Terraform in Atlas: Collaborate and Build Infrastructure in the Cloud

Terraform in Atlas: Collaborate and Build Infrastructure in the Cloud

Apr 09 2015    Mitchell Hashimoto

Today we announce Terraform integration with Atlas. Build infrastructure, collaborate on infrastructure changes, and safely make changes to existing infrastructure all from a web interface.

Terraform is our open source project for deploying and managing infrastructure. It supports many providers, such as AWS, Google Cloud, OpenStack, Docker, and more. With the Atlas integration, Terraform can now manage all of this from a web interface for a single person or an entire team.

Atlas brings infrastructure collaboration to a level not before possible, and makes managing infrastructures a more social process: review potential changes, see a timeline of activity, and lock infrastructures against dangerous changes.

Read on to learn more and see screenshots of this in action.

Infrastructure Activity Stream

In the "changes" view, you can view a stream of all the activity that has been happening with your infrastructure. This includes Terraform runs (planned and applied), Terraform state changes, and configuration changes.

From this view, you can at a glance see what changes your team has been making as well as what changes are pending (see the "NEEDS USER ACTION" text below). We'll briefly explain all of this below the screenshot.

Activity Stream

As changes are made to your Terraform configuration, Atlas automatically creates a terraform plan. This doesn't change your infrastructure, but tells you what will change if Terraform is applied. This puts the run into the "NEEDS USER ACTION" state.

Once a plan is approved (by a person), Atlas locks your infrastructure and runs Terraform. If the apply is successful, the run says "APPLIED" with a green check mark. If there is an error for any reason, then it says "ERRORED".

In the next section, you can see what viewing a run and collaborating on a run is like.

Infrastructure Collaboration

When a change in your Terraform configuration is pushed, Atlas automatically generates a Terraform plan, as you can see below. You can see who pushed the change, and the output of the plan.

Plan

Within the next few weeks, Atlas will notify via email, Slack, and more when a plan is available to notify your team that a plan is ready to be reviewed.

At this stage, the team should collaborate and verify that the plan makes a change that they expected and are comfortable with. When it is approved, someone clicks the big green "Confirm & Apply" button. When this is pressed, Terraform will queue that plan for apply, and run it:

Apply

Terraform

All of this is of course powered by Terraform. This means that Atlas can manage anything Terraform can manage: AWS, Google, OpenStack, Docker, etc. Additionally, it means that as Terraform improves, Atlas will improve as well.

Terraform is completely open source. This means that if you ever feel like you don't want to use Atlas, you're not locked in at all. You can take your Terraform configuration and state and work on your own with the Terraform project manually.

Terraform on its own is a standalone command-line application that runs from a user's computer. Terraform in a team environment is difficult with this model. Atlas is the collaboration platform for Terraform, making it fun to work on infrastructure with a team.

Atlas runs every Terraform plan/apply in its own isolated virtual machine. This means that every feature of Terraform is available to you, including executing local scripts.

Getting Started

You can get started with Atlas and Terraform right now. We've created an interactive tutorial to guide you every step of the way. You don't even need an Atlas account to begin!

Visit the interactive tutorial to get started today.

The Future

What we've released today is just the beginning of infrastructure collaboration.

Within the month, we'll be integrated with GitHub so that your Terraform configuration changes pushed to GitHub automatically are sent/triggered in Atlas. And going further than that, we have exciting features planned to make Atlas the best tool for deploying and managing infrastructure and applications.

But with what we've launched today, we already feel very confident that we've built the most enjoyable and open tool for collaborating on infrastructure that exists today.

Atlas is our commercial product currently in tech preview. We will be announcing pricing soon. When Atlas pricing is announced, there will be a generous free tier, so you don't need to worry about being charged for playing with Atlas. If you're using Atlas at a larger scale and have concerns, email us at hello@hashicorp.com and we'd be happy to talk with you.

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