Terraform — Provision Amazon EKS Cluster using Terraform

Ashish Patel
DevOps Mojo
Published in
3 min readFeb 27, 2022

Create and Deploy AWS EKS Cluster with Terraform.

Amazon EKS and Terraform


Amazon EKS (Elastic Kubernetes Service) is a managed container service to run and scale Kubernetes applications in the cloud or on-premises.

HashiCorp Terraform is an Infrastructure as Code (IaC) tool that lets you define both cloud and on-prem resources in human-readable configuration files that you can version, reuse, and share.

The purpose of this article is to create Amazon EKS Cluster using Terraform.

Terraform Initial Setup Configuration

Create an AWS provider. It allows to interact with the AWS resources, such as VPC, EKS, S3, EC2, and many others.

Terraform Provider

Terraform State Setup

Create Terraform backend to specify the location of the backend Terraform state file on S3 and the DynamoDB table used for the state file locking. This step is optional.

Remote state is simply storing that state file remotely, rather than on your local filesystem. In a enterprise project and/or if Terraform is used by a team, it is recommended to setup and use remote state.

Terraform Remote State (Backend)

Network Infrastructure Setup

Setting up the VPC, Subnets, Security Groups, etc.

Amazon EKS requires subnets must be in at least two different availability zones.

  1. Create AWS VPC (Virtual Private Cloud).
  2. Create two public and two private Subnets in different availability zones.
  3. Create Internet Gateway to provide internet access for services within VPC.
  4. Create NAT Gateway in public subnets. It is used in private subnets to allow services to connect to the internet.
  5. Create Routing Tables and associate subnets with them. Add required routing rules.
  6. Create Security Groups and associate subnets with them. Add required routing rules.
Network Infrastructure (VPC) Setup

EKS Cluster Setup

Create EKS cluster. Kubernetes clusters managed by Amazon EKS make calls to other AWS services on your behalf to manage the resources that you use with the service. For example, EKS will create an Auto Scaling Groups for each instance group if you use managed nodes.

Setting up the IAM Roles and Policies for EKS: EKS requires a few IAM Roles with relevant Policies to be pre-defined to operate correctly.

IAM Role: Create Role with the needed permissions that Amazon EKS will use to create AWS resources for Kubernetes clusters and interact with AWS APIs.

IAM Policy: Attach the trusted Policy (AmazonEKSClusterPolicy) which will allow Amazon EKS to assume and use this role.

Terraform EKS Cluster

Node Groups (Managed) Setup

Create a Node Group(s) to run application workload.

IAM Role: Similar to the EKS cluster, before you create worker node group, you must create IAM role with needed permissions for the node group to communicate with other AWS services.

IAM Policy: Attach the trusted Policy (AmazonEKSWorkerNodePolicy) which will allow amazon EC2 to assume and use this role. Also, attach the AWS managed permission Policy (AmazonEKS_CNI_Policy, AmazonEC2ContainerRegistryReadOnly).

Terraform EKS Node Groups

Terraform Variables

Create IAM user with administrator access to the AWS account, and get access key and secret key for authentication.

Define Terraform variables for AWS resources:

Terraform Variables

Set Terraform variables values as per your requirements:

Terraform Variables Values

Define Terraform data sources:

Terraform Data Source

Define Terraform output that required to connect with EKS cluster such as endpoint, certificate:

Terraform Execution: Infrastructure Resources Provisioning

Once you have finished declaring the resources, you can deploy all resources.

  1. terraform init: command is used to initialize a working directory containing Terraform configuration files.
  2. terraform plan: command creates an execution plan, which lets you preview the changes that Terraform plans to make to your infrastructure.
  3. terraform apply: command executes the actions proposed in a Terraform plan to create or update infrastructure.

After the complete creation, you can see resources in your AWS account.


To destroy previously-created infrastructure with Terraform, run below command:

terraform destroy: command is a convenient way to destroy all remote objects managed by a particular Terraform configuration.

You can find the source code on my GitHub: terraform-aws-eks-workshop.



Ashish Patel
DevOps Mojo

Cloud Architect • 4x AWS Certified • 6x Azure Certified • 1x Kubernetes Certified • MCP • .NET • Terraform • DevOps • Blogger [https://bit.ly/iamashishpatel]