Get Started With Scalr & Terraform CLI on Azure

Author
JB Beck Oct 26, 2020 • 5 Min Read
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This tutorial will walk you through the basics of using Scalr as a remote backend for Terraform. Scalr is a Terraform collaboration tool which provides a centralized runtime environment, state file storage and locking, policy enforcement with the Open Policy Agent and role-based access controls.

Within a couple minutes you will have deployed a virtual machine using Terraform and Scalr. Please note that we’re taking the example of a virtual machine here but Scalr can deploy any resource that Terraform can.

Prerequisites

To get started, you need to give Scalr access to your Azure account. The easiest is to create a service principal that will be used to provision infrastructure. If you don’t know how to do that, click here. Note that you can also use whatever process you have already implemented for Terraform: Hashicorp Vault, environment variables, …

Click to the switcher in the top right corner and go to the Account Scope. Click on Add Cloud Credentials from the Account Dashboard.


Dashboard


Note: The Account Scope is used for admin tasks - adding cloud credentials, connecting vcs providers, managing users and teams, … The environment scope is used to manage workspaces. You can read more on this here.

Click on Add Credentials and select Azure. Enter a name, the Access Key ID and the Secret Access Key. Click save.

Now that you have registered your credentials within Scalr, click on the Environments tab and link the Azure account you just added to an environment by clicking on the link icon in front of Azure.


Environment


Get your token from Scalr

Click on the profile icon on the top right corner of the screen. Click on API access. Click on Generate API Token and save your token.


Token


Get your organization ID from Scalr

Go back to the environment scope and copy your Organization ID from the dashboard.


Organization ID


Run the Get Started Script or use your own Terraform files

For this step you can decide to use your own Terraform code or use the starter main.tf file that we’ve built for this tutorial.

If you want to use our starter code, open your terminal and run the following script:


  bash <(curl https://raw.githubusercontent.com/jeanbaptistebeck/scalr-get-started-azure/main/scalr-get-started-azure.sh>)

It will ask for the Scalr account name you chose when creating your account, the Scalr token you retrieved earlier and a workspace name of your choice. This script creates a main.tf file that will deploy a virtual machine in the eastus region. It will also append your Scalr token to your ~/.terraformrc file so that the Terraform CLI can talk to your Scalr account. 

If you are using your own Terraform files, append the Scalr token to the CLI configuration file.

  • Windows: terraform.rc in %APPDATA% directory
  • Unix/Linux/Mac : ~/.terraformrc

  credentials "my-account.scalr.io" {
    token = "<user-token>"
  }

Initialize the backend

Run terraform init in the folder where you ran the script. It will instantiate Scalr as the remote backend where Terraform will run and store your state file. 

Provision the virtual machine

Run terraform apply to provision the virtual machine. Go to the Scalr UI to check that everything went well. Check that the virtual machine has been deployed by going to the Azure portal. 

Destroy the virtual machine

Run terraform destroy from the terminal to remove the virtual machine we just launched. 

Conclusion

Congratulations! You have successfully deployed an instance on Azure using Scalr and the Terraform CLI. Note that you can also provision resources through VCS integration (GitHub, Gitlab, Bitbucket), the Scalr API and the Scalr UI.

The next step in your Scalr journey is to invite members of your team and connect a VCS provider.

Using another cloud provider? Check out Get Started With Scalr on AWS or Get Started With Scalr on GCP.

Ready to get started?

Scalr is free for up to 5 users