Best practices for using the Terraform AWS Provider - AWS Prescriptive Guidance

Best practices for using the Terraform AWS Provider

Michael Begin, Senior DevOps Consultant, Amazon Web Services (AWS)

May 2024 (document history)

Managing infrastructure as code (IaC) with Terraform on AWS offers important benefits such as improved consistency, security, and agility. However, as your Terraform configuration grows in size and complexity, it becomes critical to follow best practices to avoid pitfalls.

This guide provides recommended best practices for using the Terraform AWS Provider from HashiCorp. It walks you through proper versioning, security controls, remote backends, codebase structure, and community providers to optimize Terraform on AWS. Each section dives into more details on the specifics of applying these best practices:


This guide helps you gain operational knowledge on the Terraform AWS Provider and addresses the following business goals that you can achieve by following IaC best practices around security, reliability, compliance, and developer productivity.

  • Improve infrastructure code quality and consistency across Terraform projects.

  • Accelerate developer onboarding and ability to contribute to infrastructure code.

  • Increase business agility through faster infrastructure changes.

  • Reduce errors and downtime related to infrastructure changes.

  • Optimize infrastructure costs by following IaC best practices.

  • Strengthen your overall security posture through best practice implementation.

Target audience

The target audience for this guide includes technical leads and managers who oversee teams that use Terraform for IaC on AWS. Other potential readers include infrastructure engineers, DevOps engineers, solutions architects, and developers who actively use Terraform to manage AWS infrastructure.

Following these best practices will save time and help unlock the benefits of IaC for these roles.