Terraform Plugin Best Practices

A key feature of Terraform is it’s plugin system, separating the logic of managing state and configuration and providing safe plan and apply lifecycle management, from the details of specific vendor APIs. Plugins are responsible for the implementation of functionality for provisioning resources for a specific cloud provider, allowing each Provider to fully support it’s unique resources and lifecycles and not settling for the lowest common denominator across all Provider resources of that type (virtual machines, networks, configuration management systems, et. al). While each Provider is unique, over the years we’ve accumulated some patterns that should be adhered to in order to ensure a consistent user experience when using Terraform for any given provider. Listed below are a few Best Practices we’ve found to generally apply most Providers, with a brief description of each, and link to read more. Each practice is also linked in navigation on the left.

The Best Practices section is a work in progress, with more sections to come.

Detecting Drift

Terraform is a declarative tool designed to be the source of truth for infrastructure. In order to safely and predictably change and iterate infrastructure, Terraform needs to be able to detect changes made outside of it's configuration and provide means of reconciliation. In Detecting Drift, we cover some best practices to ensure Terraform's statefile is an accurate reflection of reality, in order to provide accurate plan and apply functionality.

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