HashiCorp Consul vs. HashiCorp Terraform

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
Consul
Score 9.1 out of 10
N/A
HashiCorp Consul is a tool for discovering and configuring services in the IT infrastructure. It provides service discovery, health checking, key/value stores and support for multiple data centers out of the box.
$0
always free
HashiCorp Terraform
Score 8.5 out of 10
N/A
Terraform from HashiCorp is a cloud infrastructure automation tool that enables users to create, change, and improve production infrastructure, and it allows infrastructure to be expressed as code. It codifies APIs into declarative configuration files that can be shared amongst team members, treated as code, edited, reviewed, and versioned. It is available Open Source, and via Cloud and Self-Hosted editions.
$0
Pricing
HashiCorp ConsulHashiCorp Terraform
Editions & Modules
Open Source (self-managed)
$0
always free
HCP Consul (Cloud)
$0.027/hr
Per Hour
Enterprise
Self-Managed Custom Deployments
Open Source
$0
Team & Governance
$20/user
per user/per month
Enterprise
Contact sales team
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
ConsulHashiCorp Terraform
Free Trial
YesNo
Free/Freemium Version
YesYes
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
YesNo
Entry-level Setup FeeOptionalNo setup fee
Additional Details
More Pricing Information
Community Pulse
HashiCorp ConsulHashiCorp Terraform
Considered Both Products
Consul
Chose HashiCorp Consul
We used to use Microsoft SQL Server for configuration management of our services.
Unfortunately that was a pain because of:
  • Developers did not know how to persist objects effectively in MS SQL Server
HashiCorp Terraform
Chose HashiCorp Terraform
We have used Vagrant to develop our application in a virtual box environment and prepare it to be packed with Packer. The image created from these two tools will be deployed by Terraform.

We are using Consul for service discovery and as a job locking so we don't have two jobs or …
Chose HashiCorp Terraform
Terraform has made better choices in how their product works, is used over time, and can be integrated with.
Top Pros
Top Cons
Best Alternatives
HashiCorp ConsulHashiCorp Terraform
Small Businesses

