Terraform Best Practices: Tips and Tricks

Are you tired of manually configuring your infrastructure every time you deploy a new application? Do you want to automate your deployment process and save time? Look no further than Terraform!

Terraform is an open-source tool that allows you to define your infrastructure as code. With Terraform, you can easily create, modify, and delete your infrastructure resources in a declarative way. But like any tool, there are best practices to follow to ensure you get the most out of it. In this article, we'll cover some of the best practices for using Terraform.

Use Version Control

First and foremost, use version control for your Terraform code. Version control allows you to track changes to your code over time, collaborate with others, and revert to previous versions if necessary. Git is a popular version control system that integrates well with Terraform.

Use Modules

Modules are reusable pieces of Terraform code that can be shared across projects. They allow you to abstract away complex infrastructure configurations and make your code more modular and maintainable. When creating modules, make sure to follow best practices such as using input and output variables, and keeping modules small and focused.

Use Variables

Variables allow you to parameterize your Terraform code and make it more flexible. They can be used to define values that are specific to each environment, such as the number of instances or the size of a disk. When using variables, make sure to define them in a separate file and use them consistently across your codebase.

Use Workspaces

Workspaces allow you to manage multiple environments (such as development, staging, and production) with a single Terraform codebase. Each workspace has its own state file, allowing you to make changes to one environment without affecting the others. When using workspaces, make sure to define variables that are specific to each environment, and use the -workspace flag to switch between them.

Use Remote State

By default, Terraform stores its state locally in a file. However, this can cause issues when working in a team or across multiple machines. Remote state allows you to store your state in a shared location, such as an S3 bucket or a database. This ensures that everyone is working with the same state and reduces the risk of conflicts.

Use Terraform Cloud

Terraform Cloud is a hosted service that provides collaboration, governance, and automation for your Terraform workflows. It allows you to manage your infrastructure as code in a secure and scalable way, with features such as version control integration, remote state management, and policy enforcement. Terraform Cloud is a great option for teams that want to streamline their deployment process and ensure consistency across environments.

Use Terraform Modules Registry

The Terraform Module Registry is a public repository of Terraform modules that can be used to quickly and easily provision infrastructure resources. It contains modules for popular cloud providers such as AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud, as well as community-contributed modules for other services. When using modules from the registry, make sure to review the module documentation and use the latest version.

Use Terraform Validate and Plan

Before applying your Terraform code, it's important to validate and plan your changes. The terraform validate command checks your code for syntax errors and other issues, while the terraform plan command shows you what changes will be made to your infrastructure. This allows you to catch errors and potential issues before they cause problems.

Use Terraform Apply with Caution

When applying your Terraform code, use caution and make sure you understand the changes that will be made. Terraform can make significant changes to your infrastructure, and mistakes can be costly. Always review the output of the terraform plan command before applying changes, and consider using the -auto-approve flag only in non-production environments.

Use Terraform Destroy with Caution

Similarly, when destroying your infrastructure, use caution and make sure you understand the consequences. Terraform can delete resources that are critical to your application, and mistakes can be irreversible. Always review the output of the terraform plan command before destroying resources, and consider using the -auto-approve flag only in non-production environments.


Terraform is a powerful tool for automating your infrastructure deployment process. By following these best practices, you can ensure that your Terraform code is maintainable, scalable, and secure. Remember to use version control, modules, variables, workspaces, remote state, Terraform Cloud, the Terraform Module Registry, and validate and plan your changes before applying them. With these tips and tricks, you'll be on your way to declarative deployment using cloud in no time!

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