Azure Infrastructure as Code tools allows organizations to manage IT infrastructures using code and forego manual intervention. Three of the most popular Azure IaC tools in the industry are PingSafe, Microsoft Azure Resource Manager (ARM), and Amazon AWS – CloudFormation; there are many offerings available in the market, and cloud service providers are working on incorporating the latest features with upcoming releases.
Read on to learn more about the best Azure IaC Tools in 2023.
Table of Contents
- What are Azure IaC Tools?
- Top 10 Azure IaC Tools in 2023
- What You Should Know Before Investing in Azure IaC Tools?
What are Azure IaC Tools?
Azure IaC Tools are technology solutions that help teams build and deploy infrastructure components, applications, and solutions safely and securely. These tools help businesses manage a vast share of computing resources over the cloud and streamline IT provisioning. They reduce the need for manual intervention and automate infrastructure management. Businesses that use Azure IaC tools experience fewer turnovers, improved business workflows, and increased efficiency and performance.
Top 10 Azure IaC Tools in 2023
There are many Azure IaC tools available in the market and every solution caters to different business and security requirements. The following is a list of the best Azure IaC tools for 2023:
PingSafe is one of the best Azure IaC tools in 2023 and offers organizations a Comprehensive Cloud-Native Application Protection Platform (CNAPP). It can detect and remediate cloud misconfigurations before deployment and provides effective Cloud Security Posture Management. PingSafe gives great Offensive Security by simulating different forms of attacks on cloud resources and identifies all possible exploits, including scoping out for false positives and remediating them. The platform offers Agentless Vulnerability Management for securing cloud workloads. It delivers cutting-edge Cloud Compliance Monitoring, supporting up to 20+ industry standards and regulations like the PCI DSS, NIST, and ISO 27001.
- Powerful Cloud Detection and Response (CDR) capabilities decimates container vulnerabilities and remediate cluster misconfigurations
- Real-time Secret Scanning for over 800+ secret types in GitHub, GitLab, BitBucket, and many more
- Advanced Cloud Workload Protection Platform (CWPP) for cloud VMs and containers.
- Enforces Shift-Left security and empowers effective Kubernetes Security Posture Management (KSPM)
- Infrastructure as Code tool for Azure, Terraform, CloudFormation, and other IaC templates
PingSafe’s Starter plan commences at 2000 USD per month.
Terraform is one of the most powerful Azure IaC tools and is completely open-source. It is primarily developed for large teams and offers many governance features. Multiple organizations can use Terraform cloud templates and collaborate on various projects. Terraform Cloud uses the Terraform CLI for infrastructure provisioning and runs team-oriented remote Terraform workflows for optimized Azure security and performance.
- Infrastructure automation and provisioning for any cloud environment or data center
- HCL for composing Infrastructure as Code in Terraform files
- Role-based access controls, scalable workflows, policy enforcement, and audit
- Integrates with ITSM, CI/CD, and VCS
3. Azure Resource Manager
Azure Resource Manager uses declarative templates instead of scripts to manage cloud infrastructure projects and assets. It centralizes an organization’s billing by grouping resources and applying tags for logical organization. Users can deploy and redeploy the solution throughout the development cycle and ensure consistent states. It also natively integrates with all Azure services and provides a management framework to lock, tag, and secure Azure resources after deployment. It is one of the best Azure IaC tools because of its continuous monitoring, support, and smart management administrative framework.
- Centralized dashboard and seamless integrations with third-party apps and services offered by the Microsoft Azure Marketplace
- Customizable and readily available ARM templates
- Role-based access controls (RBACs) and OAuth authentication
4. Google Cloud Deployment Manager
Google Cloud Deployment Manager is one of the leading Azure IaC tools in 2023 since it lets users define Microsoft Azure resources and assign their properties and granularities. It can create deployments across multiple services like Compute Engine, Cloud Storage, and Cloud SQL. It is a template-driven Azure IaC tool with a focus on deployment code reusability, application performance, and declarative language.
- Simple and easy-to-use templates for managing Azure and cloud resources
- Creates configuration files and comes with training documentation
- Supports Python and Jinja2 languages
Crossplane is a game changer for multi-cloud environments and one of the most popular Azure IaC tools. It uses Kubernetes APIs to extend clusters and can provision, manage, and orchestrate cloud infrastructures, applications, and services. The best feature of Crossplane is its no-code development and distributed applications made on it are always production-ready.
