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14 Apr
min read

9 Powerful Atlantis Alternatives to Enhance Terraform Efficiency

Discover top Atlantis alternatives that can take your Terraform automation to the next level. Maximize your infrastructure capabilities.

Jack Dwyer

Platform Engineering + DevOps

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Overview of Atlantis 

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Increased Visibility

With Atlantis, everything is visible on the pull request. You can view the history of everything that was done to your infrastructure. This visibility helps answer questions like "is what's in Main branch deployed?" or "did someone forget to create a pull request for that latest change?". It also includes details on what the output from the last Terraform apply was.

Enable Collaboration with Everyone

You probably don't want to distribute Terraform credentials to everyone in your engineering organization, but now anyone can open up a Terraform pull request. You can require approval before the pull request is applied so that nothing happens accidentally. This feature allows for safer and more controlled collaboration.

Review Terraform Pull Requests Better

Understanding what is Terraform, you can't fully review a Terraform change without seeing the output of Terraform plan. Now that output is added to the pull request automatically. This feature enables a more effective review of Terraform changes.

Standardize Your Workflows

Atlantis locks a directory/workspace until the pull request is merged or the lock is manually deleted. This ensures that changes are applied in the expected order. The exact commands that Atlantis runs are configurable, allowing you to run custom scripts for your ideal workflow.

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Why Use Atlantis to Manage Terraform Projects

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Streamlined Collaboration

Atlantis fosters smooth collaboration among team members by seamlessly integrating with version control systems, like Git, and providing a centralized platform for code review and feedback. 

It facilitates a structured and efficient workflow, ensuring that all changes are reviewed before being applied to the infrastructure. This feature is crucial for maintaining the integrity of the infrastructure and keeping the team aligned on the project's goals.

Infrastructure State Management

One of the most significant benefits of using Atlantis is its ability to manage the state of Terraform deployments. It expertly handles the isolation and management of Terraform state files, preventing conflicts arising from multiple developers simultaneously modifying the infrastructure. 

Atlantis ensures that each pull request or branch has its own isolated workspace, making it easier to review and apply changes without impacting other ongoing work. This feature is paramount for ensuring smooth operations and maintaining the project's integrity.

Review Process and Feedback

Atlantis seamlessly integrates with pull request systems like GitHub or GitLab, allowing teams to review and discuss Terraform changes directly within the pull request interface. Reviewers can provide feedback, request modifications, and approve changes, ensuring a thorough review process before any modifications are made to the infrastructure. This feature streamlines collaboration among team members, enhances accountability, and boosts overall project quality.

Enhanced Visibility

One notable advantage of using Atlantis is the clear overview it provides of the Terraform plan and apply process within the pull request or branch. This feature helps reviewers and stakeholders understand the intended changes and potential impact on the infrastructure. 

Atlantis displays the status and output of Terraform commands, making it easier to track the progress and results of infrastructure modifications. Enhanced visibility ensures robust communication, helps in decision-making and promotes transparency within the team.

Integration with CI/CD

Atlantis seamlessly integrates with CI/CD systems, enabling continuous integration and deployment of infrastructure changes. It can trigger the execution of Terraform commands as part of the CI/CD pipeline, ensuring changes are tested and deployed automatically while maintaining visibility and review processes. This integration streamlines the deployment process, improves team efficiency, and ensures accurate and reliable infrastructure configurations.

Why Consider Atlantis Alternatives? 

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Self-hosting and Community Support

Atlantis is a powerful tool for managing Terraform workflows, but it can be challenging to self-host and maintain. Depending on the community for support may not be sufficient for organizations looking for comprehensive assistance and reliable updates.

Lack of Concurrency

Atlantis operates in a single-threaded manner, which may be inefficient for larger environments. Without concurrent task processing, organizations may face delays in executing Terraform commands and managing infrastructure changes efficiently.

Limited High Availability

Atlantis lacks built-in high availability features, challenging organizations requiring resilient infrastructure for Terraform workflows. Setting up high availability for Atlantis would require additional configuration and infrastructure management.

Workflow Inflexibility

Atlantis requires creating a pull or merge request to run a Terraform plan, potentially hindering workflow flexibility. This rigid process might impede agility and efficiency for teams looking for more adaptable ways of executing Terraform commands.

Verbose Git Output

Atlantis outputs information in Git repository comments, making it challenging to follow the sequence of events and changes. This verbosity could hinder clarity and make troubleshooting and analysis more difficult.

Manual Backend Configuration

Atlantis demands configuring a remote backend to securely store state files, adding setup and management overhead for proper state file storage and access controls.

Lack of Access Control

Atlantis lacks access control, allowing anyone to disable apply commands if they access your instance.

No Drift Detection

Atlantis does not have direct drift detection capabilities, requiring integrating drift detection tools into the CI/CD process.

Policy Framework

While Atlantis supports Open Policy Agent (OPA), its integration might not be as robust as offered by other TACOS. This limitation could restrict the effectiveness of ensuring compliance across projects.

Maximizing Cloud Infrastructure Efficiency with Zeet

Zeet helps you get more from your cloud, Kubernetes, and Terraform investments, empowering your engineering team as strong individual contributors through our CI/CD & deployment platform. 

Contact Zeet to learn more about how Zeet can help you get seamless cloud deployments every time, fostering a top-performing engineering team.

