Terraform Best Practices for Better Infrastructure Management

Ioannis Moustakis
Published in
11 min readMay 15, 2022

In this article, we explore best practices for managing Infrastructure as Code (IaC) with Terraform. Terraform is one of the most used tools in the IaC space that enables us to safely and predictably apply changes to our infrastructure.

Starting with Terraform can feel like an intimidating task at first, but a beginner can quickly reach a basic understanding of the tool. After the initial learning period, a new user can then start running commands, creating, and refactoring Terraform code. During this process, many new users face nuances and issues around how to structure their code correctly, use advanced features, apply software development best practices in their IaC process, etc.

Let’s check together some best practices that will assist you in pushing your Terraform skills to the next level. If you are entirely new to Terraform, look at the Terraform Spacelift Blog, where you can find a plethora of material, tutorials, and examples to boost your skills.

Terraform Key Concepts

In this section, we will describe some key Terraform concepts briefly. If you are already familiar with these, you can skip this section.

Terraform Configuration Language

Terraform uses its own configuration language to declare infrastructure objects and their associations. The goal of this language is to be declarative and describe the system’s state that we want to reach.


Resources represent infrastructure objects and are one of the basic blocks of the Terraform language.

Data Sources

Data sources feed our Terraform configurations with external data or data defined by separate Terraform projects.


Modules help us group several resources and are the primary way to package resources in Terraform for reusability purposes.


Terraform keeps the information about the state of our infrastructure to store track mappings to our live infrastructure and metadata, create plans and apply new changes.


Ioannis Moustakis

Solutions Architect at AWS. Talks about Cloud Architecture, DevOps & SRE. https://www.linkedin.com/in/ioannis-moustakis/ Opinions expressed are solely my own.

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