It's time to create and implement business and technology strategies powered by the cloud. Here is your complete game plan. Check the "Cloud Adoption Framework" infographic to plan your strategy to modernize and innovate. 

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Migrating your IT infrastructure to the cloud has a ton of benefits. Whether you're looking to improve security and become GDPR compliant, cut your total cost of ownership, or promote teamwork and innovation by integrating AI capabilities, the cloud provides a solution to your IT problems.

Would you like to upgrade your IT infrastructure to the cloud? At CloudIQ Technologies, we have knowledgeable and professional team ready to help address any of your IT infrastructure upgrade needs. Contact us today to learn more.

Introduction to Terraform

Terraform is an open-source tool for managing cloud infrastructure. Terraform uses Infrastructure as Code (IaC) for building, changing and versioning infrastructure safely. Terraform is used to create, manage, and update infrastructure resources such as virtual machines, virtual networks, and clusters.

The Terraform CLI provides a simple mechanism to deploy and version the configuration files to Azure. And with AzureRM you can create, modify and delete azure resources in Terraform configuration.

The infrastructure that Terraform can manage, includes low-level components such as compute instances, storage, and networking, as well as high-level components such as DNS entries, SaaS features, etc.

Providers in Terraform

A provider is responsible for understanding API interactions and exposing resources. Providers generally are an IaaS

  • Azure
  • Aws
  • Google Cloud
  • OpenStack
  • Docker
  • Alibaba Cloud
  • VMware   

For each provider, there are many kinds of resourcesyou can create. Here is the general Syntax for terraform resources.

resource  “<provider>_<type>”   “<name>” 	{
[config]
}

Where PROVIDER is the name of a provider (e.g., Azure), TYPE is the type of resources to create in that provider (e.g., Instance), NAME is an identifier you can use throughout the Terraform code to refer to this resource and CONFIG consists of one or more argumentsthat are specific to that resource.

Terraform Features:

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 an execution 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.

TERRAFORM STRUCTURE

The primary module structure requirement is that a “root module” must exist. The root module is the directory that holds the Terraform configuration files that are applied to build your desired infrastructure. Any module should include, at a minimum, a “main.tf”, a “variables.tf” and “outputs.tf” file.

main.tf calls modules, locals, and data-sources to create all resources. If using nested modules to split up your infrastructure’s required resources, the “main.tf” file holds all your module blocks and any needed resources not contained within your nested modules.

variables.tf contains the input variable and output variable declarations.

outputs.tf tells Terraform what data is important. This data is outputted when “apply” is called and can be queried using the Terraform “output” command. It contains outputs from the resources created in main.tf.

TFVARS File - To persist variable values, create a file and assign variables within this file. Within the current directory, for all files that match terraform.tfvars or *.auto.tfvars, terraform automatically loads them to populate variables.

MODULES

Modules are subdirectories with self-contained Terraform code. A module is a container for multiple resources that are used together. The root module is the directory that holds the Terraform configuration files that are applied to build your desired infrastructure. The root module may call other modules and connect them by passing output values from one as input values of another.

In production, we may need to manage multiple environments, and different products with similar infrastructure. Writing code to manage each of these similar configurations increases redundancy in the code.  And finally, we need the capability to test different versions while keeping the production infrastructure stable.

Terraform provides modules that allow us to abstract away re-usable parts, which can be configured once, and used everywhere. Modules allow us to group resources, define input variables which are used to change resource configuration parameters and define output variables that other resources or modules can use.

Modules can also call other modules using a “module” block, but we recommend keeping the module tree relatively flat and using module composition as an alternative to a deeply nested tree of modules, because this makes the individual modules easier to re-use in different combinations.

Terraform Workflow :

There are steps to build infrastructure with terraform

  • INIT
  • Plan
  • Apply
  • Destroy
INIT

Initialize the Terraform configuration directory using Terraform “init”.

Init will create a hidden directory “.terraform” and download plugins as needed by the configuration. Init also configures the “-backend-config” option and can be used for partial backend configuration.

Command

terraform init -backend-config=”backend-dev.config”

backend-dev.config - This file contains the details shown in the screenshot below.

