Short example/cheat sheet how to use the new terraform module for IBM Cloud observability instances

This is a short example/cheat sheet about, how to use the new module called terraform-ibm-observability-instances to create your service instances on IBM Cloud with Terraform. You can find the source code for the example of the blog post in this GitHub repository Example to use the IBM Observability Module. In this example we plan to create an Activity Tracker, a Log Analysis, and a Monitoring service instance on IBM Cloud with Terraform.

Terraform helps to realize an automated Infrastructure As Code approach. If you want to get started with Terraform and IBM Cloud, you can use the Getting started with Terraform on IBM Cloud.

Content of the example GitHub project

The diagram shows simplified the Terraform (.tf) files are organized in the example GitHub project.

A main element in Terraform is a module, which is a collection of .tf and/or .tf.json files kept together in a directory. The files do contain the HashiCorp Configuration Language (HCL) In Terraform you can define as many files (.tf) as you want. A configuration for Terraform has at least one module, that module is known as root module.

The following table contains the file names with the main language elements we are using in our example.

File nameUsageLangage elements
provider.tfHere we have defined only IBM Cloud as a provider.Providers
variables.tfHere we have defined the names and the plans for our service instance on IBM Cloud and the basic IBM Cloud elements like regionresource group, and API key.Variables and Outputs
outputs.tfHere we providing (in case of the reuse of that module) the access keys for our created IBM Cloud services.Variables and Outputs
main.tfThis file contains the usage of the included modules form IBM Cloud and it contains our terraform root module.Module
version.tfHere we set constraints for the Terraform version and IBM Cloud provider version.Version constraints
plan-observability-environment.shHere we implement an automation of the Terraform usage.bash scripting

The image above shows the simplified dependencies of the Terraform files and we see that we are sourcing (including) modules. 
Here are the links to the modules from IBM Cloud:

The bash script automates the creation of the needed environment variables for Terraform by sourcing the .env file to set the right values. Inside the bash automation script we execute the commands terraform init and terraform plan. But, we don’t execute the terraform apply command. Here is the content of the bash script:


# **************** Global variables
source ./.env

export TF_VAR_ibmcloud_api_key=$IBMCLOUD_APIKEY
export TF_VAR_ibm_region=$REGION
export TF_VAR_resource_group=$RESOURCE_GROUP

echo "*********************************"
echo ""
echo "Initialize Terraform"
terraform init

echo ""
echo "Press any key"
# **************** plan **************** 

echo "*********************************"
echo ""
echo "Generate a Terraform plan for the IBM Cloud resources"
terraform plan

Example setup

These are the steps you can follow along to verify the plan of the setup for an Activity Tracker, a Log Analysis, and a Monitoring service instance on IBM Cloud with Terraform.

Step 1: Clone the project to your local computer

git clone
cd terraform-example-to-use-ibm-observability-instance/code

Step 2: Configure the environment variables

cat .env-template > .env
# used as 'environment' variables

Step 2: Execute bash script

In the bash script we use the definition TF_VAR_ for input variables to set the variables based on our .env.

  • Example output:
  • Init

Initialize Terraform
Initializing modules...
Downloading git:: for observability_instances...
- observability_instances in .terraform/modules/observability_instances
Downloading git:: for resource_group...
- resource_group in .terraform/modules/resource_group

Initializing the backend...

Initializing provider plugins...
- Finding ibm-cloud/ibm versions matching ">= 1.38.1, >= 1.48.0"...
- Installing ibm-cloud/ibm v1.48.0...
- Installed ibm-cloud/ibm v1.48.0 (self-signed, key ID AAD3B791C49CC253)

rerun this command to reinitialize your working directory. If you forget, other
commands will detect it and remind you to do so if necessary.

Press any key
  • Plan

Generate a Terraform plan for the IBM Cloud resources

Terraform used the selected providers to generate the following execution plan.
Resource actions are indicated with the following symbols:
  + create

Terraform will perform the following actions:


Plan: 6 to add, 0 to change, 0 to destroy.

Changes to Outputs:
  + activity_tracker_resource_key = (sensitive value)
  + logdna_resource_key           = (sensitive value)
  + sysdig_resource_key           = (sensitive value)


Note: You didn't use the -out option to save this plan, so Terraform can't
guarantee to take exactly these actions if you run "terraform apply" now.

Here is one of my related blog posts to terraform usage: Use Terraform to create a VPC and a Kubernetes Cluster on IBM Cloud

I hope this was useful for you and let’s see what’s next?



#Terrafrom, #ibmcloud, #bashscripting

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