Nomad vs Terraform: Difference and Comparison

Hashi Corp is a software company based on a Freemium business model in California. It has its headquarters in San Francisco, California, and provides open-source tools and commercial products.

These help operators and developers provision, secure, run, and connect cloud-computing infrastructure. The company delivers these products all over the world.

Key Takeaways

  1. Nomad is a cluster manager and scheduler, while Terraform is an infrastructure as a code tool.
  2. Nomad focuses more on job scheduling and orchestration, while Terraform focuses more on infrastructure provisioning and management.
  3. Nomad has built-in support for containerization, while Terraform requires additional tools for container management.

Nomad vs Terraform 

The difference between nomad and terraform is that nomad is available online, whereas terraform is available offline. They both have several similarities. However, they are distinctive in their way. They share differences in terms of their founding, resources, classification, running, and usage. 

Nomad vs Terraform

Nomad is popularly used for cluster management in production by many small-scale and large-scale organizations and start-ups. Its key features include Simplicity & Reliability, Flexibility, Device Plugins & GPU Support, Federation for Multi-Region, Proven Scalability, and HashiCorp Ecosystem.

Nomad works on macOS, Windows, and Linux systems.

Terraform refers to a tool that serves the purpose of building, changing, and versioning infrastructure with safety and efficiency. Terraform has the capacity to manage service providers which are already in existence or popular, as well as custom in-house solutions.

Terraform can also manage low-level components. It helps to build new infrastructure from scratch.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonNomad Terraform
FoundedIt was released in September 2015.It was released in July 2014.
ResourceNomad supports reporting detailed statistics in many of its drivers.Terraform is designed to support any type of resource.
ClassificationIt is classified for Cluster management.It is classified as Infrastructure build.
RunIt is run online.It is run offline.
WorkingNomad runs on existing infrastructure and manages the lifecycle of applications running on that infrastructure.Terraform helps to build new infrastructure from scratch. Also running and managing an existing one. 
Used byIt is used by popular organizations like Trivago, Roblox, circleci, pandora, deluxe, and Radix.It is used by popular organizations like Uber Technologies, Instacart, and Slack.

What is Nomad?

Nomad refers to popularly used for cluster management in production by many small-scale and large-scale organizations, as well as start-ups. Its key features include Simplicity & Reliability, Flexibility, Device Plugins & GPU Support, Federation for Multi-Region, Proven Scalability, and HashiCorp Ecosystem.

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Because Nomad is an orchestrator, it has flexibility. This helps organizations to run containers, legacy, and batch applications at the same time on infrastructure.

It helps in bringing core orchestration benefits to legacy applications. This can be done without the need for containerization via pluggable task drivers.

Nomad is entirely self-contained as it runs as a single binary. It combines resource management and scheduling into one system without any external services for storage or coordination.

It is capable of automatically handling application, node, and driver failures. It is also distributed and resilient.

Nomad also offers built-in support for GPU workloads. These include machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI).

For automatic detection and resource utilization from hardware devices, it uses device plugins. These include GPU, FPGAs, and TPUs.

For multi-region federation, native support is provided, due to which multiple clusters can be linked together. Nomad possesses the ability to be optimistically concurrent.

Which helps in increasing throughput and reducing latency for workloads. Nomad has native integrations with Terraform, Consul, and Vault for the purpose of provisioning, service discovery, and secrets management.

What is Terraform? 

Terraform refers to a tool that serves the purpose of building, changing, and versioning infrastructure with safety and efficiency. Terraform has the capacity to manage service providers which are already in existence or popular, as well as custom in-house solutions.

The components needed to run a single application are described to Terraform by configuration files. Terraform creates an execution plan in which it states the process of reaching the preferred state. It later executes the same for building the given infrastructure.

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Terraform has the ability to determine changes and create new plans according to the configuration changes.

Terraform can also manage low-level components. These components include computing instances, storage, and networking, DNS entries, SaaS features, and others.

The key features of Terraform comprise Infrastructure as Code, Execution Plans, Resource Graphs, and Change Automation. For describing Infrastructure in terraforming infrastructure, a high-level configuration syntax is utilized.

Which helps in getting a blueprint, sharing, and reusing. 

Planning is a step in Terraform In, which creates an execution plan. This plan shows Terraform activities after user calls apply.

And lets the user have no surprises with manipulation. Terraform Resource Graph is a graph of a user’s resources and parallelism with creation and modification.

In an infrastructure complex, changesets can be applied with less interaction and human errors using Terraform.

Main Differences Between Nomad and Terraform

  1. Nomad was released in September 2015. Terraform was released in July 2014.
  2. Nomad supports reporting detailed statistics in many of its drivers. Terraform is designed to support any type of resource.
  3. Nomad is classified for Cluster management. Terraform is classified as Infrastructure build.
  4. Nomad is run online. Terraform is run offline.
  5. Nomad runs on existing infrastructure and manages the lifecycle of applications running on that infrastructure. Terraform helps to build new infrastructure from scratch. Also, running and managing existing ones. 
  6. Nomad is used by popular organizations like Trivago, Roblox, circles, Pandora, deluxe, and Radix. Popular organizations like Uber Technologies, Instacart, and Slack use Terraform.
References
  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/7919489/
  2. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/9139623/

Last Updated : 09 July, 2023

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23 thoughts on “Nomad vs Terraform: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The explanatory content about Nomad and Terraform greatly enriches our understanding of their functionalities. I look forward to exploring more content that presents detailed use cases and success stories associated with the practical application of these tools.

    Reply
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