Terraform & it's file structures - Infrastructure as Code (IaC)

Terraform & it's file structures - Infrastructure as Code (IaC)

Feb 22, 2023ยท

3 min read

Play this article

๐Ÿ“ Introduction:

Infrastructure as code (IAC) is the practice of managing and provisioning IT infrastructure through machine-readable configuration files instead of manually configuring individual components. Terraform is a popular open-source tool that facilitates IAC, allowing developers to manage infrastructure across multiple cloud providers, on-premises data centres, and various other services.

With Terraform, you define the desired state of your infrastructure in a configuration file using a declarative language called HashiCorp Configuration Language (HCL). The configuration file typically includes details such as the cloud provider, resources, settings, and dependencies, and can be version-controlled in the same way as any other code.

๐Ÿ“ Files used:

Terraform uses various files to define and manage infrastructure as code. Here are the details about some of the commonly used files in Terraform:

๐Ÿ”น main.tf:

This file contains the primary configuration for the infrastructure that you want to deploy. It defines the resources, variables, and data sources that Terraform uses to provision and manage infrastructure. You can include multiple resource blocks in this file, which are used to specify the configuration of individual resources, such as an EC2 instance, S3 bucket, or database instance.

๐Ÿ”นvariables.tf:

This file defines the variables used in the main configuration file, allowing you to parameterize your infrastructure and make it more flexible. You can use variables to specify things like the region, instance type, or resource names, and then reference these variables in the resource blocks of the main configuration file.

๐Ÿ”นoutputs.tf:

This file defines the output values that Terraform should provide after applying the main configuration. These outputs can include things like the public IP address of an EC2 instance, the endpoint URL of an API Gateway, or any other value that you want to use outside of Terraform, such as in a script or another configuration file.

๐Ÿ”นmodules.tf:

This file defines any reusable modules that you want to use in the main configuration. Modules are essentially self-contained sets of resources that can be reused across different configurations, making it easier to manage and maintain infrastructure across multiple environments. You can define a module in a separate directory and reference it in the main configuration file using a module block.

๐Ÿ”นbackend.tf:

This file defines the backend configuration for storing and retrieving Terraform state. Terraform state is used to track the current configuration of your infrastructure and ensure that it matches the desired configuration specified in the main configuration file. The backend configuration specifies the storage location for the state file, which can be a local file or a remote storage service like S3 or Consul.

๐Ÿ”น terraform.tfvars:

This file allows you to define the values of the variables used in the main configuration file, without hardcoding them in the file or passing them in as command-line arguments. You can define these variable values in a separate file, which Terraform will automatically load when you run the terraform apply command.

Overall, using these different files in Terraform can help you create more organized, modular, and flexible infrastructure as code, and make it easier to manage and maintain your infrastructure over time.

๐Ÿ“ Conclusion:

In conclusion, Terraform is a powerful tool for managing infrastructure as code, and it uses several different types of files to define and provision infrastructure resources. The main configuration file, main.tf, is where you define the primary infrastructure resources, while the variables.tf file allows you to parameterize the configuration and make it more flexible. The outputs.tf file defines the output values that you can use outside of Terraform, and the modules.tf file defines reusable modules for managing infrastructure. The backend.tf file defines the storage location for Terraform state, which is used to track the current configuration of your infrastructure. Finally, the terraform.tfvars file allows you to define the variable values without hardcoding them in the main configuration file. By using these different types of files, you can create more organized, modular, and flexible infrastructure as code and manage your infrastructure more effectively.

Did you find this article valuable?

Support Prasad Suman Mohan by becoming a sponsor. Any amount is appreciated!

ย