Provisioning and updating infrastructure is a the first step in setting up your development, beta, or production environments. Hasicorp's Terraform format is fast becoming very popular for this use case. We love Terraform at Shippable due to its easy declarative syntax, similar to our pipelines syntax. Other advantages are:
Infrastructure as Code: Infrastructure is described using a high-level configuration syntax. This allows a blueprint of your datacenter to be versioned and treated as you would any other code. Additionally, infrastructure can be shared and re-used.
Execution Plans: Terraform has a "planning" step where it generates anexecution plan. The execution plan shows what Terraform will do when you call apply. This lets you avoid any surprises when Terraform manipulates infrastructure.
Resource Graph: Terraform builds a graph of all your resources, and parallelizes the creation and modification of any non-dependent resources. Because of this, Terraform builds infrastructure as efficiently as possible, and operators get insight into dependencies in their infrastructure.
Change Automation: Complex changesets can be applied to your infrastructure with minimal human interaction. With the previously mentioned execution plan and resource graph, you know exactly what Terraform will change and in what order, avoiding many possible human errors.
At Shippable, we use Terraform to provision all our environments and automate the provisioning using our Pipelines feature. If you're interested in taking a look at our terraform scripts and pipelines config, we have made our repositories public so you can check them out:
Interested in trying it yourself? The following example walks you through a sample project that provisions two t2.micro instances on AWS. We've kept it simple for easy understanding, but you can also automate provisioning of complex environments as seen in our beta infra scripts above.