No answers on this topic

HashiCorp Vagrant
HashiCorp Vagrant
Score 9.9 out of 10
Medium-sized Companies
Red Hat OpenShift
Red Hat OpenShift
Score 8.6 out of 10
Ansible
Ansible
Score 8.9 out of 10
Enterprises
IBM Cloud Managed Istio
IBM Cloud Managed Istio
Score 8.7 out of 10
Ansible
Ansible
Score 8.9 out of 10
All AlternativesView all alternativesView all alternatives
User Ratings
HashiCorp ConsulHashiCorp Terraform
Likelihood to Recommend
8.1
(5 ratings)
6.4
(25 ratings)
Usability
10.0
(1 ratings)
8.0
(1 ratings)
Performance
-
(0 ratings)
9.4
(3 ratings)
Support Rating
8.8
(2 ratings)
7.4
(5 ratings)
Ease of integration
-
(0 ratings)
9.2
(3 ratings)
User Testimonials
HashiCorp ConsulHashiCorp Terraform
Likelihood to Recommend
HashiCorp
Consul can provide a light-weight, lightning-fast and robust solution for the following:
  • Network mesh
  • Service DNS
  • Global key-value store (values can be complex objects as well)
  • Utility for blue-green deployments
  • Service health checking
Consul can be used in any or a combination of these scenarios. Regardless if you are a network administrator or a regular software engineer, Consul can add value to your work.
Read full review
HashiCorp
8 because it's currently best-in-class and is completely essential to use in contrast to not expressing your infrastructure as code. That said, new contenders are nipping at its heels, and I expect stronger tools to emerge in the coming years. Hopefully the Terraform team is able to keep pace.
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Pros
HashiCorp
  • Key-Value database management.
  • Service discovery.
  • Centralized configuration database with native high availability.
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HashiCorp
  • Terraform is cloud agnostic. Just select the suitable provider for the cloud and it will do the job.
  • Templating is possible to make the Terraform templates reusable.
  • Variables can be created to make the templates generic so that it can be reused for different environments or resources.
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Cons
HashiCorp
  • The GUI: The GUI interface for Consul has gotten a lot better over the years. Since Consul is so easy to interact with via API, this isn't a showstopper, but for those that are less command line inclined it's always nice to be able to refer them to an easy to use and understand web interface
  • It's chatty: Consul is extremely chatty. Sometimes it's particularly chatty at 2am with no indication as to why and eats up quite a bit of resources. Just be sure to provision your systems that typically take a heavy load with a little extra for Consul
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HashiCorp
  • The errors generated by the plan and preview commands are pretty cryptic, it can be hard for newcomers to the scripting language to understand how to address problems.
  • Access controls around workspaces is limited which makes it harder to secure reduce the scope of teams ability.
  • Analytics around user usage, applies and plans would be helpful for managemenet.
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Usability
HashiCorp
Consul's API is extremely user friendly. While their web interface isn't quite as "mature", it's still pretty easily navigated for the average person. Together they make a pretty easy to pick up and use tool.
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HashiCorp
I love Terraform and I think it has done some great things for people that are working to automate their provisioning processes and also for those that are in the process of moving to the cloud or managing cloud resources. There are some quirks to HCL that take a little bit of getting used to and give picking up Terraform a little bit of a learning curve, thus the rating
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Performance
HashiCorp
No answers on this topic
HashiCorp
Terraform's performance is quite amazing when it comes to deployment of resources in AWS. Of course, the deployment times depend on various parameters like the number of resources to deploy and different regions to deploy. Terraform cannot control that. The only minor drawback probably shows up when a terraform job is terminated mid way. Then in many cases, time-consuming manual cleanup is required.
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Support Rating
HashiCorp
I've never used paid support from HashiCorp, but I consider its support a good one, since they provide a lot of free resources for the community and there are good user groups supporting you on several sorts of issues. Also, HashiCorp is known as a company with a strong relationship with the community, that is easily noticed by the events HashiCorp promotes over the world.
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HashiCorp
I have yet to have an opportunity to reach out directly to HashiCorp for support on Terraform. However, I have spent a great deal of time considering their documentation as I use the tool. This opinion is based solely on that. I find the Terraform documentation to have great breadth but lacking in depth in many areas. I appreciate that all of the tool's resources have an entry in the docs but often the examples are lacking. Often, the examples provided are very basic and prompt additional exploration. Also, the links in the documentation often link back to the same page where one might expect to be linked to a different source with additional information.
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Alternatives Considered
HashiCorp
Consul was easier to configure out of the box than Serf and gave us more initial options. Its easy to use tools and support were by far superior to Serf in many ways. Support alone was one of those areas that Serf could take an example from Consul to keep its customers happy.
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HashiCorp
Terraform is the solid leader in the space. It allows you to do more then just provisioning within a pre-existing servers. It is more extensible and has more providers available than it competitors. It is also open source and more adopted by the community then some of the other solutions that are available in the market place.
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Return on Investment
HashiCorp
  • It contains a native web UI, which in contrast to its counterparts, is handy, very intuitive and - most importantly - very informative. It leaves no room for doubt about your services "forest" health. So, for that purpose, the learning curve was almost down to non-existent. Our team managed to work seamlessly with Consul being our services API
  • Our management staff had a difficult time understanding what Consul was really all about. For technical staff it is pretty simple to understand the huge value such a tool can pose to our suite of solutions, but once our management staff took the grasp of its valuable handy set of tools, we didn't take long to start using it and keeping track of our Swarm overall health, with was a constant concern for the entire company before.
  • For load balancing purposes, we were relying pretty much on guesses before we decided to use Consul. One would check a certain node overall health and decide if we would need to spring a new instance at AWS or Digital Ocean.
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HashiCorp
  • we are able to deploy our infrastructure in a couple of ours in an automated and repeatable way, before this could take weeks if the work was done manually and was a lot of error prone.
  • having the state file, you can see a diff of what things have changed manually out side of Terraform which is a huge plus
  • if state file gets corrupted, it is very hard to debug or restore it without an impact or spending hours ..
  • writing big scale code can be very challenging and hard to be efficient so it's usable by the whole team
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ScreenShots

Consul Screenshots

Screenshot of Screenshot of

HashiCorp Terraform Screenshots

Screenshot of Terraform StateScreenshot of Terraform RunsScreenshot of Terraform VariablesScreenshot of Terraform WorkspacesScreenshot of Terraform Cost Estimation