- Drift detection and synchronization
- Smooth integrations with cloud-native tools
- Role-based Access Controls (RBACs) and container orchestration
- Provides support for AWS and GCP resources
Puppet is one of the leading Azure IaC tools to automate server configurations and brings systems to desired states on the cloud. It is primarily used for configuration management, can configure hosts, and control all machines in a centralized manner. Puppet can manage multiple OS platforms like Ubuntu, Microsoft Windows, MacOS X, RedHat, Centos, Fedora, etc. It can verify settings at regular intervals and restrict to ranges that are defined by users for Iac tools for Azure.
- Cross-platform support
- Resource Abstraction Layer (RAL) tool
- Configuration management
If you are looking for modern configuration management platforms, then Saltstack is one of the best Azure IaC tools. It allows organizations to securely and flexibly scale their infrastructure components and remediate threats with the latest security policies. Saltstack is powerful since it can also be used for infrastructure automation. It supports a wide variety of operating systems like Vmware vSphere, Windows, and BSD Unix variants.
- In-depth cloud reporting and analytics
- Multi-master support and web-based UI
- SAML, OIDC, LDAP, and Active Directory integration
- Fault tolerance, Python APIs, and Parallel Execution
- Industry-standard security policies with compliance profiles like DISA STIGS and CIS
Pulumi is different from other modern IaC tools and allows developers to use a general-purpose programming language to manage their cloud resources. It is useful in maintaining a homogenous codebase and can help think in constructs such as variables, functions, classes, and loops. More than 75 SDK providers have been added to it and the Pulumi CLI is a powerful way to run previews and view updates on infrastructure programs and components.
- Identity and access Controls
- Search and analytics
- Pulumi Deployments REST API
- State and Secrets Management
Ansible automates infrastructure orchestration, cloud provisioning, and application deployments, being one of the most recognized IaC tools in 2023. It uses open-source command-line IT automation that is written in Python to make changes to system configurations. Organizations experience huge productivity gains once they implement it into their code deployment and network configuration workflows. It can also handle cloud management and is a great platform for those that seek low-code development.
- Cloud provisioning for virtualized hosts, bare-metal servers, and network devices
- Agentless and orchestrates entire application environments
- Passwordless network authentication protocol
10. AWS CloudFormation
AWS CloudFormation allows users to use templates to create, update, and delete entire infrastructure stacks. It is one of the most up-to-date IaC tools and can configure desired cloud resources in various ways while also managing their dependencies. CloudFormation can provision third-party resources and offer great incident management, version control tools, and pre-built modules from the likes of Stackery and JFrog.
- JSON and YAML authoring
- Cross-region and cross-account management
- Serverless application development with SAM
- Safety controls and dependency management
What You Should Know Before Investing in Azure IaC Tools?
Azure ARM templates are written in JSON, and PingSafe supports YAML and JSON. Most major Azure IaC Tools use any of these two formats, which is the industry’s recommendation. Terraform configuration files are easier to maintain and can help track down errors quickly, thus making the security debugging process seamless and hassle-free.
Modularity is another aspect of using Azure IaC Tools. It will let you reuse configuration files in different deployment environments and reuse modular components across multiple CloudFormation templates. CloudFormation does not offer native support for Azure modules but provides nested stacks. The AWS Service Catalog is a unique service of AWS that helps with Azure modularity and is known for running CloudFormation templates in the backend.
To modularize configuration code, you can nest templates or break them into multiple template files. Terraform modules will let you group resources and reuse them as often as you want. PingSafe will scan your entire infrastructure from an attacker’s point of view, identify, prioritize, and auto-remediate critical issues. It can be one of your best choices if you are trying to enhance Azure security. PingSafe’s deep cloud analysis will also understand and prevent lateral movement within networks, thus minimizing noise and enhancing threat visibility. PingSafe AI provides in-depth scans of your company’s assets and cloud credentials and will automatically mitigate security risks without impacting workload performance. Companies that run their business operations on public cloud environments are commonly known for using these Azure IaC tools. The most popular segments are Fintech, education, enterprises, and e-commerce.
Azure IaC Tools can significantly improve productivity, streamline cloud workflows, and improve automation efficiency. Most of these tools serve as a unique source of truth; experts can help you design custom IaC workflows. The most significant benefit of using these solutions is that they satisfy different customer requirements. They can also be flexible when giving appropriate responses to clients, are highly personalized, and are easy to use.