What is Terraform in DevOps? A Detailed Explanation

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Dec 12, 2023

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DevOps is one of the emerging tools and there are many techniques and tools that are emerging with it. Infrastructure as code (IaC) is one of the most important components of DevOps and it is used by DevOps engineers to work with the code and this involves very less management. Now, this IaC is becoming very crucial, Terraform and DevOps can make a powerful tool when combined. Today in this article, we are going to cover all about that. With questions like what is terraform in devops and why it is getting so much popularity, you are going to get a great insight into this tool. This tool has great features and with the right knowledge, you can master this and give advancement in your career. With the right Devops training and learning the concepts used in this platform, you can have all the chances for a better career choice. So let us now begin with what is terraform in devops and then know about the features of this tool.

What is Terraform in DevOps?

If you are looking for a tool that can help you with building, changing, and also versioning the infrastructure, then there is no better platform than terraform. This is a platform-agnostic tool that is very secure and efficient. This is one of the best open-source tools and this is developed as a Hashicorp multi-cloud and as an infrastructure-as-code solution that uses the declarative Hashicorp Configuration Language. One of the major characteristics of this tool is that it helps in the management of various well-known service providers including GCP and AWS and this is also very great to use with the house solutions.

One of the great things about this tool is that it can manage both mainstream cloud service providers as well as unique in-house solutions. Not only this, this can be used to manage the external resources that are used for the collaborations with the providers. These resources include public cloud infrastructure, private cloud infrastructure, software as a service, network appliances, and platforms.

How does it work as an IaC tool?

To get a better understanding of what is terraform devops, we need to know how this works in the project. Using this tool, the users are able to manage and define their whole infrastructure by using only two-component of infrastructure- configuration files and version control. This tool will help in parsing the code and translating it into the Application Programming Interface which is also known as API and this is used to call the resource provider. This happens when the command is given to deploy or to run the server, this may also include database or load balancer. Another great thing about this tool is that it is an open-source tool, this allows the developers to extend its functionality and write new plugins, and can compile different versions of the existing plugins in the infrastructure. There are two main components of Terraform:

  • Terraform Code
  • Terraform Plugins

Terraform Code: This component in the tool helps in reading and interpolating the resource planning, their executions, the resource graph, state management features, and also the configuration files. This is written in the GO programming language which is compiled in binary. There are many compiled binaries and they individually act as a command-line Interface CLI and are used for communicating with the plugins available. This is done using the Remote Procedure Calls (RPC).

Terraform Plugins: This component in Terraform is responsible for defining the resources which are available for specific services. There are many services that are part of this component like the authenticating infrastructure providers. This also helps in initializing the libraries that are used to make API calls. This component is written in Go programming language and this has executable binaries that are used for specific service providers or the provisioner.

Important terms of Terraform

Before we go any further, there are some terms that are used in Terraform. Let us understand them first so that we can have better knowledge of further topics.

  • Providers: The providers in the Terraform are in charge of developing and managing the resources that are present in the infrastructure. As we are aware of the fact that Terraform is built on the plugin architecture and the provider binary can be downloaded and installed using the “init” command. The various examples of providers are AWS, Azure, GCP, and Kubernetes, etc.
  • Resources: Known as the small building pieces which are used in one or more infrastructure, they are components such as a virtual machine, a subnet, or the load balancer. It must be unique because the resource name and type server serve is one of the identifications of the specific resource.
  • Modules: If you are looking to organize the configuration code and make it reusable then going to modules is the best way. They are used as containers in terraform and contain many resources. You can find various Terraforms in the Terraform repository or you can write your own. One module known as the Root module is going to be present in all the Terraform configurations.
  • Input variables: These are the variables that are used to define the configuration values of the infrastructure. These values can be used frequently without calling them in every instance. They can be easily modified without recalling.
  • Output Variables: Once the infrastructure is being deployed, the use of output variables can be helpful as this can help in obtaining the information about the deployment and the infrastructure. Information such as IP addresses can be provided to the server.
  • Terraform Remote: You can run Terraform in a remote environment with shared access to the state to share infrastructure responsibility. The remote backend’ is the name for this capability and can be used frequently in Terraform.

What is the importance of Terraform?

Now if you are looking for an answer to this question, then there are many advantages of using Terraform, and some of them are mentioned below:

Able to manage any infrastructure

Sometimes if you are looking for providers that provide services for many platforms then you can find them in the terraform registry and use them. Moreover, you can write your own. This is a great advantage of using Terraform, as there you find the immutable approach for your infrastructure needs, and this will help in upgrading or modifying the services as per your requirements.

Track your infrastructure

When you are going to make any changes in your infrastructure, it is going to prompt your approval. This will generate a plan for you and this will help in keeping track of your state file of the infrastructure. This state file is used to determine the changes that you are going to make to your infrastructure and this will match with your configuration.

Automation of changes

One of the best features of the Terraform configuration files is that they are declarative in nature. This property helps in describing the end state of your infrastructure. For this, you won’t be required to write the step-by-step instructions for your infrastructure creation. This can be easily managed automatically using Terraform. Terraform with the help of a resource graph, will help in creating the plan which will define the non-dependent resources in parallel as well. This helps in the provisioning of resources in an effective manner.

Standardized configurations

Modules play a major role in Terraform and this helps in keeping the reusable component of Terraform configuration files in check. They are configurable and part of the infrastructure. This saves time and best practices are being followed when they are used in DevOps. Another important fact is that you can find these modules in the terraform registry and you can write one on your own.


There is a version control system in Terraform cloud and with the configuration files, you can commit them to the VCS system without any issue. This is managed very efficiently. Using the Terraform cloud, you can have safe and secure access to the shared state and secret data. This also enables role-based access controls and also a private registry for sharing both models as well as the providers.

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How do Terraform and DevOps go hand in hand?

DevOps is one of the most powerful tools that is being used in the IT Sector and when it is combined with IaC tools like Terraform, there are many things a team can achieve. So let us look at the advantages of how terraform and devops can be used to define project success:

  • One of the main features of Terraform is that it can use multiple platforms and environments at the same time. There are native cloud service providers like Amazon Web Services and GCP which are supported by Terraform and using Terraform, you will be able to create a single configuration file that can be used to manage various environments together. You can host Azure SQL database, and EC2 instances in AWS and GCP together, and this can be made possible with the help of Terraform.
  • Using terraform, it will become easier for you to keep a record of all the resources that are getting provisioned, it will not matter what the configuration of the infrastructure is today, it is always going to make sure that it is in the state that you have defined it already. You can have the independence to create, delete or update the resources, terraform will ensure that there is no change in the state of the infrastructure.
  • Another great advantage of using Terraform with devops is that it is written in a very easy-to-understand language. Hashicorp Configuration Language (HCL). Unlike other IaC tools, HCL is less verbose and easier to understand.

Final Words

By looking at the features and various advantages that Terraform offers, it can be said with certainty that it is becoming one of the fast and quick evolving IaC Solution tools that can boost productivity in various Devops installations. In the article, we have learned about what is the use of terraform in devops. It comes with a lot of advantages that are present for both developers as well as the enterprises. With the right knowledge and right resources, the enterprises are able to give the best services to their customers with the help of these new tools. It gives an opportunity to interact with various cloud service providers and this will help in keeping up with your business objectives and take your devops projects to next-level of success.

If you are also looking for a way to enter this system and want to learn more about Devops, then going for the best platform for your Devops Training Online is the best way. StarAgile offers multiple courses which can aid in gaining practical as well as theoretical knowledge of all the Devops concepts. You will be able to learn with the best professionals who have aced roles in this industry. So do not wait more and give a kick start to your career now.

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