2020 has caused a significant shift in how IT operates, permanently changing the IT landscape in the next few years, leading to a new age of infrastructural agility. The constantly evolving customer needs coupled with the disrupted business landscape are making speed, efficiency, and productivity imperative across organizations of all shapes and sizes. And with almost 83% of enterprises shifting their workloads to the cloud, businesses can no longer afford to continue with the messy task of manually provisioning and maintaining their cloud resources.

If we go back in time, we will see that the core vision of the cloud was to automate services on-demand and help businesses scale dynamically. While that vision is a reality today, there are areas like installation, configuration, and management that are still being carried out manually. That’s why automated provisioning is so crucial in today’s environment. Without automated provisioning, businesses cannot deliver innovation to customers while responding to changes in the environment in real-time.

When you automate the configuration and deployment of the instances required and free the process from human interventions, you automatically increase the efficiency and reliability of your existing operations while significantly saving on your Opex. It’s true that system provisioning or deployment and implementation through automation solutions are not inexpensive, but it helps save a significant amount of your operation expenses in the long haul.

Automated provisioning is achieved by using tools or software that are designed to automate processes like installation, configuration, and management of cloud infrastructure and aid enterprises in focusing on their core businesses. While there are a wide variety of tools to perform specific automation tasks, today, we have compiled a list of the most popular automate provisioning tools that encompass the entire process.

Automate Provisioning Tools

Tool Description
AWS CloudFormation

A tool by AWS for its own cloud platform, AWS CloudFormation helps users automate provisioning and managing private or third-party resources throughout the application lifecycle. With this tool, scaling an infrastructure across all AWS regions and accounts becomes easier. 

Key features:

●  Extensibility

●  Cross-account and cross-region management

●  Building server ess application with AWS Serverless Application Model (SAM)

●  Automated dependency management

Microsoft Azure Automation

An automation and configuration service from Microsoft, Azure Automation provides automated control over deployment, maintenance, and compliance tasks, and it is applicable across Azure and non-Azure. 

Key features:

●  Process automation

●  Configuration management

●  Update management

●  Shared capabilities

Google Cloud Deployment Manager

Designed to build cloud infrastructure through GCP, Google Cloud Deployment Manager helps in automating the configuration and deployment of Google cloud with repeatable deployments and template-driven configurations. It comes with a set of tools including CLIs, APIs, and GUIs covering the entire infrastructure configuration and management cycle. 

Key features:

●  Parallel deployment

●  Python and Jinja2 templates

●  Input and output parameters

●  Declarative language


This container orchestration tool from Cloud Native Foundation is popular for automating deployment, scaling, and management of container applications. Kubernetes is supported by most of the tech giants. Users can easily deploy and run applications on microservice architecture in any cloud environment. 

Key features:

●  Dynamic volume provisioning

●  Storage volumes created on-demand 


A leading name in the configuration automation market, Puppet helps in modeling, configuring, and enforcing required infrastructure configurations. From computing to storage and networking resources, Puppet works for all cloud variants on a large scale. 

Key features:

●  Out-of-the-box orchestration

●  Task-based command execution and multi-device management

●  GUI console

●  Integration with major cloud players


Now a part of the RedHat family, Ansible is on its way to become an industry standard for infrastructure automation. Its simple language, playbooks make it easy to write automation, configuration, and orchestration tasks. 

Key features:

Easy-to-use, task-based infrastructure automation

GUI-based inventory management

Flexible REST API


This open-source, flexible, and scalable systems management tool makes it easier to manage all aspects of cloud infrastructure ranging from data center automation, server provisioning, cloud orchestration, configuration management, etc. 

Key features:

●  Agentless node management

●  Automating security compliance

●  Orchestration, predictability, and automation

●  Full-fledged client/server model


Another popular open-source infrastructure configuration tool developed by Opscode, Chef, is focused on compliance management and reducing manual and repetitive infrastructure management tasks. Developed on Ruby DSL language, it is used by DevOps teams to deploy and manage both on-prem and cloud servers and applications. 

Key features:

●  Uses Ruby to create a domain-specific language

●  Lower barrier for entry

●  Integration with major cloud technologies

●  Best for deploying and managing server, storage, and software

VMware vCenter Configuration Manager

A popular tool for configuring and maintaining the VM cloud in line with security and compliance standards, vCenter Configuration manager helps in automating server provisioning for both physical and virtual IT systems and applications. 

Key features:

●  Extensive configuration and compliance management

●  Out-of-the-box configuration compliance toolkits

●  Automated remediation of VMware infrastructure

●  Easy configuration and compliance tasks management in all cloud environments


Another open-source tool, Terraform can automatically configure high-level cloud resources through extensive graphing. It requires secondary tools like Chef or Puppet to automate configuration management on those high-level resources. 

Key features:

●  Infrastructure as code

●  Execution plans to avoid any surprises

●  A graph for all the resources

●  Change automation to avoid possible human errors


This configuration management tool is used to automate enterprise IT infrastructure by eliminating manual tasks such as patch management, system provisioning, configurations, etc. This tool runs on autonomous agents and prevents configuration drift through frequent system checks and automating remediation. 

Key features:

●  Defines configuration of the entire infrastructure

●  Ensures compliance

●  Offers real-time modifications or updates


An end-to-end lifecycle management, Foreman helps in provisioning cloud instances on all cloud variants. With Foreman, system admins gain the power of easily automating tasks, deploying apps, and managing servers, both physical and virtual. 

Key features:

●  Provisioning on bare-metal, virtualisation and cloud

●  Comprehensive, audible interaction

●  Deep integration with Puppet, Chef and Salt

Final thoughts

While enterprises are loving the concept of automated cloud provisioning, the tools alone do not serve the entire purpose of automation. It needs resources with in-depth knowledge about the tools and their usage. There is so much these tools can offer and only a skilled resource can help you reap the true benefits of it.

Cloud4C is helping enterprises in automating their provisioning through years of experience and excellence in cloud environments. With us, your cloud deployments will be in a better position to achieve the desired level of efficiency, effectiveness, and agility. For more information, click here.

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Team Cloud4C
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Team Cloud4C

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