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There are several open source tools available to manage infrastructure as code that are backed by large communities of contributors with enterprise offering and good documentation. Why do we choose Terraform and what makes it unique / stand out? Terraform is used to provision an infrastructure and manage the infrastructure changes by versioning. It can manage components such as compute instances, storage, and networking, as well as high-level components such as DNS entries etc.

 

Good Fit for Cloud Agnostics Strategy

Enterprises would be interested to mitigate the availability risk of mission critical system in cloud by spreading their services across multiple cloud providers. Also, enterprises would always look for avenues to reduce their infrastructure cost by moving away from vendor locking situation. Terraform comes as savior for these use cases by being cloud-agnostic and allows a single configuration to be used to manage multiple providers, and to even handle cross-cloud dependencies by simplifying management and orchestration.

 

An Orchestration Tool

Chef, Puppet, Ansible, and SaltStack are all “configuration management” tools that are designed to install and manage software on existing servers whereas Terraform is an “orchestration tool” that is designed to provision the servers and leaving the configuring job to other tools. While there might be certain overlapping features between orchestration and configuration tools, each tool is going to be a better fit for certain use case. For example, when an infrastructure is dominated by Containers, all you need to do is provision a bunch of servers, then an orchestration tool like Terraform is typically going to be a better fit than a configuration management tool

 

Combat Configuration Drift

While configuration tools are best known to combat the configuration drift in the infrastructure, they are mostly used to manage a subset of machine’s state that will lead to some gap in the infrastructure state. The management will see diminishing returns to close those gaps against the matter that needs the most for daily operations. This set of issues can be mitigated with Terraform along with Containers.

 

For example, if you tell configuration tool to install a new version of OpenSSL, it’ll run the software update on your existing servers and the changes will happen in-place. Over time, as you apply more and more updates, each server builds up a unique history of changes, causing configuration drift. If you’re using Docker and an orchestration tool such as Terraform, the docker image is already built ready for the new servers. A new server will be deployed and then uninstall the old servers. All the server states will be maintained by Terraform. This approach reduces the likelihood of configuration drift bugs.

 

Conclusion

Overall, Terraform is an open source and cloud-agnostic orchestration tool with salient features. While it might be a less mature tool compared to other tools in the market, Terraform is still a good candidate to meet a specific set of requirements.

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Requirements:-
  1. First step in getting up and running is to install VirtualBox. You can get appropriate version from the www.virtualbox.org
  2. Need to install vagrant. The same procedure is applies; grab the installer from ww.vagrantup.com.

We can start the cluster setup, so we need the vagrant file for cluster setup using that only we can set it out.


Or Else clone the below git repository for getting sample vagrant file


https://github.com/coreos/coreos-vagrant

Now that every thing is downloaded, we can look at how to configure vagrant for your CoreOS development environment

  1. Make copies and rename the configuration files: copy-user-data to user-data, and copy and rename config.rb.sample to config.rb
  2. Open confi.rb so that you can change the a few parameters to get vagrant up and running properly.
  3. You may also want to tweak some other settings in config.rb. CPU, Memory settings can be modified as per your need.
  4. And then open the git shell to interact with vagrant



    Go to your current working directory in your shell and issue this command

    You will see the things happening, which will look like this ,



    Once the operation is completed you can verify that everything is up and running properly by logging in to one of the machines and using fleetctl to check the cluster

    If you see list of machines you created then you are finished, you now have a local cluster of CoreOS machines.

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AWS, DevOps, Docker

A microservices-based architecture introduces agility, flexibility and supports a sustainable DEVOPS culture ensuring closer collaboration within businesses and the news is that it’s actually happening for those who embraced it.

 

True, monolith apps architectures have enabled businesses to benefit from IT all along as it is single coded, simple to develop, test and run. As they are also based on a logical modular hexagonal or layered architectures (Presentation Layer responsible for handling HTTP requests and responding with either HTML or JSON/XML, Business logic layer, Database access and Apps integration) they cover and tie all processes, functions and gaps to an extent.

Despite these ground level facts, monolith software, which is instrumental for businesses embrace IT in their initial stages and which even exists today, is seeing problems. The growing complex business operation conditions are purely to be blamed.

 

So, how do businesses today address new pressures caused by digitization, continuous technology disruptions, increased customer awareness & interceptions and sudden regulatory interventions? The answer lies in agility, flexibility and scalability of the underlying IT infrastructure- the pillars of rapid adaptability to changes.

 

Monolith Apps, even though it is based on a well-designed 3 tier architecture, in the long run, loses fluidity and turns rigid. Irrespective of its modularity, modules are still dependent on each other and any minimal change in one module needs generation and deployment of all artifacts in each server pool, touched across the distributed environment.

 

Besides whenever there is a critical problem, the blame game starts amongst the UI developers, business logic experts, backend developers, database programmers, etc as they are predominantly experts in their domains, but have little knowledge about other processes. As the complexity of business operations sets in, the agility, flexibility and scalability part of your software is highly tested in a monolithic environment.

 

Here’s where Microservices plays a huge role as the underlying architecture helps you break your software applications into independent loosely coupled services that can be deployed and managed solely at that level and needn’t have to depend on other services.

 

For example, if your project needs you to design and manage inventory, sales, shipping, and billing and UI shopping cart modules, you can break each service down as an independently deployable module. Each has its own database, where monitoring and maintenance of application servers are done independently as the architecture allows you to decentralize the database, reducing complexity. Besides it enables continuous delivery/deployment of large, complex applications which means technology also evolves along with the business.

 

The other important aspect is that microservices promotes a culture wherein whoever develops the service is also responsible to manage it. This avoids the handover concept and the following misunderstandings and conflicts whenever there is a crisis.

In line with the DevOps concept, Microservices enables easy collaboration between the development and operations team as they embrace and work on a common toolset that establishes common terminology, as well as processes for requirements, dependencies, and problems. There is no denying the fact that DevOps and microservices work better when applied together.

 

Perhaps that’s the reason companies like Netflix, Amazon, etc are embracing the concept of microservices in their products. And for other new businesses embracing it, a new environment where agility, flexibility and closer collaboration between business and technology becomes a reality providing the much-needed edge in these challenging times.

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