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In DevOps Last updated: September 8, 2023
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Let’s automate IT infrastructure.

There was a time when everything related to infrastructure installation, configuration, maintenance was getting done manually. Many people in a team used to get involved. Entire things were manual. This process had a considerable risk of human error, leading to poor application availability, security, and performance.

Not to forget the overall cost of the infrastructure.

But thanks to modern technology and philosophy like DevOps, that’s not a problem anymore.

Now, we have several tools out there to execute Infrastructure creation, deployment, management tasks. By leveraging the right software, one can automate the entire infrastructure with less human involvement. I am not talking about easy stuff but complex tasks like provisioning infrastructure, entire application setup, etc.

IT Infrastructure automation is the process of deploying hardware/software components, operating system, networking components, data storage component by using IaC (Infrastructure as Code). This process has human intervention only for writing such code, which will have every detail to create and deploy the necessary components.

Infrastructure: Why Automation Tools Are Essential

In today’s business world, communication, productivity, and efficiency are crucial aspects that cannot be overlooked. Technology must be effectively integrated to enhance communication.

Consider a scenario where routine tasks can be automated, reducing the necessity for manual intervention. This, in turn, facilitates easy and rapid scaling. Moreover, automation empowers organizations to adapt to changes and manage workloads more efficiently.

Tasks such as controlling user access, managing storage and data, setting up application workloads, handling workloads through install/move/add/change (IMAC) processes, addressing errors, and network management become more convenient with automation.

Key Role of IT Infrastructure Automation Tools

  • Efficient Workflows: Streamline tasks and cut costs with precise automation in Continuous Delivery.
  • Bimodal IT: Transition smoothly to bimodal IT with automation’s stability and speed.
  • Quick Updates: Deliver products faster and fix bugs promptly with infrastructure automation.
  • Faster DevOps: Accelerate DevOps adoption with full infrastructure automation.
  • Cost Savings: Automate to cut IT costs and optimize resource capacity.
  • User-Friendly Portals: Enhance user experience via self-service portals with business process automation.
  • Programming Infrastructure: Automate storage as a service across various platforms.
  • Cloud Benefits: Maximize cloud advantages using infrastructure automation.

Automation tools have revolutionized IT infrastructure by streamlining processes like system provisioning, which eliminates manual intervention and ensures consistency. Additionally, automation simplifies routine maintenance and patch management, enhancing security and stability while saving time for IT staff.

Automation tools are crucial for modern businesses, streamlining tasks, enhancing efficiency, and reducing manual work in IT infrastructure management. They simplify user access control, data management, and application setup, leading to cost savings, faster updates, and improved user experiences, all while ensuring security and stability. 

Here is a list of the most popular IT infrastructure automation tools widely used in the industry.


Ansible is an open-source agentless IT engine that automates application deployment, configuration management, IT orchestration. It was founded in 2012 and has been written in the most trending language currently, Python. To implement all the automation, Ansible uses a playbook, where all the configurations are written in a human-readable language, YAML.

If you are a newbie then check out this Ansible Introduction.

Ansible has an agentless architecture, which means you do not need to install any software separately on all the servers. It follows a push-based model where you need to have a local system with all the necessary configurations, and those configurations are pushed to the target servers.

YouTube video

Ansible features:

  • Automation with a simple human-readable language
  • Agentless architecture, you can connect to servers by simple SSH.
  • The push model pushes the configurations to the server from a local machine operated by you.
  • Built on Python, so it supports a lot of python libraries and functionalities.
  • A curated collection of Ansible modules by the Red Hat engineering team.

For the enterprise, Red Hat offers the Ansible Tower.

Ansible skill is good for Sysadmin, Developer, Infra engineer and if you need a little bit of headstart, check out this Udemy tutorial.


SaltStack can perform infrastructure management, configuration management, orchestration with speed. Compared to other similar tools like Chef and Puppet, the fast speed of SaltStack is a significant differentiator here. Its initial release happened in 2011, and just like Ansible, it is also written in Python.

It has a master-slave architecture, where Salt Master is the master daemon that manages everything and Salt Minions are the slave daemons installed on every managed system to execute the instructions sent by the Salt Master. Salt Master sends necessary configuration and commands to Salt Minions, and Salt Minions execute them on their machine to apply all the IT automation.

YouTube video

SaltStack features:

  • Designed for scale and speed, it can handle up to 10000 minions per master.
  • Very easy to set up, has a single remote execution architecture.
  • Configuration files in SaltStack support all kinds of languages.
  • It can execute commands on remote systems in parallel, which helps in applying the automation at speed.
  • Provides a simple programming interface using Python APIs.


One of the major causes of production incidents is an inconsistent application or infra configuration. This is a common problem, and Chef aims to fix this.

Chef is a configuration management tool for managing the infrastructure. It has been written in Ruby, and the initial release happened in 2009 by OpsCode.

Chef Infrastructure Management product keeps every environment consistent with the same configurations in the infrastructure. It provides various tools like Chef Infra, Chef Automate, Chef Enterprise, and Chef Community for infrastructure management.

YouTube video

Chef Infrastructure Management features:

  • Configurations are written in YAML, easy to learn the human-readable language.
  • It comes with multiple development tools for writing cookbooks (configurations), testing, and dependency resolution.
  • Easy collaboration features in the enterprise edition to handle complex environments with ease.
  • Support integration with hundreds of DevOps tools such as GitHub, Jenkins, Azure Terraform.


