There are a lot of blogs/articles available to learn the Terraform. Here, I am sharing my learning notes and references. I have been using ARM templates (simple and complex), for the last 4-5 years. I feel writing Terraform code is easy, helps to be lean and manageable. Also, the most important thing it has in-built intelligence. Like every other technology/ architecture, both Terraform and ARM Templates have their pros and cons.

  1. Multivendor: The advantage of Terraform is it’s vendor-neutral. Whereas other cloud-native IaC tools ( ARM template or AWS cloud formation) work well with the respective vendor but not with others.

  2. Syntex/ Language: Azure ARM templates and AWS cloud formation uses the JSON as its syntax language. Terraform uses the Hashicorp Configuration Language (HCL), which is more human-readable as compared to JSON.

  3. Native Support: Though most of the cloud vendors support the terraform, but there are a couple of features/ functions/ configurations which is only supported through the native tools.

  4. Modularity: Terraform and ARM template follow the modularity principle. Nested templates are the Azure way to modularize the infrastructure code. But the nested templates are not accessible through the local system by Azure Resource Manager. You need to host them on external storage (e.g. Azure storage or GitHub etc.). However, Terraform modules can be accessed locally.

  5. Predictability: Terraform Plan feature helps you to predict the deployment outcome upfront. This will helps to prevent any unwanted actions that might cause service disruptions. ARM templates ‘validate’ commands only helps you to validate the syntax and dependencies but not help you to understand the deployment outcome.

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About Ajeet Chouksey

A passionate, certified technologist, blogger, author and community contributor with 13+ years of industry experience on delivering continuous value to the client. My specialisms are Azure, Modern Engineering/ DevOps, defining, implementing the technical strategies and solutions.