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Top 10 Atlantis Alternatives To Enhance Your Workflow

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1. Zeet

Zeet is a CI/CD and deployment platform for Kubernetes and Terraform, designed to help teams become more efficient and productive by streamlining the deployment process and ensuring seamless cloud deployments every time. 

Zeet offers features like CI/CD workflows, RBAC, run concurrency, reporting, and integration with popular CI/CD tools.

2. Terraform Cloud

Terraform Cloud is HashiCorp’s managed service offering. It eliminates the need for unnecessary tooling and documentation for practitioners, teams, and organizations to use Terraform in production. Provision infrastructure in a remote environment that is optimized for the...

3. Digger

Digger: Digger is an open source tool that helps you run Terraform in the CI system you already have, such as GitHub Actions. It is a popular alternative to Atlantis for running Terraform in a familiar CI/CD environment, without the need for a separate CI/CD stack

4. Cloudify

Cloudify is an orchestration-first, model-driven cloud management platform native to Network function virtualization (NFV), that is open source and based on the TOSCA standard. It is a popular alternative to Atlantis for managing complex cloud environments

5. Scalr

Scalr is a fully supported alternative to Atlantis that offers GitOps, Terraform CLI, or Module-based workflows at scale. It is a drop-in replacement for your Terraform ecosystem, providing features like RBAC, run concurrency, reporting, and integration with popular CI/CD tools.

6. Spacelift

Spacelift is a sophisticated CI/CD platform for Terraform, CloudFormation, Pulumi, Kubernetes, and Ansible. It provides a more intuitive, versatile, and robust GitOps workflow, granular access control, drift detection, and many more features. Spacelift embraces all of Atlantis’ features, offering them in a modern and sophisticated SaaS product

7. Terraform Cloud

Terraform Cloud is HashiCorp’s managed service offering for Terraform. It eliminates the need for unnecessary tooling and documentation for practitioners, teams, and organizations to use Terraform in production. It is a popular alternative to Atlantis for managing Terraform workflows in a cloud environment

8. Terratag

Terratag is a CLI tool allowing for tags or labels to be applied across an entire set of Terraform or Terragrunt files. It is a popular alternative to Atlantis for managing tags and labels in Terraform workflows

9. Env0

env0 is a Software as a Service (SaaS) platform for Infrastructure as Code (IaC) management. It provides a user-friendly interface for managing Terraform workflows, with features like collaboration, deployment, and management of IaC with confidence

10. Pulumi

Pulumi is an open source infrastructure as code platform that helps teams tame the cloud’s complexity using the world’s most popular programming languages (TypeScript, Go, .NET, Python, and Java) and markup languages (YAML, CUE).

How to Choose the Right Atlantis Alternative

What is the Right Atlantis Alternative?

Version Control System Integration

The seamless integration of the chosen Atlantis alternative with version control systems like GitHub, GitLab, and Bitbucket is paramount for a hassle-free workflow. This integration ensures that all changes made to the infrastructure as code are recorded and can be rolled back if needed. The integration provides a single source of truth for all the team members involved, allowing them to easily collaborate and sync their changes.

User Interface and Experience

The role of a user-friendly interface in the efficiency of operations cannot be overstated. A cluttered or overly complex interface can slow down the team's progress and make adopting or implementing an Atlantis alternative more challenging. By focusing on a clean and intuitive user interface, the team can easily make changes to the infrastructure as code and manage them effectively.

Policy as Code Capabilities

Atlantis alternatives that offer robust policy as code capabilities are critical for governance, risk management, and compliance. With this feature, you can set up predefined rules and guidelines that the team must follow when making changes to the infrastructure as code. This ensures that all changes adhere to the organization's compliance standards and regulatory requirements, preventing potential breaches or vulnerabilities.

Automation and Workflow Customization

Different Atlantis alternatives allow customization of workflows to fit specific operational models. The ability to automate repetitive tasks, set up pipelines for code reviews, and configure notifications for specific events are crucial features to streamline operations. By customizing workflows to match your organization's unique requirements, you can enhance efficiency, reduce errors, and accelerate the pace of development.

Pricing and Cost Effectiveness

Evaluating the cost against the budget and the return on investment (ROI) of implementing an alternative solution is essential. Some Atlantis alternatives may offer a free tier for small teams or open-source projects, while others might require a subscription for additional features. Consider the long-term costs, scalability, and potential savings that the chosen solution can offer when making a decision.

Support and Community

The availability of support, community engagement, and resources for troubleshooting and learning is crucial when adopting a new Atlantis alternative. Having access to a knowledgeable support team, online forums, documentation, and tutorials can significantly speed up the onboarding process and help resolve any issues that may arise during implementation. A vibrant community can also provide valuable insights, best practices, and tips for optimizing the use of the selected Atlantis alternative solution.

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Get Control of Your Releases With Zeet's CI/CD & Deployment Platform for Kubernetes and Terraform

Zeet is a cutting-edge platform that aids companies in optimizing their cloud, Kubernetes, and Terraform investments. Our specialized CI/CD and deployment platform enables your engineering team to excel as individual contributors. 

By utilizing Zeet, you can achieve seamless cloud deployments and cultivate a high-performing engineering team that will significantly enhance your organization's overall efficiency. Zeet offers a comprehensive solution that propels your cloud operations to the next level, making it an excellent choice for businesses seeking alternatives to Atlantis. 

Contact Zeet today to discover how our platform can revolutionize your cloud deployment processes and empower your engineering team to excel.

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