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Cloud Foundry

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Terraform

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+ 1
320
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Cloud Foundry vs Terraform: What are the differences?

Developers describe Cloud Foundry as "Deploy and scale applications in seconds on your choice of private or public cloud". Cloud Foundry is an open platform as a service (PaaS) that provides a choice of clouds, developer frameworks, and application services. Cloud Foundry makes it faster and easier to build, test, deploy, and scale applications. On the other hand, Terraform is detailed as "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.

Cloud Foundry belongs to "Platform as a Service" category of the tech stack, while Terraform can be primarily classified under "Infrastructure Build Tools".

Some of the features offered by Cloud Foundry are:

  • Application and services centric lifecycle API
  • High performance dynamic routing
  • Buildpack support

On the other hand, Terraform provides the following key features:

  • Infrastructure as Code: Infrastructure is described using a high-level configuration syntax. This allows a blueprint of your datacenter to be versioned and treated as you would any other code. Additionally, infrastructure can be shared and re-used.
  • Execution Plans: Terraform has a "planning" step where it generates an execution plan. The execution plan shows what Terraform will do when you call apply. This lets you avoid any surprises when Terraform manipulates infrastructure.
  • Resource Graph: Terraform builds a graph of all your resources, and parallelizes the creation and modification of any non-dependent resources. Because of this, Terraform builds infrastructure as efficiently as possible, and operators get insight into dependencies in their infrastructure.

Cloud Foundry and Terraform are both open source tools. Terraform with 17.7K GitHub stars and 4.83K forks on GitHub appears to be more popular than Cloud Foundry with 605 GitHub stars and 532 GitHub forks.

According to the StackShare community, Terraform has a broader approval, being mentioned in 510 company stacks & 313 developers stacks; compared to Cloud Foundry, which is listed in 8 company stacks and 13 developer stacks.

Decisions about Cloud Foundry 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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Pros of Cloud Foundry
Pros of Terraform
  • 2
    Perfectly aligned with springboot
  • 1
    Free distributed tracing (zipkin)
  • 1
    Application health management
  • 1
    Free service discovery (Eureka)
  • 109
    Infrastructure as code
  • 72
    Declarative syntax
  • 44
    Planning
  • 27
    Simple
  • 24
    Parallelism
  • 7
    Cloud agnostic
  • 6
    Well-documented
  • 6
    It's like coding your infrastructure in simple English
  • 4
    Automates infrastructure deployments
  • 4
    Immutable infrastructure
  • 4
    Platform agnostic
  • 3
    Extendable
  • 3
    Automation
  • 3
    Portability
  • 2
    Lightweight
  • 2
    Scales to hundreds of hosts

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Cons of Cloud Foundry
Cons of Terraform
    Be the first to leave a con
    • 1
      Doesn't have full support to GKE

    Sign up to add or upvote consMake informed product decisions

    What is Cloud Foundry?

    Cloud Foundry is an open platform as a service (PaaS) that provides a choice of clouds, developer frameworks, and application services. Cloud Foundry makes it faster and easier to build, test, deploy, and scale applications.

    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.

    Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

    What companies use Cloud Foundry?
    What companies use Terraform?
    See which teams inside your own company are using Cloud Foundry or Terraform.
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    What tools integrate with Cloud Foundry?
    What tools integrate with Terraform?

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    What are some alternatives to Cloud Foundry and Terraform?
    Red Hat OpenShift
    OpenShift is Red Hat's Cloud Computing Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering. OpenShift is an application platform in the cloud where application developers and teams can build, test, deploy, and run their applications.
    Docker
    The Docker Platform is the industry-leading container platform for continuous, high-velocity innovation, enabling organizations to seamlessly build and share any application — from legacy to what comes next — and securely run them anywhere
    Kubernetes
    Kubernetes is an open source orchestration system for Docker containers. It handles scheduling onto nodes in a compute cluster and actively manages workloads to ensure that their state matches the users declared intentions.
    OpenStack
    OpenStack is a cloud operating system that controls large pools of compute, storage, and networking resources throughout a datacenter, all managed through a dashboard that gives administrators control while empowering their users to provision resources through a web interface.
    Heroku
    Heroku is a cloud application platform – a new way of building and deploying web apps. Heroku lets app developers spend 100% of their time on their application code, not managing servers, deployment, ongoing operations, or scaling.
    See all alternatives