Terraform is an infrastructure-as-Code tool developed by HashiCorp Inc. that can help improve your software development ecosystem. The cloud computing tool assists in building, modifying, and versioning infrastructure in a secure and efficient manner.
With Terraform cloud solution, software developers and operations teams can manage and provide the infrastructure required for an application. It is used to manage virtual machines, networks, connection topology, and load balancers in a descriptive model.
In the blog post, we take a close look at the features and the advantages of Terraform services that will help software development teams make informed decisions about whether or not to deploy Terraform in the cloud environment.
Features of the Terraform Cloud Platform
Terraform is a declarative coding tool with stateful capabilities. It allows developers to use HCL (HashiCorp Configuration Language) to define end-state cloud infrastructure for running an application.
The high-level configuration language tool can be used to generate a plan to achieve the desired end state and automatically execute the plan for the provision of the required infrastructure. The tool has stateful features as it can keep track of everything that has been built in your cloud ecosystem. In this way, developers can revert to the original state whenever deemed necessary.
Terraform features collaboration and governance policy capabilities. Let’s take a look at these capabilities to understand how this infrastructure-as-code tool improves the operational efficiency of a software development team.
Team Management – Administrators can manage their teams more effectively using the tool. They can create different teams and assign permissions to each. Multiple teams can work in parallel while leveraging from a common workplace.
Map Functional Roles – The tool allows developers to map functional roles and link them via APIs to their respective workspaces. It can be used to distinguish business unites and govern separate teams through the correct permission.
Private Module Registry – Terraform consists of a central library of validated and versioned modules. The library contains pre-built resources with best practices and a self-service model of infrastructure.
Configuration Designer – Development teams can use a graphical user interface (GUI) based workspace for configuring different variables. The configuration designer can be used for creating distinct workspaces. Developers can create a configuration from pre-defined modules for the provision of on-demand services.
Remote Operations – Terraform supports remote operations through the execution of commands from the command line interface. The remote feature allows developers to create custom workflows using the cloud enterprise solution.
SAML – Terraform supports security assertion markup language (SAML) that can be used for the authentication and authorization of data between different parties. Administrators can manage access privileges for all users, including the read and write controls. The tool can be used to automate the process of user access management that is invaluable in managing a large team.
Sentinel – Administrators can use Terraform to create policies as a code and enforce then during every provision run. The sentinel feature automatically blocks resources that don’t comply with operational and security policies.
Audit – The tool can help system administrators to perform internal audits. They can track changes across all teams. They can also associate changes to specific workspaces to determine the changes made to the infrastructure.
Advantages of Cloud Infrastructure as Code and Terraform
Terraform provides value to complex organizations with a large team. Here are some of the benefits of using Terraform for infrastructure provision.
With the Terraform cloud platform, you can achieve increased operational efficiencies due to integrated workspaces and modules. The platform provides a logical unit to break down the infrastructure as a code into more efficient workspaces.
An integrated workspace is the key feature of Terraform that can be used to create a modular infrastructure. Your development team can use the workspace to create and modify configuration files, state files, and input variables. The workspaces can help convert monolithic infrastructure into a self-managed integrated system.
The private module registry will allow the development team to save time by using pre-built libraries. It reduces configuration creation time by about 80 percent. Modules can further reduce employee time and resources dedicated to managing infrastructure services.
Another key advantages of cloud infrastructure as code and terraform is that they allow the creation of immutable infrastructure. The majority of infrastructure-as-code services allows mutable infrastructure where a change in infrastructure does not result in a change in the current configuration. It results in a configuration drift whereby the provisioning of infrastructure elements ‘drifts’ from the original configuration as the changes pile up. This makes diagnosing performance issues and bugs difficult for the development team.
Terraform has the advantage that the configuration is replaced with each change in the environment. What’s more, previous configurations are stored as versions that allow rollbacks when desired and necessary.
Reduced Cloud Costs
Probably, one of the best advantages of Terraform platform services is that it results in reduced cloud infrastructure provisioning costs. Terraform allows experimentation, optimization, and testing of infrastructure requirements. It allows provisioning of new infrastructure easier, faster, and at a low cost.
Developers can test experimental changes without investing a lot of resources or time in making changes. The platform is backed by a community of contributors who continuously test and introduce new features. Various plugins and extensions are available for Terraform that greatly extend the functionality of the infrastructure-as-code platform.
Terraform can help organizations cut up to 30 percent cost using sentinel policies and modules. They can enforce the best operational practices to keep the overall cloud costs to a minimum. Sample policies can be used to ensure an effective approval process and prevent over-provisioning. Organizations can use the Terraform tool to effectively configure the cloud infrastructure with the advantages of cloud infrastructure as code.
The platform allows automatic deployment of infrastructure required by application within a cloud ecosystem, including network and storage solutions.
With Terraform, your IT team can manage multiple cloud environments efficiently. Automatic configuration and deployment can reduce the provisions of resources from days to minutes. The tool is particularly helpful for large organizations to manage the cloud ecosystem effectively at the same configuration files. The modular approach allows for quality control and encourages close team collaboration.
Contact us if you want to use the Terraform platform for the effective management of cloud infrastructure. After reading the advantages of Terraform platform services, you will not have much difficulty in making the right decision.
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