Making Open Work
May 8–9, 2017: Training & Tutorials
May 10–11, 2017: Conference
Austin, TX

Hello, cloud: Why and how to start managing your infrastructure with Terraform

Quinn Murphy (GitHub), Frank Schaller (RoundTower Technologies)
9:00am12:30pm Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Location: Meeting Room 18 A/B
Level: Beginner
Average rating: **...
(2.75, 4 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • DevOps engineers working with cloud infrastructure

Prerequisite knowledge

  • Familiarity with and access to AWS resource provisioning (EC2, S3, Route53, etc.)

Materials or downloads needed in advance

  • A laptop with Terraform installed (or Docker Engine for a provided container)
  • An AWS account that can provision EC2, S3, and Route53 resources and a GitHub account (for downloading materials)

What you'll learn

  • Understand basic Infrastructure as Code concepts
  • Learn how to deploy a web application in AWS with Terraform and modularize that deployment code so that you can use it for other projects


Terraform is a great tool for managing cloud infrastructure, but where you should you start? Quinn Murphy and Byron Schaller offer an overview of Terraform and guide you through building a simple demo to illustrate Terraform best practices.

Quinn and Byron start by explaining what Terraform is and what makes it different from configuration management tools (an easy initial comparison). They also discuss how Infrastructure as Code helps make cloud infrastructure more manageable, deployable, and secure. From there Quinn and Byron walk you through building a small piece of infrastructure in AWS with Terraform—spinning up a small web app to illustrate the basic concepts and revisiting the infrastructure to illustrate how to build modules, pipelines, and more.

Along the way, Quinn and Byron demonstrate how Terraform can be used with configuration management to automate every part of a cloud deploy using an “outside-in” approach and touch briefly on how to manage state when multiple people are working with the same Terraform-provisioned infrastructure, highlighting tools like Terragrunt and HashiCorp’s enterprise solution, Atlas.

Photo of Quinn Murphy

Quinn Murphy


Quinn Murphy wandered around the IT landscape for over a decade before discovering the oasis that is web operations. Since that time, he’s been addicted to live opens and open source tools and culture.

Photo of Frank Schaller

Frank Schaller

RoundTower Technologies

Byron Schaller is principal architect at RoundTower Technologies. A skilled enterprise architect with 18 years of combined infrastructure design and software development experience, Byron melds data center virtualization and cloud experience with Agile development to design automation and orchestration solutions for enterprise hybrid clouds. He has deployed a number of private and public cloud solutions and driven adoption of the software-defined enterprise and service-oriented architecture to lower operation costs and provide a superior level of IT service delivery. Byron has delivered numerous presentations to clients, peers, and executives and spoken at several regional and national conferences, including VMWorld and DevOps Days. Byron enjoys sharing his knowledge with others by mentoring and writing. Along with his personal blog,, Byron has written for Network Computing and Intense Schools. He also helps lead the Indianapolis Virtualization Technology user group and is a former VMUG leader. He holds several industry certifications and is currently preparing for his VCDX submission. Byron can be found on Twitter as @byronschaller and lurking in the VMware subreddit as byronschaller.