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Mike Tyson of the Cloud
Mike Tyson of the Cloud

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16 Best tools to Design your CICD Engine ⚙️ 🚀

This blog post will show you all the tools that might simplify cloud deployments.

For beginners, Terraform is open-source software developed by HashiCorp, that enables predictable and consistent provisioning of Cloud platform, classic infrastructure, and VPC infrastructure resources by using a high-level scripting language. You can use Hashicorp Terraform to automate your Cloud resources provisioning, rapidly build complex, multi-tier cloud environments, and enable Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC).

Think of a scenario in which you are deploying your cloud infrastructure by gluing tools together.

To simplify this discovery, there are several tools you can use and test:

Brainboard — CI/CD Engine

Welcome to the era of the CI/CD Workflow Designer, your all-in-one CICD engine!

Brainboard cloud ci/cd solution

  • Visually design and orchestrate your deployment workflows without a single line of code.
  • Connect your automation ecosystem with OPA, Infracost, Checkov, or Terrascan…
  • Centralize your custom automation strategies and remote-run deployments.
  • Execute, optimize and manage workflows for successful outputs.
  • One of the biggest added values in terms of deployment is that Brainboard manages the upgrades and maintenance of the supported plugins: Infracost, OPA…

Brainboard’s CICD workflow designer is out now. Discover it for free →

Best tools to design your CICD pipeline:

We are not promoting any tool we did not test before. If you know any other CICD tool, please drop an email and would love to give it a try and if valuable for the community, will be posted in this article 😄

Spacelift: Infrastructure CI/CD platform

Spacelift CI/CD

Spacelift is a CI/CD platform for Terraform, Cloudformation, Pulumi, and Kubernetes:

Native pull request integrations
Approve workflows and policies with DevSecOps and FinOps team
Visualize your resources, provisioned and deployed infrastructure
Get insight into application state, resource usage, cost, ownership, changes, access, associated runs, and more

Env0: Remote run

Env0 CI/CD

Env0 is a complete remote-run solution for DevOps:

Store terraform state remotely using remote backend
Plan and apply on pull requests
Automatic drift detection
Create custom flows using YAML

Scalr: Terraform Cloud alternative

Scalr CI/CD

Scalr is a remote state & operations backend for Terraform with:

Create approval workflows
Lock state files to avoid configuration conflict
Automatically trigger plans from commits
Keep a history of all the applies and outputs

Hashicorp Terraform Cloud

Hashicorp Terraform cloud CI/CD

Terraform Cloud enables infrastructure automation for provisioning, compliance, and management:

Run infrastructure as code remotely
Standardize infrastructure across your provisioning pipelines
Set up permissions and governance across any resource managed by Terraform
Terraform Enterprise is also considered a CICD Engine with advanced SLA, support, and functionalities.

CircleCI vs. TravisCI vs. GoCD


These 3 products are very similar in terms of functionalities:

CircleCI enables automated builds across multiple environments improving developer productivity. It is keen to secure your pipeline.
TravisCI is the building block of the internet, focusing its positioning on a code build & test mechanism.
GoCD is a free and open-source CI/CD server that enables model visualization and AWS / Kubernetes / Docker deployments.
Semaphore CI is a modern CI/CD pipeline configuration solution, focused on DevOps support and training.

Jenkins: Open source automation server

Jenkins CI/CD

Jenkins is the leading open-source automation server for building, deploying, and automating any project:

Extensible automation server
Easy installation in a self-contained Java-based program
Hundreds of plugins and extensible

GitLab vs. GitHub

GitLab CI/CD

GitLab and GitHub have been fighting for years & both offer similar features.

Initially, GitLab was the one that offered Continuous Integration and Delivery (CI/CD). GitHub actions “quite recently” followed its tracks offering CI/CD to clients as well.

GitHub’s CD only works with any GitHub event such as Build, test, or publish or with community-powered workflows. It natively supports any coding language such as Node.js, Python, Java, Ruby, PHP, Go, Rust, .NET. The same goes for container registry and security scanning on the platform: You will also have to manually configure pipelines on GitHub because they don’t come pre-configured.

GitLab, on the other hand, does not require third-party integrations at any point, making it easier to manage. It also pre-configures its pipeline integrations and allows parent and child pipelines to run simultaneously. Additionally, the AUTO DevOps feature makes security scans and licensing issues easier and simplifies Kubernetes deployment to the cloud.

Codeship by CloudBees

Codeship CI/CD

Codeship (by Cloudbees) is a SaaS solution that empowers engineers to implement CI and CD in the cloud:

Easy to set up with advanced workflows and config-as-code
Dedicated single-tenant AWS instances

Octopus: Best UI

Octupus Deploy

Octopus Deploy simplifies complex deployment workflows through better-built code OR their simplified UI:

Brach your code and deployments through code
Commit changes to your deployment process on a branch, and add (optional) commit messages.
Review, approve, and merge your branches before you are ready to deploy to production.

Chef Software: Best for DevSecOps

Chef CI/CD

Progress Chef is a configuration management tool for the DevSecOps team:

Define infrastructure, security policies, and application requirements as code
Deliver the stack via an automated pipeline to any platform (on-premises or in the cloud)
Deploy, observe and manage ongoing changes.

Bamboo by Altassian


Bamboo (by Altassian) is a continuous delivery pipeline with a focus on support:

Connect with Bitbucket and Jira across any deployment type
Release by using Docker and AWS CodeDeploy

AWS CodeDeploy vs. Azure DevOps

AWS CodeDeploy CI/CD

Both products are providers specific:

AWS CodeDeploy automates code deployment on AWS.
Azure DevOps automates code deployment on Azure. I personally like Azure pipelines as it is used to build, test and deploy CI/CD with any language, platform or cloud.

Atmos by CloudPosse

Atmos CI/CD

Atmos (by Cloud Posse) is a relatively newly YAML-based workflow automation tool with limited use cases:

Terraform Automation and Collaboration (TACOs)
Large Multi-Account Environments
Resilient Multi-Region Cloud Deployments
Implement Guardrails with Policy as Code (ideal for enterprise environments!)
Enable Team Autonomy with Self-Service with Infrastructure as Code
Provide Service Catalogs, Landing Zones, and Architectural Blueprints

Brainboard — CI/CD Engine

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Brainboard’s in-app CI/CD Workflow Designer
Brainboard is a collaborative solution that enables cloud architects, DevOps, and Infrastructure managers to design, deploy, and manage their AWS, Azure, GCP, and Oracle cloud infrastructure.

Brainboard’s CICD workflow designer is out now. Discover it for free →

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