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Forums HashiCorp Terraform Can Terraform be used to provision on-premises servers?

  • Can Terraform be used to provision on-premises servers?

    Posted by Joshua Falken on June 28, 2023 at 1:52 pm

    I’m new to Terraform, but how to say run it on a regular server? Is it possible? I am talking – regular on premises machine. Can Terraform be used to provision a datacenter server, which is not on a hypervisor?

    Joshua Falken replied 3 months, 1 week ago 1 Member · 1 Reply
  • 1 Reply
  • Joshua Falken

    June 28, 2023 at 1:55 pm

    Yes, HashiCorp Terraform can be used to provision on-premises servers, including regular on-premises machines that are not running on a hypervisor. Terraform is designed to be infrastructure-agnostic, which means it can work with a variety of infrastructure platforms, including on-premises datacenters.

    Terraform is primarily designed for managing and provisioning cloud-based resources and infrastructure, such as virtual machines, containers, and other cloud services. It focuses on interacting with infrastructure providers through their APIs, which are typically used to provision and manage resources in the cloud.

    While Terraform is not specifically designed to provision physical hardware-based servers, it can still be used in certain scenarios with physical infrastructure. However, provisioning physical hardware servers using Terraform requires additional customizations and integrations. However, so long as there is a Terraform Provider built to work with the necessary APIs of the system that hosts your servers, then Terraform will be able to assist you in provisioning.

    To run Terraform on a regular on-premises machine, you’ll need to follow these general steps:

    1. Download and install Terraform: Visit the Terraform website (https://www.terraform.io/downloads.html) and download the appropriate binary for your operating system. Install Terraform by following the installation instructions provided.

    2. Define your infrastructure configuration: Create a Terraform configuration file (usually named main.tf) that describes the desired infrastructure state. This configuration file specifies the resources you want to provision, their settings, and any dependencies.

    3. Customize the configuration: Modify the Terraform configuration file to match your specific on-premises environment. This includes providing details such as IP addresses, hostnames, credentials, and any other necessary information for your servers.

    4. Initialize the Terraform working directory: Open a terminal or command prompt, navigate to the directory where your Terraform configuration file is located, and run the command terraform initThis command initializes the working directory, downloads necessary provider plugins, and prepares Terraform for use.

    5. Plan the infrastructure changes: Run the command terraform plan to generate an execution plan. This step allows Terraform to analyze your configuration and determine what changes are needed to reach the desired state. It will show you what resources will be created, modified, or destroyed.

    6. Apply the changes: If the execution plan looks correct, run the command terraform apply to apply the changes and provision the infrastructure. Terraform will start provisioning the servers and configuring them based on the configuration provided.

    By following these steps, you can use Terraform to provision and manage your on-premises servers, regardless of whether they are running on a hypervisor or not.