI is the leading open-source continuous integration server. Built with Java, it provides over 300 plugins to support building and testing virtually any project.
    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.
    GitLab
    GitLab offers git repository management, code reviews, issue tracking, activity feeds and wikis. Enterprises install GitLab on-premise and connect it with LDAP and Active Directory servers for secure authentication and authorization. A single GitLab server can handle more than 25,000 users but it is also possible to create a high availability setup with multiple active servers.
    Argo
    Argo is an open source container-native workflow engine for getting work done on Kubernetes. Argo is implemented as a Kubernetes CRD (Custom Resource Definition).
    Armory
    Armory.io makes deployments boring (like ‘waiting for your code to compile’ boring), non-events that happen continuously, and always in the background. We do that by simplifying the installation and configuration of Spinnaker - an open source continuous delivery platform from Netflix.
    See all alternatives
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