As a software professional handling Infrastructure as Code (IaC), chances are you work a lot with Terraform. When helping new clients use IaC, it is common to simplify things, but managing a Terraform state file is the first challenge you face. Essentially, Terraform state contains sensitive information, which shouldn’t be stored by source control but, at the same time, won’t scale if you have multiple users working on the same Terraform state. The answer to that? Backends.

It is important to note that you could store that state file on an S3 bucket and use DynamoDB to manage the locking state. However, this approach will force you to create additional resources, which makes it a complicated option, especially if the client is using GitLab. GitLab recently lowered the entry barrier to integrating Terraform by providing a way to store and manage Terraform state, as well as an easy way to set up a CI around it.

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