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Terragrunt: Simplifying Infrastructure as Code for the cloud

May 23, 2023

The cloud is quickly becoming a central part of modern businesses. From online marketplaces to streaming platforms, companies of all sizes rely on cloud-based infrastructure to provide their customers with the seamless experience they expect. As a result, the ability to manage this infrastructure effectively has become essential for any organization. That's where Infrastructure as Code comes in.

What is Infrastructure as Code?

Infrastructure as Code (IaC) is the process of managing infrastructure using code, instead of manually configuring servers and resources. This approach allows operations teams and developers to version, test, and deploy infrastructure changes quickly and accurately. Infrastructure as Code has become increasingly popular as more and more businesses move to the cloud.

What is Terragrunt?

Terragrunt is an open-source IaC tool that simplifies the process of managing infrastructure on cloud platforms such as AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud. It is a thin wrapper around Terraform that provides extra tools to manage complex infrastructure stacks with multiple dependencies and environments. With Terragrunt, you can define your Infrastructure as Code in a concise, maintainable, and reusable way, while keeping your codebase organized..

Why use Terragrunt?

Terragrunt provides several benefits for teams managing infrastructure on cloud platforms. Here are some of the key advantages:

  1. Simplified configuration management: Terragrunt simplifies the management of complex infrastructure by allowing you to organize your code in a modular way. You can define reusable modules for different parts of your infrastructure and reuse them across multiple environments and projects.

  2. Better collaboration: Terragrunt makes it easier for teams to collaborate on infrastructure code by providing a shared set of best practices and standards. This helps reduce the risk of errors and misconfigurations.

  3. Improved versioning: Terragrunt provides better versioning control for infrastructure code by allowing you to use Git to manage your codebase. You are able to roll back changes and track changes to your infrastructure over time.

  4. Enhanced security: Terragrunt allows you to define infrastructure security policies as code. This ensures that security policies are consistent across all environments and projects, reducing the risk of security breaches or data loss.

How does Terragrunt work?

Terragrunt uses the same declarative language as Terraform, so you don't need to learn a new language or syntax.

With Terragrunt, you define your infrastructure code in a hierarchy of folders and files. Each folder represents a module, which can contain one or more Terraform configuration files. Terragrunt uses these modules to create a dependency graph of your infrastructure. This graph helps Terragrunt manage the order in which resources are created, updated, or destroyed.

Terragrunt also provides several features that simplify the management of your infrastructure stack. For example, you can use Terragrunt to manage the state files that Terraform uses to track the state of your resources. Terragrunt can store these state files in a remote backend, such as AWS S3 or Google Cloud Storage, making it easier to manage state across multiple environments and projects.

Is Terragrunt free?

Yes, Terragrunt is an open-source tool and is available for free. You can download the latest version of Terragrunt from the official GitHub repository. Terragrunt is compatible with all major cloud providers, including AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud.

Should you consider using Terragrunt?

Infrastructure as Code is becoming a must-have for managing modern cloud-based infrastructure. Terragrunt provides a powerful and flexible toolset for managing infrastructure stacks using Terraform. By simplifying configuration management, improving collaboration, and enhancing security, Terragrunt can make it easier for teams to manage complex infrastructure stacks on cloud platforms. If you're looking to simplify your infrastructure management processes, Terragrunt might be worth considering.

How can I learn more about using Terragrunt for cloud?

If you’re looking to learn more about using Terragrunt for managing your cloud-based infrastructure, check out my course, “Introduction for Terragrunt for Cloud.” In it, I cover how Terragrunt is used to simplify and streamline Terraform code, how Terragrunt can automate infrastructure deployment, and how Terragrunt can help manage infrastructure as code. 

Michael Cassidy

Michael Cassidy is a DevOps professional with a passion for Infrastructure as Code and Terraform. He loves building scalable and efficient production architectures. When not busy with technology, Michael coaches others on fitness and wellness. It's a passion of his to inspire people to lead healthier lifestyles and feel their best, especially those in tech!