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Using Terraform to Auto Scale and Load Balance Compute Engine Instances in GCP

Learning how to configure complex environments with Terraform is a must-have skill. In this hands-on lab, we will provision an autoscaling group with a load balancer.


Path Info

Clock icon Intermediate
Clock icon 1h 0m
Clock icon Apr 03, 2020

Contact sales

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Table of Contents

  1. Challenge

    Create a Service Account

    1. From Google Cloud console's main navigation, choose IAM & Admin > Service Accounts.
    2. Click Create service account.
    3. Give your service account a name.
    4. Click Create.
    5. In the roles dropdown, select Project > Owner.
    6. Click Continue and then Done.
  2. Challenge

    Log in to the Host Instance and Ensure Terraform Is Installed

    1. From Google Cloud navigation, choose Compute Engine > VM instances.

    2. Click SSH next to terraform-instance.

    3. Use root privileges:

      sudo -i
    4. Change into the root directory:

      cd /
    5. Input the path to communicate with Terraform into the /etc/profile file:

      echo "PATH='$PATH:/downloads/'" >> /etc/profile
    6. Run the following in order to be able to call Terraform:

      source /etc/profile
    7. Call Terraform:

  3. Challenge

    Create a Service Account Key within the Instance

    1. Allow the SDK to communicate with GCP:

      gcloud auth login
    2. Enter Y at the prompt.

    3. Click on the link in the output.

    4. Select the Cloud Student account.

    5. Click Allow.

    6. Copy the code provided.

    7. Paste the code into the terminal.

    8. Create the service account key:

      gcloud iam service-accounts keys create /downloads/auto-scaling.json --iam-account <SERVICE_ACCOUNT_EMAIL>
  4. Challenge

    Create and Deploy the Configuration File

    1. Create a file:

    2. Paste in the following, replacing all instances of <PROJECT_NAME> with your project name, which can be found in the top navigation bar of the Google Cloud console:

      provider "google" {
        version = "3.20.0"
        credentials = file("/downloads/auto-scaling.json")
        project = "<PROJECT_NAME>"
        region  = "us-central1"
        zone    = "us-central1-c"
      resource "google_compute_network" "vpc_network" {
        name = "new-terraform-network"
      resource "google_compute_autoscaler" "foobar" {
        name   = "my-autoscaler"
        project = "<PROJECT_NAME>"
        zone   = "us-central1-c"
        target = google_compute_instance_group_manager.foobar.self_link
        autoscaling_policy {
          max_replicas    = 5
          min_replicas    = 2
          cooldown_period = 60
          cpu_utilization {
            target = 0.5
      resource "google_compute_instance_template" "foobar" {
        name           = "my-instance-template"
        machine_type   = "n1-standard-1"
        can_ip_forward = false
        project = "<PROJECT_NAME>"
        tags = ["foo", "bar", "allow-lb-service"]
        disk {
          source_image = data.google_compute_image.centos_7.self_link
        network_interface {
          network =
        metadata = {
          foo = "bar"
        service_account {
          scopes = ["userinfo-email", "compute-ro", "storage-ro"]
      resource "google_compute_target_pool" "foobar" {
        name = "my-target-pool"
        project = "<PROJECT_NAME>"
        region = "us-central1"
      resource "google_compute_instance_group_manager" "foobar" {
        name = "my-igm"
        zone = "us-central1-c"
        project = "<PROJECT_NAME>"
        version {
          instance_template  = google_compute_instance_template.foobar.self_link
          name               = "primary"
        target_pools       = [google_compute_target_pool.foobar.self_link]
        base_instance_name = "terraform"
      data "google_compute_image" "centos_7" {
        family  = "centos-7"
        project = "centos-cloud"
      module "lb" {
        source  = "GoogleCloudPlatform/lb/google"
        version = "2.2.0"
        region       = "us-central1"
        name         = "load-balancer"
        service_port = 80
        target_tags  = ["my-target-pool"]
        network      =

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