Cloud Computing Industry: 7 Tools for Infrastructure Automation

Jerome Okutho, Content Marketer, Nclouds Cloud Services
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The cloud computing Industry & DevOps

The cloud computing industry has evolved a lot since the introduction of DevOps. With the right tools, you can now manage everything from configuration management and code deployments to server provisioning and automation.

Your choice of tools largely depends on your existing infrastructure and the goals you want to achieve as a business. In this article, you will find a list of DevOps tools you use to build software quickly, consistently, and more efficiently.

  ​Selecting the right tools for your infrastructure is critical to your success as a business in the cloud computing industry 

1. Docker

Docker is a popular software containerization platform in the cloud computing industry that eliminates “works on my machine” problems when working with on code with other people in your team. It does this by creating isolated environments for applications known as containers. Containers have everything needed to make a piece of software run. And unlike virtual machines, containers don’t require a full operating system. They only require the libraries and settings needed to make the software work, which means that your software will always run the same, regardless of where you deploy it.

2. Jenkins

Jenkins is a leading Java-based open source tool that helps you create a continuous delivery hub for your projects. It seamlessly integrates with control systems such as GitHub or SVN to enable faster delivery of applications. Each time you push your code to a repository, Jenkins builds and tests the code and tells you the results. Jenkins also has tools modeling simple-to-complex continuous delivery (CD) pipelines “as code.” This allows you to keep all your CI/CD pipelines as a complete code.

3. Terraform

Terraform is a cloud agnostic infra provisioning tool that lets you create, change, and version your infrastructure safely and efficiently. It uses a DSL known as HCL (Hashicorp configuration language) to manage custom in-house solutions, as well as existing service providers. It only takes a few days to get up and running with terraforming. You’ll also be able build graphs of all your resources and parallelize the creation and modification of any non-dependent resources.

4. Chef

Chef is a configuration management tool that lets you automate and manage your infrastructure, run-time environments, and applications. It uses a concept called cookbooks, to code your infrastructure in DSL (domain specific language) and configure virtual machines according to the rules you mention in the cookbooks. You can also use an agent running on all your servers to pull the cookbooks from the Chef master server and run those configurations on the server to reach its desired state.

5. Puppet

Puppet is another configuration management tool for versioning, automated testing, and continuous delivery. Puppet’s configuration code is wrapped in modules and written in puppet's DSL. It enables you to define your infrastructure as code and test changes before deploying them to production. With Puppet’s automation features, you’ll have the confidence of knowing your deployments will go as expected every time.

6. Vagrant

If you want to configure virtual machines for your developments environment, then Vagrant is one of the best tools for the job. The tool supports modern VM solutions like VirtualBox, VMware, and hyper-V, and uses a configuration file called Vagrantfile, which has the settings need for the virtual machines. After creating a VM, you can share it with other developers that have the same development environment or use plugins to connect with other tools such as Puppet and Docker.

7. Ansible

Ansible automates configuration management, cloud provisioning, application deployment, intra-service orchestration, and much more. Configuration modules in Ansible are known as “playbooks”. The playbooks are written in YAML format, which makes them easier to write than other configuration management tools. Ansible’s simplicity not only helps you orchestrate multiple slices of your infrastructure, but it also eliminates compatibility problems between server and agent versions.

Selecting the right tools for your infrastructure is critical to your success as a business in the cloud computing industry.

There are a few other tools we did not include in this article. For example, SaltStack, a Python-based tool for configuration management.

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