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Terraform AzureRM - Resource Groups

This guide is tailored for professionals and enthusiasts looking to efficiently manage Azure Resource Groups using Terraform, a widely-recognized infrastructure as code tool. Our focus will be on leveraging the AzureRM provider within Terraform to create, manage, and orchestrate Azure Resource Groups, which are fundamental building blocks in Azure for resource organization and management.

Introduction to Azure Resource Groups and Terraform

Azure Resource Groups are containers that hold related resources for Azure solutions. By placing resources in groups, you can manage and monitor them collectively, apply policies, and maintain their compliance efficiently.

Terraform, on the other hand, is an open-source infrastructure as code software tool that allows you to define and provision a cloud infrastructure using a high-level configuration language. It is particularly useful for managing large-scale, complex environments with a high degree of automation and repeatability.

Prerequisites for Using Terraform with AzureRM

Before diving into the management of Azure Resource Groups with Terraform, ensure that you have the following prerequisites in place:

Terraform Installation

Ensure that you have the latest version of Terraform installed on your machine. Terraform is regularly updated, and using the latest version ensures compatibility and access to the newest features.

AzureRM Terraform Provider

The AzureRM provider is an extension for Terraform that allows for the full lifecycle management of Azure resources. This guide assumes that you have already installed or are familiar with the AzureRM Terraform provider. If not, refer to the following resource for installation and setup instructions:

Configuring the AzureRM Provider

The AzureRM provider in Terraform is essential for interacting with Azure resources. It requires specific configuration to manage resource groups effectively.

Provider Configuration Syntax

Here's a breakdown of the provider configuration:

Resource Group Feature Argument

This argument within the AzureRM provider configuration controls the behavior of resource group deletion:

  • prevent_deletion_if_contains_resources: When set to true, Terraform will not delete resource groups containing resources, safeguarding against accidental data loss. Conversely, setting it to false allows Terraform to delete the resource group and all resources within it, useful for environments where rapid provisioning and de-provisioning of resources are common.

Provider Configuration Example

provider "azurerm" {
  features {
    resource_group {
      prevent_deletion_if_contains_resources = true

Declaring an Azure Resource Group in Terraform

Resource Block

In Terraform, a resource block defines a component of your infrastructure. A unique local name should be assigned to each resource group block to distinguish it in your Terraform configurations, particularly when managing multiple resource groups.

Resource Group Declaration Syntax

resource "azurerm_resource_group" "<local name>" {
  // Resource group properties

Defining the Resource Group

Required Arguments

  1. Location: This specifies where the resource group will be created. Azure has multiple regions, and selecting the right one is crucial for performance and compliance.


    location = "uksouth"

    To view all available Azure locations, use the following Azure CLI command:

    powershell az account list-locations -o table

  2. Name: This is the identifier for the resource group. It should be descriptive and follow a naming convention that reflects the application, service, and environment.

    Naming Convention Example:

    name = "rg-<app or service name>-<subscription purpose>-<###>"

Optional Arguments

  • Tags: Tags are key-value pairs used for organizing and identifying your Azure resources across different services and subscriptions. They assist in categorization and can be crucial for cost management and resource monitoring.

    Tagging Example:

    tags = {
      environment = "demo"
      source      = "terraform"

Resource Group Example Declaration

This is a practical example of declaring a resource group in Terraform, incorporating the discussed elements:

resource "azurerm_resource_group" "rg-app-001" {
  location = "uksouth"
  name     = "rg-app-demo-001"
  tags     = {
    environment = "demo"
    source      = "terraform"

In this guide, we have covered the essential aspects of managing Azure Resource Groups with Terraform, including prerequisites, provider configuration, and declaring resource groups with necessary and optional arguments. This knowledge lays a foundation for using Terraform to efficiently manage and orchestrate Azure resources in a cloud environment.

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