PLAN

The terraform plan command is used to create an execution plan. The plan will be used to see all the resources that are getting created/updated/deleted, before getting applied. Actual creation will happen in the “apply” command.

The var file given will define resources that are unique for each team.

Command:

terraform plan -var-file="parentvarvalues.tfvars"

This file includes all global variables and Azure subscription details.

APPLY

The Terraform “apply” command is used to apply changes in the configuration. You’ll notice that the “apply” command shows you the same “plan” output and asks you to confirm if you want to proceed with this plan.

The “-auto-approve” parameter will skip the confirmation for creating resources. It’s better not to have it when you want to apply directly, without “plan”.

Command:

terraform apply -var-file="parentvarvalues-team1.tfvars" -auto-approve

Terraform State Management:

Terraform stores the resources it manages into a state file. There are two types of state files: “remote” and “local”. While the “local” state is great for an isolated developer, the “remote” state is quite indispensable for a team, as each member will need to share the infrastructure state whenever there is a change.

Terraform compares those changes with the state file to determine what changes result in a new resource or resource modifications. Terraform stores the state about our managed infrastructure and configuration. This state is used by Terraform to map real-world resources to our configuration, keep track of metadata, and to improve performance for large infrastructures.

TERRAFORM IMPORT

The terraform import command is used to import existing infrastructure. This allows you to take resources you've created by some other means and bring it under Terraform management. This is a great way to slowly transition infrastructure to Terraform.

resource “azurerm_resourcegroup .name <subscription_id>{
#instance configuration
}

You want to import the state that already exists, so that the next time you the “apply” command, terraform already knows that the resource exists, and any changes made going forward will be picked up as modifications.

1. Security and Compliance:

If you are wondering why we are starting with security, then check out this number. $6 trillion, that’s the amount of annual damage cyber crimes is predicted to cost us by 2021.

Which is precisely why the first thing you need to check while picking your cloud service provider is their security and compliance levels – both physical as well as virtual – this includes the geographical location of their data centers and the local laws of the country they are based in.

There are a number of certifications and standards which guarantee the security preparedness of cloud vendors; their validity must be checked and additional investigations must be carried out by checking internal and third-party audits or reports.

You need to do a deep check of:

  • Security infrastructure and procedures followed by the vendor
  • Identity management and authorizations
  • Physical security controls including the process for natural disasters
  • Policies for data back-up and disaster recovery

2. Technical Capabilities

An obvious point, but it still needs to be reiterated.

Your service provider should have a full stack of technologies that support your current applications and also has the capability to match your future needs.

Cloud partnerships last a long time, and it's important to check the future roadmap of the service provider to understand if they have the mindset to catch trends early and innovate.

Some questions to focus on:

  • Will your current software and applications integrate easily with the service provider’s cloud infrastructure?
  • Do they use standard interfaces and APIs for easy integration?
  • Do they have the capability of providing hybrid cloud computing options and do they have the flexibility to host different cloud environments and systems?
  • Are they backing their capabilities with SLAs?
  • Are they willing and capable to architect solutions tailored to your business?

3. Costs

No two cloud service providers have similar or comparable pricing packages. They each have their own formula of computing cloud costs, and it is almost impossible to make a side-by-side comparison of different vendors. What you need to do is map out your organization’s requirement as minutely as possible and then decide which pricing model suits your needs.

Keep in mind:

  • Consumption timelines as long-term contracts are better priced
  • The flexibility offered by service providers in scaling up or down
  • Check for hidden costs

4. Business Health

The stability of your business depends on the stability of its partners, and you cannot underestimate the importance of a cloud partner. Before finalizing your cloud vendor, it is important to check their business and financial health.

You should check:

  • The company’s financial records
  • Management structure and other third-party relationships
  • Reputation, reviews, and referrals from existing customers
  • For any legal run-ins
  • All available third-party audits

5. Support

Do you just have a phone or chat access or does your service provider offers dedicated account management? How much support you can get from your vendor is another important criteria, that must be considered before finalizing a service provider.

