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How to get started with Terraform Enterprise
Jordan Taylor

5 Ways That Terraform Enterprise Will Rock Your Infrastructure Socks Off (and How to Get Started)

Hashicorp Terraform has proven to be a core component of the dynamic, cloud-ready solutions that we provide to our enterprise clients in almost every single Contino engagement (that's about 70+ enterprise transformations and counting!). 

It clearly stands head and shoulders above its rivals - why is this?

  • Huge amount of support from the Terraform community (9.8k stars on GitHub)
  • Easy for teams to pick up
  • Most intelligent approach to automating the provisioning of cloud infrastructure and the surrounding workflows.

Scaling Terraform in the Enterprise

However, we have also seen that when organizations scale Terraform from a small team or two to an organization-wide implementation there are some common teething pains. Most commonly we see:

  • Production environments being accidentally destroyed due to human error or state corruption
  • Spend being bigger than expected in the cloud due to inefficiencies, improper instance selection and human error
  • Poor visibility: nobody knows who is running what in the cloud (or on how many/what kind of instances) within the organization.

These troubles all come down to management of Terraform state, how repositories are both structured and split accordingly, and who is responsible for changes in Terraform environments (workspaces) and how to manage those changes.

Another key issue tends to be visibility. The individuals accountable for budgets, uptime of environments and general assertion value delivery to the consumers are starting to need some control and awareness as infrastructure automation continues to thrive.

Terraform Enterprise (TFE) edition provides a host of additional features and functionality that solve these teething issues and enable enterprises to effectively scale Terraform implementations across the organization - unlocking infrastructure bottlenecks and freeing up developers to innovate, rather than configure servers!

Why We're Betting on Terraform Enterprise

What does extra value does TFE add to the enterprise?

  1. Workspace management, audit logs, secure variable management and more gives you greater control, stability and visibility of everything that occurs in Terraform, and in turn, across your entire infrastructure.
  2. Birds-eye view control and visibility over who is able to do what, who is doing what and ensure that all teams must meet certain requirements.
  3. API coverage to integrate with existing tooling and MFA integration with AWS to make it as easy as possible to embed Terraform in your existing platform.
  4. Most exciting of all, HashiCorp Sentinel, a simple, flexible language, is available as part of any HashiCorp Enterprise tooling implementation. It enables you to define the policies of your organization as code and embed them into the Terraform provisioning workflow. So, for example, X instance type can only be built at Y period in Z region. At a time when compliance and security is key, this is well worth exploring.
  5. All of the above helps to change your culture and mindset around the Infrastructure-as-Code lifecycle. Your infrastructure is code, therefore it should be part of a strong and resilient software development lifecycle - that means unit testing, integration testing, etc. TFE makes it easy to begin to make all of this a requirement.

But Where Should You Get Started with Terraform Enterprise?

HashiCorp and Contino have collaborated to produce the Terraform Recommended Practices Guide - the definitive guide to moving towards provisioning perfection with Terraform and Terraform enterprise. 

The guide provides all the details to help any organization successfully adopt a collaborative infrastructure as code workflow with Terraform Enterprise, whatever their current maturity level of infrastructure automation. This document is the culmination of the insights and expertise that Contino has leveraged from tens of enterprise Terraform deployments of varying levels of maturity.

The Terraform Recommended Practices Guide is now live! Check it out!

HashiCorp and Contino Webinar: The 4 Phases to Collaborating on Infrastructure as Code

Alongside the HashiCorp Terraform Guide, we are co-hosting a webinar with the HashiCorp team to explore where we will explain the four steps to full-scale infrastructure as code for operators to provision and manage their cloud infrastructure at scale. Join us, 26 October @ 4PM BST/11AM EST to learn:

  • Why to use collaborative infrastructure as code to address technical and organizational challenges provisioning cloud infrastructure
  • How to self-assess your infrastructure as code practices and organizational maturity
  • How to identify the next steps every organization can take to move forward in the journey to the cloud

Register for the webinar here!

Continuing on from HashiCorp Sentinel and a time of security and compliance (DevSecOps some might say, be sure to check out my AWS Loft London talk on HashiCorp Vault. Managing security & secrets at an Enterprise level should be at the top of everyone's agenda.

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