Full Stack Developer
Terraform is a tool for building, changing, and versioning infrastructure safely and efficiently. Terraform can manage popular service providers as well as custom in-house solutions. It is used to define and provision the complete infrastructure using an easy-to-learn declarative language called the HashiCorp Configuration Language (HCL).
Terraform can help with multi-cloud by having one workflow for all clouds. The infrastructure, Terraform manages can be hosted on public clouds like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform, or On-prem in private clouds such as VMWare vSphere, OpenStack, or CloudStack. Even if you are only using one cloud, Terraform is a great option and can make it easier to leverage multi-cloud later. Terraform treats infrastructure as code (IaC), so you never have to worry about your infrastructure drifting away from its desired configuration.
Infrastructure can be shared and re-used. Using Terraform, the same environment can be created over and over. For example, the production environment can be codified and then shared with Staging, QA, or Dev. These configurations can be used to rapidly spin up new environments to test in, and then be easily disposed of.
Like other kinds of code, infrastructure-as-code belongs in version control, so Terraform Cloud is designed to work directly with your version control system (VCS) provider. Having the code in a version control system like Git allows teams to collaborate on infrastructure. Team members can get specific versions of the code and create their environments for testing or other scenarios.
Multi-cloud deployments can be very challenging as many existing tools for infrastructure management are cloud-specific. Terraform is cloud-agnostic and allows a single configuration to be used to manage multiple providers, and to even handle cross-cloud dependencies. This simplifies management and orchestration, helping operators build large-scale multi-cloud infrastructures.
Each tier can be described as a collection of resources, and the dependencies between each tier are handled automatically; Terraform will ensure the database tier is available before the web servers are started and that the load balancers are aware of the web nodes. Each tier can then be scaled easily using Terraform by modifying a single count configuration value. Because the creation and provisioning of a resource are codified and automated, elastically scaling with load becomes trivial.
Terraform is a very powerful tool that helps us to adopt the Infrastructure-as-Code practice in our projects. This power, however, comes with its challenges. In this article, we've provided a quick overview of this tool so we can get a better understanding of its capabilities and its basic concepts.
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