Automating Infrastructure Deployment with Terraform

Automating Infrastructure Deployment with Terraform

The rise of cloud computing and the increasing adoption of infrastructure as code (IaC) practices have turned Terraform into the accepted standard for provisioning and managing infrastructure. Although it is a powerful tool when deployed manually, Terraform reaches its full potential for enhancing agility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness when it is automated.

In this blog post, we'll explore the reasons for automating infrastructure deployment with Terraform and outline the mechanisms for doing so.

What is Terraform?

Originally developed by HashiCorp, Terraform allows you to define and provision infrastructure using a declarative configuration language called Hashicorp Configuration Language (HCL). It is designed to codify infrastructure requirements so that you can ensure version-controlled, repeatable, and collaborative provisioning of resources across all environments — whether they are on-premises or in the public cloud. 

You can deploy Terraform manually, and this is a reasonable option for smaller organizations. However, once you start introducing more layers and complexity to your systems, it is advisable to automate your Terraform instead. 

OpenTofu has emerged as an open-source alternative to Terraform. Although it offers similar functionality, it focuses on community-driven enhancements and potentially different integration capabilities. This makes it a viable option if you are looking for a flexible, collaborative tool for your infrastructure management.

Why automate Terraform?

Here are some of the reasons it makes sense to automate infrastructure deployments using Terraform:

Increased efficiency and consistency

Many organizations' key driver for adopting Terraform automation is the potential for increased efficiency and consistency. When you automate, you make human intervention unnecessary, eliminating human error and accelerating the deployment process. Outcomes become more reliable and predictable when infrastructure deployments are consistent across environments.

Potential for scaling

Using a manual approach to deploying your infrastructure might be fine for a small operation, but as an organization grows it needs to scale its infrastructure, resulting in more complex configurations. By adopting an automated approach to Terraform, you can scale your infrastructure more easily because you are deploying and managing your resources in a repeatable manner. Automation allows you to adapt swiftly to shifting demands and manage larger workloads with ease.

Greater efficiency

When you automate your Terraform workflows, your DevOps and infrastructure teams get a lot more time to work on other things. Instead of devoting hours to repetitive, error-prone manual tasks, they can dedicate those hours to more innovative work that adds business value. By speeding up the deployment process, automation facilitates faster time-to-market for applications and services.

Opportunity for version control and collaboration

Whether you are involved in IaC or software development, version control is crucial so you can roll back to previous versions if required. Automating Terraform configurations means you can integrate them with a version-control system like Git. Git gives you a centralized repository for all code, configurations, templates, etc., enabling collaboration among your team members. Several team members can be working on the same Terraform codebase at the same time, confident that changes are versioned and can be reverted if necessary.

Auditability and compliance

Organizations in industries such as finance are familiar with the ubiquity of audits, which are necessary in sectors with strict regulatory and compliance requirements. Automation eases the pain of audits by giving you a transparent, traceable history of infrastructure changes. Automated Terraform workflows produce logs and reports, which are available to indicate your adherence to compliance standards. This makes the audit process much simpler. 

Cost management

Defining your infrastructure as code and automating deployment with Terraform allows you to review and optimize your resource utilization and eliminate unnecessary costs.

How to automate your Terraform workflow

These are the typical steps involved in automating a Terraform workflow:

Create a configuration file 

To start the automation process, create a Terraform configuration file. This is often called and acts as a blueprint for the desired infrastructure, defining the infrastructure components, providers, and any variables required. 

Initialize the working directory

Now, run the terraform init command to download the required provider plugins and set up the backend. This creates a foundation for subsequent actions.


The next step is to execute terraform plan to preview the changes Terraform will apply to the infrastructure. This will highlight any potential issues or unwanted consequences before modifications are made.


After you have reviewed the plan, run terraform apply to make the proposed changes. You have another opportunity to ensure safety as Terraform prompts for confirmation before it proceeds to enact the changes.

Verify and monitor

Once changes are applied, you need to verify the infrastructure's state. Terraform integrates with tools like Prometheus and Grafana to support post-deployment verification and monitoring.

Integrating Terraform with GitHub Actions

It is a good idea to integrate Terraform with GitHub Actions for enhanced automation and CI/CD pipelines. GitHub Actions is a CI/CD tool that automates your build, test, and deployment pipeline. By combining it with Terraform, you can:

  • Automate Terraform workflows: Trigger infrastructure updates automatically upon code commits or pull requests.

  • Improve security and compliance: Review proposed changes in pull requests and maintain a detailed audit trail for changes in your configurations.

  • Enhance team collaboration: Enable team members to contribute to infrastructure changes and review them as part of your code review process.

This integration ensures that your infrastructure deployments are consistent with your application code changes, making your development cycles faster and more reliable.


Integrating Terraform into your DevOps practices will expand your potential to transform your team's effectiveness and operational capabilities. By automating your infrastructure deployment with Terraform, you can look forward to a future where infrastructure management is not just easier but also drives innovation and stability. Adopting Terraform will make your infrastructure more agile, secure, and cost-effective and bring substantial benefits to your projects and your team.

Disclaimer: Analytics Insight does not provide financial advice or guidance. Also note that the cryptocurrencies mentioned/listed on the website could potentially be scams, i.e. designed to induce you to invest financial resources that may be lost forever and not be recoverable once investments are made. You are responsible for conducting your own research (DYOR) before making any investments. Read more here.

Related Stories

No stories found.
Analytics Insight