Pulumi vs Terraform

By HelloWorld PC
ยท4 min read
Pulumi vs Terraform

Pulumi is an infrastructure-as-code (IAC) platform that allows developers and operators to define, deploy, and manage cloud resources using familiar programming languages like Python, JavaScript, TypeScript, Go, and C#.

pulumi example

Pulumi has gained traction in the community for several reasons:

  • Familiar programming languages: Pulumi supports popular, general-purpose programming languages, enabling developers to leverage their existing skills and knowledge. This allows for a smoother learning curve and improved productivity.

  • Code reusability and modularity: Pulumi's support for general-purpose programming languages enables better code reusability, modularity, and organization. Developers can create custom abstractions, share code between projects, and apply software engineering best practices to infrastructure management.

  • Integration with existing tools and libraries: Pulumi's language support allows for easy integration with existing tools, libraries, and frameworks. This can help streamline development workflows and improve overall efficiency.

  • Strong support for cloud platforms: Pulumi provides support for a wide range of cloud providers, including AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, and Kubernetes. It also offers support for additional providers and services through its growing ecosystem.

  • Real-time feedback and preview: Pulumi offers real-time feedback and preview capabilities, allowing developers to see the impact of their infrastructure changes before applying them. This can help catch potential issues early and improve overall reliability.

  • State management: Pulumi manages state using its Pulumi Service, which simplifies state handling, locking, and consistency for users. This can lead to a more streamlined user experience compared to some other IAC tools.

  • Policy as Code: Pulumi includes policy-as-code capabilities, allowing organizations to enforce best practices, security policies, and compliance requirements across their infrastructure.

  • Growing community and ecosystem: Pulumi has been attracting attention from developers and organizations looking for a modern approach to infrastructure management. This has resulted in a growing community, ecosystem, and library of pre-built components.

Differences between Terraform and Pulumi

Both of them are infrastructure-as-code (IAC) tools that help users automate and manage their cloud infrastructure.

Although they share a common purpose, there are several differences between the two tools:

Language Support

Terraform: It uses its own domain-specific language (DSL) called HashiCorp Configuration Language (HCL) for writing infrastructure configurations. HCL is designed specifically for defining cloud infrastructure and resources, making it easy to read and understand.

terraform example

Pulumi: It supports general-purpose programming languages like Python, JavaScript, TypeScript, Go, and C#. This enables users to leverage existing programming skills and use familiar constructs, libraries, and tools for infrastructure management.

pulumi example

Ecosystem and Community

Terraform: Developed by HashiCorp, Terraform has a larger and more mature ecosystem with a broad range of supported cloud providers and services. It has a vast collection of pre-built modules and a large user community.

Pulumi: Pulumi is a newer and smaller player in the IAC space. Although it has a growing ecosystem and support for various cloud providers, its community and library of pre-built modules are not as extensive as Terraform's.

State Management

Terraform: It manages the state of infrastructure using a local or remote backend, which stores the current state of resources. Users must configure state backends and handle state locking and consistency.

Pulumi: It handles state management through its own Pulumi Service, which stores and manages the state by default. Pulumi automatically handles state locking and consistency, simplifying the user experience.

Pricing and Open Source

Terraform: It is an open-source tool, and its core functionality is free to use. HashiCorp also offers a commercial product called Terraform Enterprise that adds features like collaboration, governance, and enhanced security.

Pulumi: It offers a free tier with basic features and limited usage, but its advanced features and commercial support require a paid subscription. Pulumi's core is open source, but its service for state management is not.


Terraform: Terraform's HCL may have a learning curve for users who are not familiar with it. While Terraform has excellent cloud provider support, it can be more challenging to integrate with existing application codebases.

Pulumi: Since it uses general-purpose programming languages, Pulumi can more easily integrate with existing codebases, libraries, and frameworks, enabling developers to create reusable components and apply software engineering best practices to infrastructure management.


That said, both Terraform and Pulumi have their strengths and weaknesses. The choice between them will depend on factors such as the user's programming background, desired language support, existing tooling, and community support.

Despite being a newer player in the IAC space, Pulumi's unique approach of using general-purpose programming languages and its focus on developer experience has resonated with many in the community.

HelloWorld's professionals keep an eye on innovative solutions like Pulumi and Terraform, so they can use the right technologies and tools for the challenging problems they have to tackle every single day. Cheers!!

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