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Terraform Resource Syntax, Behavior and State

Step-01: Introduction

  • Understand Resource Syntax
  • Understand Resource Behavior
  • Understanding Terraform State File
  • terraform.tfstate
  • Understanding Desired and Current States (High Level Only)

Step-02: Understand Resource Syntax

  • We are going to understand about below concepts from Resource Syntax perspective
  • Resource Block
  • Resource Type
  • Resource Local Name
  • Resource Arguments
  • Resource Meta-Arguments


# Terraform Block
terraform {
  required_version = ">= 1.0.0"
  required_providers {
    azurerm = {
      source = "hashicorp/azurerm"
      version = ">= 2.0" 

# Provider Block
provider "azurerm" {
 features {}          


# Resource-1: Azure Resource Group
resource "azurerm_resource_group" "myrg" {
  name = "myrg-1"
  location = "East US"


  1. Resource-2: Create Virtual Network
  2. Resource-3: Create Subnet
  3. Resource-4: Create Public IP Address
  4. Resource-5: Create Network Interface
# Resource-2: Create Virtual Network
resource "azurerm_virtual_network" "myvnet" {
  name                = "myvnet-1"
  address_space       = [""]
  location            = azurerm_resource_group.myrg.location
  resource_group_name =

# Resource-3: Create Subnet
resource "azurerm_subnet" "mysubnet" {
  name                 = "mysubnet-1"
  resource_group_name  =
  virtual_network_name =
  address_prefixes     = [""]

# Resource-4: Create Public IP Address
resource "azurerm_public_ip" "mypublicip" {
  name                = "mypublicip-1"
  resource_group_name =
  location            = azurerm_resource_group.myrg.location
  allocation_method   = "Static"
  tags = {
    environment = "Dev"

# Resource-5: Create Network Interface
resource "azurerm_network_interface" "myvm1nic" {
  name                = "vm1-nic"
  location            = azurerm_resource_group.myrg.location
  resource_group_name =

  ip_configuration {
    name                          = "internal"
    subnet_id                     =
    private_ip_address_allocation = "Dynamic"
    public_ip_address_id = 

Step-06: Understand Resource Behavior

  • We are going to understand resource behavior in combination with Terraform State
  • Create Resource
  • Update in-place Resources
  • Destroy and Re-create Resources
  • Destroy Resource

Step-07: Resource: Create Resources

# Initialize Terraform
terraform init

1) Successfully downloaded providers in .terraform folder
2) Created lock file named ".terraform.lock.hcl"

# Validate Terraform configuration files
terraform validate
Observation: No files changed / added in current working directory

# Format Terraform configuration files
terraform fmt
Observations: *.tf files will change to format them if any format changes exists

# Review the terraform plan
terraform plan 
Observation-1: Nothing happens during the first run from terraform state perspective
Observation-2: From Resource Behavior perspective you can see "+ create", we are creating 

# Create Resources 
terraform apply -auto-approve
1) Creates terraform.tfstate file in local working directory
2) Creates actual resource in Azure Cloud
  • Important Note: Here we have seen example for Create Resource

Step-08: Understanding Terraform State File

  • What is Terraform State ?
  • It is the primary core thing for terraform to function
  • In a short way, its the underlying database containing the resources information which are provisioning using Terraform
  • Primary Purpose: To store bindings between objects in a remote system and resource instances declared in your configuration.
  • When Terraform creates a remote object in response to a change of configuration, it will record the identity of that remote object against a particular resource instance, and then potentially update or delete that object in response to future configuration changes.
  • Terraform state file created when we first run the terraform apply
  • Terraform state file is created locally in working directory.
  • If required, we can confiure the backend block in terraform block which will allow us to store state file remotely. Storing remotely is recommended option which we will see in the next section of the course.

Step-09: Review terraform.tfstate file

  • Terraform State files are JSON based
  • Manual editing of Terraform state files is highly not recommended
  • Review terraform.tfstate file step by step

Step-10: Resource: Update In-Place: Make changes by adding new tag to Virtual Network Resource

  • Add a new tag in azurerm_virtual_network resource
# Add this for Virtual Network Resource
    "Environment" = "Dev"
  • Review Terraform Plan
# Review the terraform plan
terraform plan 
Observation: You should see "~ update in-place" 
"Plan: 0 to add, 1 to change, 0 to destroy."

# Create / Update Resources 
terraform apply -auto-approve
Observation: "Apply complete! Resources: 0 added, 1 changed, 0 destroyed."
  • Important Note: Here we have seen example for update in-place

Step-11: Resource: Destroy and Re-create Resources: Update Virtual Network Name

  • This will destroy the Virtual Network, Subnet and Recreate them.
# Before
  name                = "vm1-nic"

# After
  name                = "vm1-nic1"
  • Execute Terraform Commands
# Review the terraform plan
terraform plan 
1)   -/+ destroy and then create replacement
2) -/+ resource "azurerm_network_interface" "myvm1nic" {
3) -/+ resource "azurerm_network_interface" "myvm1nic" {
4) Plan: 2 to add, 0 to change, 2 to destroy.

# Create / Update Resources 
terraform apply -auto-approve
1. Apply complete! Resources: 2 added, 0 changed, 2 destroyed.

Step-12: Resource: Destroy Resource

# Destroy Resource
terraform destroy 

1) - destroy
2) All 7 resources will be destroyed
3) Plan: 0 to add, 0 to change, 7 to destroy.
4) Destroy complete! Resources: 7 destroyed.

Step-13: Understand Desired and Current States (High-Level Only)

  • Desired State: Local Terraform Manifest (All *.tf files)
  • Current State: Real Resources present in your cloud

Step-14: Clean-Up

# Destroy Resource
terraform destroy -auto-approve 

# Remove Terraform Files
rm -rf .terraform*
rm -rf terraform.tfstate*

Step-15: Revert files to Demo State for Students

# Change-1: Comment in azurerm_virtual_network
#"Environment" = "Dev"  # Uncomment during Step-10

# Change-2: Revert name back in azurerm_network_interface Resource 
name                = "vm1-nic"