Terraform vs Serverless Framework

3 minute read

Terraform and the Serverless Framework are two popular infrastructure-as-code tools that are widely used by developers and DevOps teams to automate the deployment and management of cloud resources. While both tools have similar goals, there are some key differences between them that make them better suited for certain use cases. In this blog post, we will compare Terraform and the Serverless Framework to help you decide which tool is right for your needs.


Terraform is an open-source infrastructure-as-code tool that allows developers to define and manage cloud resources in a declarative manner. With Terraform, you can define your infrastructure as code using a high-level configuration language called HCL (HashiCorp Configuration Language) or JSON. Terraform supports multiple cloud providers, including AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform, and can be used to manage a wide range of resources, such as virtual machines, databases, and networking.

One of the key benefits of Terraform is its ability to manage complex infrastructure environments. Terraform enables you to define dependencies between resources and can automatically create and manage resources in the correct order. This helps ensure that your infrastructure is consistent and avoids issues with resource conflicts or misconfigurations.

Terraform also provides a state management system that allows you to keep track of the current state of your infrastructure. This makes it easier to manage changes and rollbacks, as Terraform can detect and apply only the necessary changes to your infrastructure.

The Serverless Framework

The Serverless Framework is an open-source framework that enables developers to build and deploy serverless applications using popular cloud platforms like AWS Lambda, Azure Functions, and Google Cloud Functions. With the Serverless Framework, developers can define their application’s architecture and resources as code, using YAML or JSON files.

The Serverless Framework focuses on simplifying the deployment and management of serverless applications. It provides a set of pre-built templates and plugins that make it easy to create and deploy serverless functions, APIs, and other resources. The framework also supports continuous deployment, enabling developers to automatically deploy new versions of their applications when new code changes are pushed to the repository.

The Serverless Framework is designed for developers who want to build and deploy serverless applications quickly and efficiently. It abstracts away the underlying infrastructure and allows developers to focus on writing code.


When comparing Terraform and the Serverless Framework, there are a few key differences to consider.


Terraform can manage a wider range of resources and services, including virtual machines, databases, and networking. The Serverless Framework, on the other hand, is designed specifically for serverless applications.


Terraform provides more flexibility and customisation options. Developers can define their infrastructure using HCL or JSON, which allows for more fine-grained control over resources. The Serverless Framework, on the other hand, provides pre-built templates and plugins that make it easier to deploy serverless applications quickly, but with less customisation options.

Learning Curve

Terraform has a steeper learning curve than the Serverless Framework. Terraform’s configuration language can be more complex and requires a deeper understanding of infrastructure concepts. The Serverless Framework, on the other hand, is more straightforward and easier to learn for developers who are new to serverless architecture.

Resource Management

Terraform’s state management system enables you to keep track of the current state of your infrastructure and make changes accordingly. The Serverless Framework does not have a state management system, which can make it harder to manage complex applications.


Both Terraform and the Serverless Framework are great tools for managing infrastructure as code and deploying serverless applications. The choice between them depends on your specific needs and preferences.

If you’re looking for a tool that can handle infrastructure provisioning across multiple cloud and SaaS providers and manage the entire lifecycle of your infrastructure, Terraform might be the right choice for you. It offers a wide range of integrations, and you can use it to manage any type of infrastructure, not just serverless.

On the other hand, if you’re focused solely on serverless application development, the Serverless Framework provides an excellent set of tools to manage the deployment and management of your serverless applications. It offers a streamlined workflow and a great developer experience, with support for multiple serverless providers.

Ultimately, the choice between Terraform and the Serverless Framework depends on your specific use case and requirements. It’s recommended to try both tools and see which one suits your needs better.