Pulumi vs Terraform
Pulumi and Terraform are both popular Infrastructure as Code (IaC) platforms used for managing and provisioning cloud infrastructure resources.
They serve a similar purpose but have some differences in terms of their approach and features.
Pulumi is an open-source Infrastructure as Code (IaC) that you can use to build infrastructure on any cloud using languages like Go, Python, Typescript, Java, C#, YAML, etc.
On the other hand, Terraform is an Infrastructure as Code (IaC) popularly used for Infrastructure automation to provision and manage resources in any cloud or data center.
Common use cases for Terraform include Multi-cloud provisioning, Managing Kubernetes, Managing network infrastructure, enforcing policy as code, and managing virtual images.
Here’s a comparison of Pulumi and Terraform to help you choose the one that best suits your needs:
PULUMI VS TERRAFORM POPULARITY
If you want to use an Infrastructure as Code platform solely for its popularity among developers and DevOps Engineers, you should use Terraform over Pulumi.
Generally, Terraform is more popular than Pulumi. According to the 2023 Stack Overflow Survey, Terraform is used by 11.3% of developers while Pulumi is used by 0.82% of developers.
PULUMI VS TERRAFORM LANGUAGE AND SYNTAX
Terraform: Terraform uses its own declarative configuration language called HashiCorp Configuration Language (HCL).
It’s a domain-specific language designed specifically for infrastructure provisioning.
Pulumi: Pulumi allows you to write infrastructure code using familiar general-purpose programming languages such as Python, C#, Java, TypeScript, Go, and others.
This means you can use the language you are already comfortable with.
PULUMI VS TERRAFORM EASE OF USE
Terraform: Terraform’s HCL can be straightforward for simple tasks but might become challenging for complex scenarios. Some users find the learning curve steeper.
Pulumi: Pulumi’s use of general-purpose languages can make it more approachable for developers who are already familiar with those languages.
This can lead to easier adoption for teams with programming experience.
PULUMI VS TERRAFORM STATE MANAGEMENT
Terraform: Terraform is Self-managed by default, managed SaaS offering is also available. Terraform uses a state file to keep track of the current state of your infrastructure.
The state file can be stored locally or remotely (e.g., on AWS S3 or HashiCorp Consul). Remote state management is recommended for collaboration.
Pulumi: Pulumi stores state in cloud-specific backends such as AWS S3, Azure Blob Storage, or Google Cloud Storage. Pulumi also supports manual state management options.
PULUMI VS TERRAFORM PROVIDER ECOSYSTEM
Terraform: Terraform has a large and mature provider ecosystem, which means it supports a wide range of cloud providers, services, and third-party integrations.
Pulumi: While Pulumi has been growing its provider ecosystem, it may not be as extensive as Terraform’s.
However, Pulumi offers the ability to use SDKs to create custom providers more easily.
PULUMI VS TERRAFORM COMMUNITY AND ECOSYSTEM
Terraform: Terraform has a large and active community, which means extensive documentation, community-contributed modules, and third-party tools.
Pulumi: Pulumi’s community is growing, but it may not be as mature as Terraform’s.
It has its own module registry and resources, but it might not have the same breadth as Terraform’s ecosystem.
PULUMI VS TERRAFORM DEPLOYMENT AND UPDATES
Terraform: Terraform deploys and updates resources by creating a plan based on the desired state and then applying that plan. It follows a create-then-update strategy.
Pulumi: Pulumi applies changes incrementally, meaning it can create, update, or delete resources as needed. This can lead to more efficient updates in some cases.
PULUMI VS TERRAFORM COST ESTIMATION
Terraform: Terraform has limited built-in cost estimation capabilities, but it often requires third-party tools or manual analysis for accurate cost predictions.
Pulumi: Pulumi offers more built-in cost estimation features, including the ability to simulate changes and estimate costs before applying them.
CONVERTING FROM TERRAFORM TO PULUMI
According to the Pulumi documentation,
“The Pulumi CLI can convert existing Terraform source code written in the HashiCorp Configuration Language (HCL) into Pulumi source code via pulumi convert –from terraform.
In addition to converting source code, there is an option to automatically insert import IDs, so that you can also import state during the conversion.
This ensures live resources are brought under the control of Pulumi as well as letting you deploy and manage new copies of that infrastructure.”
IS PULUMI BETTER THAN TERRAFORM
Pulumi is better than Terraform when it comes to writing infrastructure code using general-purpose programming languages like C#, Java, TypeScript, Python, Go, and more.
This can be advantageous if your team is already proficient in one of these languages, as it reduces the learning curve.
Leveraging general-purpose languages means you can tap into their ecosystems for libraries, tools, and community support, potentially simplifying complex infrastructure tasks.
IS TERRAFORM BETTER THAN PULUMI
Terraform is better than Pulumi in terms of ecosystem and community. Terraform boasts a large and mature provider ecosystem, covering a wide range of cloud providers, services, and third-party integrations.
This breadth of support can be a significant advantage for projects that require diverse infrastructure components.
Terraform has a massive user community, leading to extensive documentation, community-contributed modules, and third-party tools.
This can be particularly helpful for getting answers to questions and resolving issues quickly.
SHOULD WE USE TERRAFORM OR PULUMI
The choice between Pulumi and Terraform depends on your team’s preferences, existing skill set, and specific project requirements.
Terraform’s HCL is well-established and widely adopted, making it a solid choice for many use cases.
Pulumi’s use of general-purpose languages can be appealing if your team is already proficient in those languages or if you value the additional features it offers for cost estimation and incremental updates.