When you have one server it is possible to implement your configuration manually, even if you have 5 to 10 servers you can still do it manually however when your environment runs thousands and thousands of servers you need to implement tools that will automate the configurations across your environment. Let’s look at some of the most popular Infrastructure as Code Tools:
Packer is a free open source tool that automates the creation of any type of machine image or container for multiple platforms from a single source configuration. It enables you to make use of automated scripts to install and configure Packer-made images.
Terraform is an open-source tool that allows your DevOps teams to build, change and version infrastructure safely and efficiently. It enables users to define and provision data center infrastructure using Hashicorp Configuration Language or alternatively, you are able to use JSON.
Vagrant is open-source software for building and maintaining portable virtual software development environments for Hyper-V, KVM, Docker containers, AWS and VMware. It provides an easy to use workflow and focus on automation, lowers development environment setup time and increases production parity. Vagrant is designed for Developers, Operators, Designers and basically everyone with its easy and fast creation of virtualized environments.
Chef is one of the most popular configuration management tools in the IT and DevOps world today that deals with machine setup on physical servers, virtual machines and in the cloud. Tech giants such as Facebook and many other companies make use of Chef to control and manage their infrastructure.
Cloud-init is a DevOps tool used to pre-provisioned disk images that run in virtualized and cloud environments. Cloud-init is not just limited to Ubuntu Linux but also supported in the most modern Linux distributions. It can be used in conjunction with another provisioning tool such as Ansible, Chef or Saltstack where you would use Cloudinit to bring your new server to a state where the provisioning system can take over.
Puppet is among the top great DevOps tools for managing multiple servers that allows you to define infrastructure as code and enforce system configuration. System Administrators used shell scripts to run our servers and we still use them but even the best Systems Administrator is too busy to constantly devote time to modify hundreds and thousands of servers ever-changing system configuration. Puppet is an open-source configuration management and deployment tool used on multiple operating systems that include IBM mainframes, Cisco Switches, Windows Systems, Linux Systems and much more.
Ansible is an open-source configuration management and application deployment tool. It runs on many systems Linux systems and can configure Unix-like systems and Microsoft systems. It is simple and powerful allowing systems administrators to manage various physical devices including provisioning bare metal servers, network devices as well as storage devices.
Saltstack more commonly known as Salt is a configuration management tool that makes use of a central repository to provision new servers and other IT infrastructure. It is also utilized to make changes to existing systems, install software in IT environments that includes physical and virtual servers as well as in the cloud.
CFEngine is an open-source configuration management tool written in C. The primary function of CFEngine is to provide automated configuration and maintenance of large-scale systems which includes management of servers, desktops, industrial devices, smartphones, and tablets.
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Chad is an experienced Systems Administrator with exposure to various technologies and enterprise ICT environments. He has a huge passion for Technologies, specifically Linux, Open Source Software, Cloud Computing, DevOps, Software & Web Development, electronics, and IoT technologies.
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