Maintainable Infrastructure As Code In Pure Python With Pulumi

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About this Episode


After you write your application, you need a way to make it available to your users. These days, that usually means deploying it to a cloud provider, whether that’s a virtual server, a serverless platform, or a Kubernetes cluster. To manage the increasingly dynamic and flexible options for running software in production, we have turned to building infrastructure as code. Pulumi is an open source framework that lets you use your favorite language to build scalable and maintainable systems out of cloud infrastructure. In this episode Luke Hoban, CTO of Pulumi, explains how it differs from other frameworks for interacting with infrastructure platforms, the benefits of using a full programming language for treating infrastructure as code, and how you can get started with it today. If you are getting frustrated with switching contexts when working between the application you are building and the systems that it runs on, then listen now and then give Pulumi a try.


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  • Your host as usual is Tobias Macey and today I’m interviewing Luke Hoban about building and maintaining infrastructure as code with Pulumi


  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python?
  • Can you start by describing the concept of "infrastructure as code"?
  • What is Pulumi and what is the story behind it?
    • Where does the name come from?
    • How does Pulumi compare to other infrastructure as code frameworks, such as Terraform?
  • What are some of the common challenges in managing infrastructure as code?
    • How does use of a full programming language help in addressing those challenges?
    • What are some of the dangers of using a full language to manage infrastructure?
      • How does Pulumi work to avoid those dangers?
  • Why is maintaining a record of the provisioned state of your infrastructure necessary, as opposed to relying on the state contained by the infrastructure provider?
    • What are some of the design principles and constraints that developers should be considering as they architect their infrastructure with Pulumi?
  • Can you describe how Pulumi is implemented?
    • How does Pulumi manage support for multiple languages while maintaining feature parity across them?
    • How do you manage testing and validation of the different providers?
  • The strength of any tool is largely measured in the ecosystem that exists around it, which is one of the reasons that Terraform has been so successful. How are you approaching the problem of bootstrapping the community and prioritizing platform support?
  • Can you talk through the workflow of working with Pulumi to build and maintain a proper infrastructure?
  • What are some of the ways to approach testing of infrastructure code?
    • What does the CI/CD lifecycle for infrastructure look like?
  • What are the limitations of infrastructure as code?
    • How do configuration management tools fit with frameworks such as Pulumi?
  • The core framework of Pulumi is open source, and your business model is focused around a managed platform for tracking state. How are you approaching governance of the project to ensure its continued viability and growth?
  • What are some of the most interesting, innovative, or unexpected design patterns that you have seen your users include in their infrastructure projects?
  • When is Pulumi the wrong choice?
  • What do you have planned for the future of Pulumi?

Keep In Touch


Closing Announcements

  • Thank you for listening! Don’t forget to check out our other show, the Data Engineering Podcast for the latest on modern data management.
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The intro and outro music is from Requiem for a Fish The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA