Shape your (virtual) world with Terraform
January 16, 2017

Shape your (virtual) world with Terraform

Charles Anderson | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Terraform

We are currently using Terraform in some early development projects and looking at it as a possible replacement for Amazon Cloud Formation. So far, this is experimental and not production. We are provisioning virtual infrastructure in AWS - i.e., we are not using any of the cross-provider facilities. That said, avoiding vendor lock-in is an appealing benefit of Terraform.
  • I find the HashiCorp Configuration Language (HCL) superior to raw JSON used by Cloud Formation.
  • Being open-source is a plus not just for "philosophical" reasons, but it also provide rapid support when new products are announced from vendors like Amazon.
  • The fact that it's free and open-source means that it's easy to start evaluating Terraform (and most of the other tools from HashiCorp) without being pressured by sales people.
  • Until recently, there haven't been any books about Terraform. Although the online documentation for Terraform is pretty good, it's often nice to have a traditional book, especially when learning. Now, there are two books on the subject.
  • Terraform is rapidly evolving. Part of that is the nature of the space - vendors are always coming up with new offerings and API. But, some days I wish the targets would stop moving for a bit.
  • I can't say that we've had any ROI yet because we're not using Terraform in production. I look forward to building a (somewhat) self-documenting infrastructure and having multiple engineers working together on it.
  • AWS CloudFormation
CloudFormation is the lingua franca of AWS. You certainly can't go wrong using it, but I like the syntax and open-source nature of Terraform. That's mostly a personal preference. I have not tried any other non-Amazon tools for provisioning AWS. And, of course, the AWS tools don't work for non-Amazon clouds like Google or Azure.
Terraform is a great tool for building virtual infrastructures in clouds like Amazon and Google. If you are building a heterogenous infrastructure spanning multiple vendors, I don't know of any other single tool that can do that. Even in the case where you're just building AWS infrastructure, I prefer the HCL syntax of Terraform, and I dislike getting roped into using some of the Amazon tools.