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Packer

538
501
+ 1
42
Pulumi

129
227
+ 1
14
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Packer vs Pulumi: What are the differences?

Packer: Create identical machine images for multiple platforms from a single source configuration. Packer automates the creation of any type of machine image. It embraces modern configuration management by encouraging you to use automated scripts to install and configure the software within your Packer-made images; Pulumi: Open-source cloud development platform. Pulumi is a cloud development platform that makes creating cloud programs easy and productive. Skip the YAML and just write code. Pulumi is multi-language, multi-cloud and fully extensible in both its engine and ecosystem of packages.

Packer and Pulumi can be categorized as "Infrastructure Build" tools.

Some of the features offered by Packer are:

  • Super fast infrastructure deployment. Packer images allow you to launch completely provisioned and configured machines in seconds, rather than several minutes or hours.
  • Multi-provider portability. Because Packer creates identical images for multiple platforms, you can run production in AWS, staging/QA in a private cloud like OpenStack, and development in desktop virtualization solutions such as VMware or VirtualBox.
  • Improved stability. Packer installs and configures all the software for a machine at the time the image is built. If there are bugs in these scripts, they'll be caught early, rather than several minutes after a machine is launched.

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

  • Containers - Deploy a Docker container to production in 5 minutes using your favorite orchestrator.
  • Serverless - Stand up a serverless API or event handler in 5 minutes using a real lambda in code.
  • Infrastructure - Manage cloud infrastructure or hosted services using infrastructure as code.

Packer and Pulumi are both open source tools. Packer with 9.09K GitHub stars and 2.48K forks on GitHub appears to be more popular than Pulumi with 3.02K GitHub stars and 134 GitHub forks.

Decisions about Packer and Pulumi

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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Pros of Packer
Pros of Pulumi
  • 27
    Cross platform builds
  • 9
    Vm creation automation
  • 4
    Bake in security
  • 1
    Good documentation
  • 1
    Easy to use
  • 5
    Infrastructure as code with less pain
  • 3
    Best-in-class kubernetes support
  • 1
    Can use many languages
  • 1
    Can be self-hosted
  • 1
    Built-in secret management
  • 1
    Simple
  • 1
    Multi-cloud
  • 1
    Great CLI

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What is Packer?

Packer automates the creation of any type of machine image. It embraces modern configuration management by encouraging you to use automated scripts to install and configure the software within your Packer-made images.

What is Pulumi?

Pulumi is a cloud development platform that makes creating cloud programs easy and productive. Skip the YAML and just write code. Pulumi is multi-language, multi-cloud and fully extensible in both its engine and ecosystem of packages.

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What companies use Pulumi?
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What are some alternatives to Packer and Pulumi?
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
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.
Vagrant
Vagrant provides the framework and configuration format to create and manage complete portable development environments. These development environments can live on your computer or in the cloud, and are portable between Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.
Ansible
Ansible is an IT automation tool. It can configure systems, deploy software, and orchestrate more advanced IT tasks such as continuous deployments or zero downtime rolling updates. Ansible’s goals are foremost those of simplicity and maximum ease of use.
AWS CloudFormation
You can use AWS CloudFormation’s sample templates or create your own templates to describe the AWS resources, and any associated dependencies or runtime parameters, required to run your application. You don’t need to figure out the order in which AWS services need to be provisioned or the subtleties of how to make those dependencies work.
See all alternatives