Why is Terraform so Popular for DevOps?

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Terraform is the go-to tool for devops, allowing tasks to be defined once in a declarative way. It centers around an immutable infrastructure that can then be updated easily with minimal downtime or risk of human error. This makes it not only popular among developers but also important tools for companies such as Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services.,

Terraform is a DevOps tool that allows for the automation of infrastructure provisioning, configuration management, and application deployment. It was created by HashiCorp and has been gaining popularity in recent years.

Why is Terraform so Popular for DevOps?

In a DevOps environment, infrastructure as code (IaC) is a critical component. DevOps engineers may do a lot more with less administration by treating infrastructure like code. Terraform and DevOps go hand in hand since IaC is so vital.

But, when alternative technologies like Ansible, Azure Resource Manager Templates, Chef, Puppet, and others exist, why is Terraform so popular? You’ll discover out in this article. You’ll discover why the Terraform is so popular, and you’ll even get to see it in action with a basic example!

Let’s get started if you’re ready!

Why are Terraform and DevOps so closely linked?

Terraform has already shown its worth in the DevOps world. It’s shown to be a useful tool for a variety of tasks, each of which falls fully on the shoulders of any DevOps specialist.

  1. Terraform doesn’t discriminate when it comes to the cloud, thus it can manage a multi-cloud environment. Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Microsoft Azure, and other cloud service providers are all supported natively by Terraform. You may use Terraform to handle one or five distinct cloud environments with a single configuration file. Terraform doesn’t care whether you use an Azure SQL database, AWS EC2 instances, or Google Cloud Storage.
  2. Configuration in a declarative manner — Terraform employs a declarative approach, unlike most scripts, which use an imperative approach (defining a series of actions). Terraform declares and maintains the intended state of an infrastructure resource. The sequence in which resources are specified is unimportant with its declarative approach. It’s intelligent enough to recognize a variety of resource needs on its own.
  3. Terraform maintains a record of every resource it provides using state-based lifecycle management. Terraform uses the prior state to monitor state throughout one or 100 iterations, ensuring that resources are always in the anticipated state. Terraform will guarantee that the state is as you specify it, regardless of how the infrastructure is configured today. Terraform will carry out your commands with minimum finagling, whether you’re adding, modifying, or deleting a resource.
  4. Idempotency – Terraform will apply the state you’ve set for the infrastructure regardless of its current state. Terraform is idempotent, which means you may run it as many times as you like and it will simply disregard any needed modifications if no updates are required.
  5. Terraform primarily employs the Hashicorp Configuration Language, which is an easy-to-understand language (HCL). HCL is less verbose and simpler to grasp than other IaC tools.

Terraform Infrastructure Provisioning Demonstration

Enough with the babbling. Let’s have a look at a basic example where Terraform is used to provision cloud infrastructure. In this demo, you’ll learn the fundamentals of Terraform and how to use it to supply infrastructure.

Prerequisites

If you want to follow along with this demonstration, make sure you have the following items on hand:

Using Azure to create a Docker Container

This demonstration will illustrate how to construct a Docker container in Azure using Terraform. In this video, you’ll use Terraform to build a tfresname Azure resource group in the southafricanorth Azure region. You’ll next deploy a Docker container named terraform-node-app when it’s been constructed.

Docker for Windows: How to Deploy Your First Container

The Terraform Configuration File is being created.

1. Make a directory on your computer where the Terraform configuration files will be saved. /terraform-node-app will be used in this demonstration.

2. Create and save a text file named main.tf in your chosen code editor. This is the Terraform configuration file where you will specify all resources.

3. As indicated below, specify the azurerm provider in the configuration file. When you begin Terraform, you must declare this provider so that it can download the necessary tools to operate with Azure.

The azurerm provider v2.5.0 is used in this demonstration. For the most recent version, see the Terraform changelog.

In addition, you’ll see an empty features block. If required, you may alter the provider’s behavior in the features block.

version = “2.5.0” supplier “azurerm” features

4. Create an Azure resource group by adding an azurerm resource group resource block. The resource block below establishes an Azure resource group named tfresname in the southafricanorth Azure region and specifies a user-configurable resource block called tf resource.

“azurerm resource group” “tf resource” name = “tfresname” location = “southafricanorth” resource “azurerm resource group” “tf resource” name = “tfresname” location = “southafricanorth”

5. Finally, add an azurerm container group resource block that contains the container you want to create. The code below creates an Azure container group for the Docker image and container, as well as a container named terraform-node-app that uses the deborahemeni/terraform-node-app Docker image.

“tf container” resource “azurerm container group” “terraform node app” is the name of the app. azurerm resource group.tf resource.location = azurerm resource group.tf resource.location ip address type = “public” resource group name = azurerm resource group.tf test.name os type = “Linux” dns name label = “app dns” container “terraform-node-app” is the name of the app. “deborahemeni/terraform-node-app” image = “deborahemeni/terraform-node-app” cpu = “0.5” cpu = “0.5” cpu = “0.5” ports = “1.5” memory a port of 443 and a protocol of “TCP”

Terraform in Motion

Terraform needs to supply the resources now that you’ve prepared the configuration file; it’s time to execute Terraform.

1. Open a command prompt and go to /terraform node app/terraform node app/terraform node app/terraform node app/terraform node

2. Initialize Terraform since this is the first time you’ve attempted to provide these resources. Terraform will be told to download all of the required provider plugins as described in the configuration file, as well as execute additional checks, when it is initialized.

The terraform init command's outputThe terraform init command’s output

3. Next, simulate the modifications Terraform should make if you were to run it in real life. This command reads the configuration file, goes through all of the logic, double-checks the syntax, and gives you a summary of what would happen if it were to be executed. strategy for terraforming

The terraform plan command's outputThe terraform plan command’s output

Finally, instruct Terraform to put the configuration into effect. Terraform will then read the configuration file and create the Azure infrastructure by executing each block described in the configuration file.

Terraform will ask you for confirmation before creating any resources by default. However, the auto-approve option may be used to bypass this question.

The terraform apply command's output.The terraform apply command’s output.

Challenges in Terraforming

Despite Terraform’s popularity as a DevOps tool, you should be aware of some of the issues that many people have with it.

1. No rollback – If Terraform finds an error on the second or subsequent run and has already produced certain resources, you will be unable to return to a prior state.

incapacity to rollback in the event of a failureincapacity to rollback in the event of a failure

2. Error Handling — Terraform sometimes produces cryptic errors, making it tough for newcomers to figure out what’s wrong.

3. Only a command-line tool — While some individuals believe having a command-line interface to be advantageous, others prefer to work using a graphical interface. Terraform may be difficult at first if you don’t have much command-line experience.

Conclusion

You should now have a solid grasp on how Terraform and DevOps interact. Terraform is an excellent tool for any DevOps professional’s toolkit. Terraform is an excellent infrastructure automation tool because of its idempotent, declarative nature.

But don’t let this story fool you. Now it’s up to you to find out for yourself! Check out the pros and drawbacks, then get started on your own Terraform project! What infrastructure will you use Terraform to automate?

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Terraform used for DevOps?

A: Terraform is a tool used for DevOps. It lets you quickly and easily create, modify, or delete infrastructure as code. This allows for greater automation in the process of maintaining your systems which can be helpful when dealing with rapid changes to requirements that are needed on short notice.

What are the benefits of using Terraform?

A: Terraform is a tool for updating and manipulating the configuration of your server. The benefits to using it are that you can make changes without having to stop, install updates, or reboot your computer manually

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