Bolt is one of the open-source projects of Puppet.

It is an agentless orchestration tool for IT automation. Using Bolt, you can automate all your manual tasks, which you have to do today as per the need-basis. I am talking about the tasks such as deploying an application, troubleshooting servers, stopping to restarting a service, patching and updating the systems, etc.

As Bolt is agentless, you don’t need to install any agent software on the remote target machines. You need to install Bolt on your local system, and you can connect the remote target systems using SSH or WinRM.

puppet bolt

Bolt features:

  • Write bolt plan (a combination of commands, scripts, and tasks) in YAML, straightforward to use and learn.
  • A lot of existing plans and workflows are available from Puppet Forge (module library).
  • Move your automation from Bolt to Puppet Enterprise with ease for better scalability.


Terraform is an open-source infrastructure provisioning tool used to create and deploy the infrastructure using infrastructure as code (IaC). Hashicorp has developed it, and the initial release happened in 2014.

Check out the Terraform introduction for beginners.

Terraform works pretty well with cloud providers such as AWS, Azure, GCP, Alibaba. You can deploy and manage your infrastructure on any of these cloud providers by using Terraform with ease. Currently, terraform is being widely used by many organizations for managing their Kubernetes clusters.

YouTube video

Terraform benefits:

  • Manages configuration of immutable infrastructure with ease.
  • Can do complete orchestration of infrastructure, not just configuration management.
  • Uses HashiCorp Configuration Language (HCL), which is human-readable and very easy to learn.
  • Provides ready-made modules and providers for hundreds of tools and technologies through terraform registry.

Once decided to use it, don’t forget to follow these Terraform best practices.


If you are looking to deploy applications into a test environment and gain the ability to test them automatically, imagine the benefits you receive: faster and more consistent delivery of your applications. Docker guarantees all of this ease.


It simplifies the development process, allowing developers to operate in consistent environments using local containers to create and host applications and services. Thanks to Docker’s container technology, this opens up opportunities to handle highly portable workloads. 

Docker Features:

  • Docker’s Role: Packages and runs apps in isolated containers for consistency.
  • Portability: Containers run consistently on different platforms and are easily shareable.
  • CI/CD Enhancement: Streamlines workflows with standardized environments for CI/CD.
  • Responsive Scaling: Allows quick scaling of apps in response to demand.

Docker enables high-concurrency container creation, whether locally or in the cloud. A multi-container approach eliminates bottlenecks in automated testing, transforming testing in the CI/CD pipeline.


Creating, updating, sharing, and using Charts has never been easier. Helm can simplify your life by automating these tasks and saying goodbye to manual copy-paste. 

Helm is like your helpful assistant in managing Kubernetes applications and making IT work smoother. With Helm Charts, you can clearly define, install, and update even the most complex Kubernetes apps, and Helm acts as the boss, ensuring everything runs smoothly.

Helm Features:

  • Simplifies creating, updating, sharing, and using Charts.
  • Allows clear definition, installation, and updates of complex Kubernetes apps.
  • Ensures smooth operations.
  • Facilitates easy updates and rollbacks.

Helm also makes updating easy; you can even go back to older versions if needed. It’s like having an intelligent tool to help you handle your IT stuff and Kubernetes applications without a fuss.


Renowned for its flexibility, Jenkins can function as a simple CI server or evolve into the pivotal hub for continuous delivery within any project. 

Additionally, it boasts a wide range of plugins crafted to streamline nearly any project’s development, deployment, and automation.

YouTube video

Jenkin’s Features:

  • Flexible: Jenkins is highly adaptable and can serve as a simple CI server or a comprehensive hub for continuous delivery.
  • Efficiency: Jenkins efficiently distributes tasks across multiple machines, speeding up builds, tests, and deployments.
  • Plugin Ecosystem: It offers many plugins to streamline project development, deployment, and automation.
  • Easy Setup: With a user-friendly installation process, Jenkins is ready to use on Windows, Linux, macOS, and Unix-like systems.

Furthermore, you’ll appreciate the effortless installation and configuration process. Jenkins is a self-contained Java-based application, preconfigured for immediate use, and available with packages tailored for Windows, Linux, macOS, and various Unix-like operating systems.”


As companies grow, change, and transition to hybrid cloud setups, the importance of effective and straightforward automation and task coordination becomes increasingly apparent and necessary. This is where Puppet comes into play. Puppet provides support at both the open-source and enterprise levels to simplify intricate processes.

YouTube video

Puppet Features:

  • Offers both open-source and enterprise-level support.
  • Extends the functionality of existing modules.
  • Simplifies automation and task coordination.

Furthermore, it enhances the capabilities of the modules you are familiar with. Many modules available on Puppet Forge include tasks that can be executed through Puppet Enterprise or directly from the command line using Bolt.


That was my list of the most popular infrastructure automation solutions that offer products for mid-size organizations to enterprise level. If you are getting into the DevOps domain and looking to automate your infrastructure and the monotonous tasks involved in it, this is the right time to choose one of the solutions mentioned above and start automating.

  • Avi
    Avi is a tech enthusiast with expertise in trending technologies such as DevOps, Cloud Computing, Big Data and many more. He is passionate about learning cutting-edge technologies and sharing his knowledge with others through… read more
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