Nate
Nate's Blog

Follow

Nate's Blog

Follow
Azure and Terraform: A Match Made in the Cloud

Azure and Terraform: A Match Made in the Cloud

Nate's photo
Nate
·Jan 13, 2023·

5 min read

Introduction

Azure and Terraform are like peanut butter and jelly - they're just better together! Azure, created by Microsoft, is a cloud computing platform that offers a wide range of services, including virtual machines, storage, and databases. Terraform, on the other hand, is a tool that allows you to define your infrastructure as code. This means you can version your infrastructure and roll back changes if needed. Together, they provide a powerful solution for companies looking to streamline their infrastructure deployment and management process.

The Benefits of Using Azure and Terraform Together

When you use Azure and Terraform together, you can define your infrastructure as code. This means you can version your infrastructure and roll back changes if needed. This makes it super easy to deploy new environments, such as development, staging, and production, and to manage them in a consistent and repeatable manner. This level of control and flexibility is crucial for companies that need to quickly spin up new environments or make changes to existing ones.

Another benefit of using Azure and Terraform together is that it allows for a high degree of automation. Instead of manually creating resources and configuring them, you can use Terraform to automate these tasks. This not only saves you time and reduces the risk of human error, but it also ensures that resources are created and configured consistently across all environments.

A Simple Example of Using Azure and Terraform

Let me give you an example of how easy it is to use Azure and Terraform together.

  1. First, you'll need to install Terraform on your machine. It's a straightforward process, you can find the latest version and instructions on the Terraform website.

  2. Next, you'll need to configure your Azure credentials in Terraform. This is done by creating a new service principal in Azure and then configuring Terraform to use it. A service principal is an Azure Active Directory (AD) service account, which allows Terraform to authenticate to Azure and interact with resources. Don't worry if you're not familiar with service principals, it's a simple process and Azure provides clear instructions on how to do it.

  3. Now it's time to create your Terraform configuration file. This file will define the resources you want to create in Azure, such as a virtual machine. The configuration file should include the following information:

    • The Azure provider, which tells Terraform to use Azure as the cloud provider.

    • The virtual machine resource, which defines the virtual machine that you want to create.

    • The storage account resource, which defines the storage account that will be used to store the virtual machine's disks.

    • Here is an example configuration file:

    • This configuration file creates an Azure Resource Group, a virtual network, a subnet, a network interface, a storage account, a storage container, and a Virtual Machine. The Virtual Machine is based on the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS image, and it's connected to the virtual network, the subnet, and the network interface. It also creates a storage os_disk for the VM and set some parameters for the os profile and the os_profile_linux_config. This is just an example of a simple Terraform configuration file, you can adjust the parameters and the resources you want to create, as well as the provider version and the features to your needs.

 provider "azurerm" {
  version = "=2.29.0"
  features {}
}

resource "azurerm_resource_group" "example" {
  name     = "example-rg"
  location = "westus"
}

resource "azurerm_virtual_network" "example" {
  name                = "example-vnet"
  address_space       = ["10.0.0.0/16"]
  location            = azurerm_resource_group.example.location
  resource_group_name = azurerm_resource_group.example.name
}

resource "azurerm_subnet" "example" {
  name                 = "example-subnet"
  resource_group_name  = azurerm_resource_group.example.name
  virtual_network_name = azurerm_virtual_network.example.name
  address_prefix       = "10.0.1.0/24"
}

resource "azurerm_network_interface" "example" {
  name                = "example-nic"
  location            = azurerm_resource_group.example.location
  resource_group_name = azurerm_resource_group.example.name

  ip_configuration {
    name                          = "example"
    subnet_id                     = azurerm_subnet.example.id
    private_ip_address_allocation = "dynamic"
  }
}

resource "azurerm_storage_account" "example" {
  name                     = "examplestgaccount"
  resource_group_name      = azurerm_resource_group.example.name
  location                 = azurerm_resource_group.example.location
  account_tier             = "Standard"
  account_replication_type = "LRS"
}

resource "azurerm_storage_container" "example" {
  name                  = "example"
  storage_account_name  = azurerm_storage_account.example.name
  container_access_type = "private"
}

resource "azurerm_virtual_machine" "example" {
  name                  = "example-vm"
  location              = azurerm_resource_group.example.location
  resource_group_name   = azurerm_resource_group.example.name
  network_interface_ids = [azurerm_network_interface.example.id]
  vm_size               = "Standard_DS1_v2"

  storage_image_reference {
    publisher = "Canonical"
    offer     = "UbuntuServer"
    sku       = "18.04-LTS"
    version   = "latest"
  }

  storage_os_disk {
    name              = "example-os-disk"
    vhd_uri           = "${azurerm_storage_account.example.primary_blob_endpoint}/example-os-disk.vhd"
    caching           = "ReadWrite"
    create_option     = "FromImage"
    disk_size_gb      = "30"
  }

  os_profile {
    computer_name  = "example-vm"
    admin_username = "azureuser"
    admin_password = "S3cureP@ssw0rd!"
  }

  os_profile_linux_config {
    disable_password_authentication = false
  }
}
  1. Once you have created your Terraform configuration file, you can use the terraform plan and terraform apply commands to deploy your infrastructure to Azure. The terraform plan command will show you what changes will be made to your infrastructure, while the terraform apply command will actually make those changes.

  2. Once the Virtual machine is created, you can use the Azure portal to check the details of it and ensure that everything is running smoothly.

Please note that the above example uses some hardcoded values and it should be used for educational purposes only. Also, the password used in this example is for demonstration purposes only and should not be used in a real-world scenario.

Advanced Usage of Azure and Terraform

As you become more familiar with Azure and Terraform, you can start to use more advanced features such as modules and remote state.

Modules allow you to organize your Terraform code into reusable blocks of functionality. This makes it easy to share and reuse code across different environments and projects.

Remote state is a feature that allows you to store your Terraform state in a remote location, such as Azure storage. This is useful for teams that need to collaborate on Terraform projects, as it allows multiple users to access and update the state simultaneously, ensuring that everyone is working with the most up-to-date information.

Summary

In summary, Azure and Terraform are a powerful combination that can help companies streamline their infrastructure deployment and management processes. Azure offers a wide range of services, while Terraform allows you to define your infrastructure as code and deploy it quickly and efficiently. Together, they allow for a high degree of automation, consistency, and control over the infrastructure. With features such as modules and remote state, it also allows for easy collaboration and reusability of code across different environments and projects. By using Azure and Terraform together, companies can deploy and manage their infrastructure in a consistent and repeatable manner, saving time and reducing the risk of human error.

Did you find this article valuable?

Support Nate by becoming a sponsor. Any amount is appreciated!

See recent sponsors Learn more about Hashnode Sponsors
 
Share this