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Bamboo vs Terraform: What are the differences?

Key Differences Between Bamboo and Terraform

Bamboo and Terraform are both popular tools used in the software development industry, yet they have key differences that make them suitable for different purposes. Here are the main differences between Bamboo and Terraform:

  1. Deployment and Infrastructure Management: Bamboo is primarily a continuous integration and deployment tool, whereas Terraform is an infrastructure provisioning and management tool. Bamboo focuses on automating the build and deployment process, while Terraform focuses on creating and managing infrastructure resources.

  2. Programming Language: Bamboo uses a visual interface and configuration files written in YAML or XML to define build and deployment pipelines. Terraform, on the other hand, uses a declarative language called HashiCorp Configuration Language (HCL) to define infrastructure as code. HCL allows for more flexibility and expressiveness when defining resources.

  3. Cloud Provider Support: Bamboo is a tool developed by Atlassian and is primarily designed for deployment to Atlassian's own cloud platform. While Bamboo does have some support for other cloud providers, it is mainly focused on the Atlassian ecosystem. Terraform, on the other hand, has broad support for various cloud providers, including AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, and more.

  4. Resource Orchestration: Bamboo focuses on the deployment process and orchestrating the different stages of the software development lifecycle. It provides features like release management, builds, and deployments. Terraform, on the other hand, focuses on orchestrating the creation and management of infrastructure resources such as virtual machines, networks, and storage.

  5. Version Control Integration: Bamboo is tightly integrated with Atlassian's version control system, Bitbucket, and offers seamless integration for source code management. It provides features like branch management, pull requests, and code reviews. Terraform, on the other hand, is agnostic to any specific version control system and can be used with any repository or version control system of choice.

  6. Plugin Ecosystem: Bamboo offers a wide range of built-in integrations and plugins to extend its functionality and integrate with other tools. It has integrations with various third-party services for notifications, test reporting, and code quality analysis. Terraform also has a plugin ecosystem, but its plugins focus on extending its capabilities for interacting with different cloud providers and managing different resources.

In summary, Bamboo is primarily focused on continuous integration and deployment, with strong integration with Atlassian's ecosystem, while Terraform is a tool for infrastructure provisioning and management, providing broad cloud provider support and a rich plugin ecosystem for managing different resources.

Decisions about Bamboo 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

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.


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.


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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Pros of Bamboo
Pros of Terraform
  • 10
    Integrates with other Atlassian tools
  • 4
    Great notification scheme
  • 2
    Great UI
  • 1
    Has Deployment Projects
  • 122
    Infrastructure as code
  • 73
    Declarative syntax
  • 45
  • 28
  • 24
  • 8
  • 8
    Cloud agnostic
  • 6
    It's like coding your infrastructure in simple English
  • 6
    Immutable infrastructure
  • 5
    Platform agnostic
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
    Automates infrastructure deployments
  • 4
  • 2
  • 2
    Scales to hundreds of hosts

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Cons of Bamboo
Cons of Terraform
  • 6
  • 1
    Low community support
  • 1
    Bad UI
  • 1
    Bad integration with docker
  • 1
    Doesn't have full support to GKE

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What is Bamboo?

Focus on coding and count on Bamboo as your CI and build server! Create multi-stage build plans, set up triggers to start builds upon commits, and assign agents to your critical builds and deployments.

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.

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See which teams inside your own company are using Bamboo or Terraform.
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