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Introduction to Terraform: A Beginner's Guide to Cloud Infrastructure Provisioning | JBI Training

5 April 2023

Getting Started with Terraform: A Beginner's Guide

This article is brought to you by JBI Training, the UK's leading technology training provider.   Learn more about JBI's Tech training courses including Terraform training courses that can help you improve your skills and knowledge in using Terraform. And DevOps courses.


As more and more businesses move to the cloud, infrastructure as code tools like Terraform have become essential for managing and deploying cloud resources efficiently. Terraform is a popular open-source tool used to automate the deployment and management of infrastructure resources in cloud environments. With Terraform, you can create, manage, and version infrastructure as code, which makes it easier to manage and scale infrastructure resources in the cloud. In this guide, we will provide a comprehensive introduction to Terraform, including its benefits and how to use it effectively.

What is Terraform?

Terraform is an infrastructure as code tool used to manage and deploy cloud resources. It is a declarative language that allows you to define the desired state of your infrastructure and then uses that definition to create and manage resources. Terraform can be used with popular cloud providers like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform.

Benefits of Terraform:

There are several benefits to using Terraform, including:


1.     Scalability: Terraform allows you to scale infrastructure resources up or down easily. You can use Terraform to create and manage resources across multiple cloud providers and environments.


2.     Consistency: With Terraform, you can define your infrastructure as code, which ensures that your infrastructure is consistent across environments. This can help you avoid configuration drift and ensure that your resources are always up to date.


3.     Reusability: Terraform modules can be reused across different projects, making it easier to manage and scale infrastructure resources.


4.     Collaboration: Terraform allows teams to collaborate on infrastructure management. Changes can be tracked, versioned, and reviewed before being applied, ensuring that everyone is on the same page.


How to Use Terraform:

To use Terraform, you will need to:

1.     Install Terraform: Terraform can be downloaded and installed from the official Terraform website. Follow the installation instructions for your operating system.


2.     Configure your Provider: Before you can create resources with Terraform, you need to configure your cloud provider. For example, if you are using AWS, you will need to provide your AWS access keys in your Terraform configuration.


3.     Write your Terraform Configuration: Terraform configurations are written in HashiCorp Configuration Language (HCL) or JSON. The configuration files define the desired state of your infrastructure. For example, you can define the number of instances you want to launch, the type of instance, and the security group rules.


4.     Initialize Terraform: Before you can apply your Terraform configuration, you need to initialize Terraform. This can be done using the ‘terraform initcommand. Terraform will download any necessary plugins and modules.


5.     Plan your Terraform Configuration: To see what changes will be made to your infrastructure, you can run the ‘terraform plan’ command. Terraform will analyse your configuration and provide a detailed plan of the changes it will make.


6.     Apply your Terraform Configuration: To apply your Terraform configuration, you can run the ‘terraform apply’ command. Terraform will create the resources defined in your configuration.



Let's take a look at an example Terraform configuration that launches an AWS EC2 instance.


provider "aws" {

  region = "us-west-2"



resource "aws_instance" "example" {

  ami           = "ami-0c55b159cbfafe1f0"

  instance_type = "t2.micro"


In this example, we have defined an AWS provider and an EC2 instance. The instance will use the specified Amazon Machine Image (AMI) and instance type.


Terraform is a powerful infrastructure as code tool that allows you to manage and deploy cloud resources efficiently. In this guide, we have provided an introduction to Terraform, its benefits, and how to use it effectively. By using Terraform, you can create infrastructure resources in a consistent and repeatable way, which can save time and reduce errors. With Terraform, you can also manage your infrastructure more effectively, which can help you scale your resources up or down quickly.

Terraform has a wide range of use cases, from deploying simple EC2 instances to managing complex, multi-cloud environments. Some examples of Terraform use cases include:

1.     Managing Kubernetes clusters: Terraform can be used to manage Kubernetes clusters across multiple cloud providers. This allows you to deploy and manage containers easily, regardless of the cloud provider.


2.     Infrastructure testing: Terraform can be used to test infrastructure changes before they are applied. This allows you to catch errors and misconfigurations before they cause issues in production.


3.     Resource sharing: Terraform modules can be shared between teams and organizations, allowing you to leverage community resources and reduce duplication of effort.


4.     Compliance: Terraform can be used to enforce compliance standards across your infrastructure. By defining your infrastructure as code, you can ensure that your resources meet your compliance requirements.


Terraform is a powerful tool that can help you manage and deploy cloud resources more efficiently. With Terraform, you can create infrastructure resources in a consistent and repeatable way, which can save time and reduce errors. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can start using Terraform effectively and take advantage of its many benefits. Whether you're deploying simple EC2 instances or managing complex, multi-cloud environments, Terraform can help you manage your infrastructure more effectively and efficiently.

JBI Training offers a range of Terraform training courses that can help you improve your skills and knowledge in using Terraform. Some of the courses they offer include:

JBI Training's Terraform courses are taught by experienced instructors and include hands-on exercises and labs to help you practice and reinforce your learning. Additionally, JBI Training offers both in-person and virtual training options, so you can choose the format that works best for you. All of our DevOps courses are found here.


Here are some official Terraform resources that you may find helpful:


1.     Terraform documentation: The official Terraform documentation provides a comprehensive guide to using Terraform, including tutorials, references, and best practices.

You can access the documentation at


2.     Terraform Registry: The Terraform Registry is a public repository of Terraform modules, providers, and other resources.

You can browse the registry at


3.     Terraform GitHub repository: The Terraform GitHub repository contains the source code for Terraform and other related tools.

You can access the repository at


4.     HashiCorp Learn: HashiCorp Learn is a free resource that provides tutorials and courses on using HashiCorp tools, including Terraform.

You can access HashiCorp Learn at

About the author: Daniel West
Tech Blogger & Researcher for JBI Training

+44 (0)20 8446 7555

[email protected]



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