Find out about:

  • Time guarantees for solving technical issues
  • Access to support services – 24x7 or 12x5
  • Cost of opting for dedicated resources

Deciding on a cloud service provider is a long process that demands complete thoroughness and analysis from the CIO and the rest of the team.

Before we leave you to navigate your way to your future cloud partner, here are two more important points that must be considered – Right size and exit strategy.

Keep in mind that to get the best service you need to find a vendor who connects with you and for whom you are a valuable client.

And always plan an exit strategy in case things don’t work out.

Best of Luck!

CloudIQ Tech, a growing cloud company, helping businesses, big or small, make the right cloud move to realize the true economies of cloud, has announced that it has achieved a Gold status for the Microsoft Cloud Platform Competency. The gold level is the highest Microsoft partner level, putting CloudIQ in an exclusive category with the other top partners.

The milestone achievement demonstrates CloudIQ Tech’s deep commitment, vast expertise in Microsoft cloud solutions and its team’s willingness to acquire in-depth knowledge and proficiency in Cloud tools and solutions while uniquely aligning them to evolving Microsoft’s Cloud Strategy and Competency goals. It is to be noted that to earn a Microsoft Gold Competency Certification, partner’s team members must successfully demonstrate their level of technology expertise in general, and deep knowledge of Microsoft and its products in particular. It is a valuable recognition by Microsoft for its partner’s holistic expertise in designing, migrating, integrating and delivering Windows-based applications and infrastructure solutions in the cloud using the Microsoft platform.

Commenting on the occasion, Mr. Prem Kumar Kandalu, CEO of CloudIQ Tech, said ”By achieving a Gold Competency, our dream to be part of the distinguished top 1 percent of Microsoft’s partner ecosystem has come true. This is a major step towards our objective of becoming a well known strategic player in Microsoft Cloud Solutions. Already within a short span of time we had become an Azure Gold Partner and now this Gold status for Microsoft Cloud Platform Competency will help us deliver cloud solutions with more confidence so that our customers drive innovative solutions on the latest Microsoft technology and move ahead successfully”.

About CloudIQ Tech:

CloudIQ Tech is a technology company helping businesses get the best out of emerging technologies, innovation and creative ideas. Our firm conviction that cloud is the way to go has enabled us to invest considerable time and efforts in R&D, focusing in designing, building, and managing cloud infrastructures and solutions that are uncomplicated, easily deployable, scalable while delivering the much needed edge from day one to our customers. The efforts are continual, ably supported by our team of cloud technical experts holding the highest possible certificate levels in designing, developing and implementing AWS and Azure cloud-based solutions.

Today our portfolio includes a range of Solutions & Services that comprise Cloud Consulting, Cloud Migration, Cloud Infrastructure Management services and Managed Cloud services besides DevOps Orchestration and home grown cloud apps and products. These cloud solutions empower people and organizations to innovate, increase operational efficiency, find opportunities to reduce cost and increase profits, and stay ahead of competition

Having achieved the Gold status for Microsoft Cloud Platform Competency will help us deliver cloud solutions with more confidence so that our customers drive innovative solutions on the latest Microsoft technology and move ahead successfully.

 

CloudIQ is a leading Cloud Consulting and Solutions firm that helps businesses solve today’s problems and plan the enterprise of tomorrow by integrating intelligent cloud solutions. We help you leverage the technologies that make your people more productive, your infrastructure more intelligent, and your business more profitable. 

US

626 120th Ave NE, B102, Bellevue,

WA, 98005.

 sales@cloudiqtech.com

INDIA

Chennai One IT SEZ,

Module No:5-C, Phase ll, 2nd Floor, North Block, Pallavaram-Thoraipakkam 200 ft road, Thoraipakkam, Chennai – 600097


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Please contact us using the form below

USA

626 120th Ave NE, B102, Bellevue, WA, 98005.

+1 (206) 203-4151

sales@cloudiqtech.com

INDIA

Chennai One IT SEZ,

Module No:5-C, Phase ll, 2nd Floor, North Block, Pallavaram-Thoraipakkam 200 ft road, Thoraipakkam, Chennai – 600097

+91-044-48651163