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  • Writer's pictureShaked Braimok Yosef

Mastering Self-Service Infrastructure with Terraform Best Practices

Enabling self-service for developers involves creating an infrastructure-as-code (IaC) framework that allows developers to provision and manage resources independently. Before delving into it, here are a few best practices to help achieve this:


Module Abstraction

  • Use Terraform modules to abstract away complex infrastructure configurations.

  • Create modules for common services (e.g., databases, load balancers) with configurable parameters.

  • Developers can then reuse these modules, providing a consistent and easily understandable interface.



Variable Files

  • Leverage variable files to allow developers to customize configurations without modifying the main code.

  • Provide example variable files or templates to guide developers in creating their own configurations.

Remote State and Backend

  • Use a remote backend for Terraform state (e.g., AWS S3, Azure Storage) to enable collaboration and state locking.

  • Create a separate backend configuration, allowing each project to have its own isolated state.

Workspace Management

  • Utilize Terraform workspaces for environment separation (e.g., dev, staging, production).

  • Developers can switch between workspaces to deploy infrastructure in different environments without duplicating code.

Automated Approval Workflows

  • Implement automated approval workflows using tools like Terraform Cloud / Env0 or a CI/CD pipeline.

  • Ensure that only approved changes get applied to the infrastructure, maintaining control and security.

Variable Validation

  • Implement input variable validation within Terraform modules to enforce constraints on inputs.

  • This helps prevent common mistakes and ensures developers provide valid configurations.

Documentation as Code

  • Keep documentation in code comments or as part of README files within the Terraform repository.

  • Developers can easily understand and reference the documentation while working on their infrastructure code.

Remote Execution

  • Set up remote execution environments using Terraform Cloud / Env0 or equivalent.

  • Developers can trigger infrastructure changes without having to manage Terraform installations locally.

Version Control

  • Encourage best practices for version control (e.g., Git).

  • Implement branching strategies to manage different features or environments separately.

Logging and Monitoring

  • Integrate logging and monitoring solutions into Terraform scripts.

  • Provide visibility into infrastructure changes for debugging and auditing purposes.

Policy as Code

  • Implement policy checks using tools like HashiCorp Sentinel or Open Policy Agent (OPA).

  • Ensure that infrastructure changes comply with organizational policies before applying.

Training and Support

  • Provide training resources and support channels for developers to learn Terraform best practices.

  • Foster a culture of knowledge sharing within the team.

By incorporating these best practices, you can create a self-service infrastructure that empowers developers to manage their resources efficiently while maintaining governance and control.

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