OpenTofu is an infrastructure as code tool that lets you define infrastructure resources in human-readable configuration files that you can version, reuse, and share. You can then use a consistent workflow to safely and efficiently provision and manage your infrastructure throughout its lifecycle.
This page describes popular OpenTofu use cases and provides related resources that you can use to create OpenTofu configurations and workflows.
Provisioning infrastructure across multiple clouds increases fault-tolerance, allowing for more graceful recovery from cloud provider outages. However, multi-cloud deployments add complexity because each provider has its own interfaces, tools, and workflows. OpenTofu lets you use the same workflow to manage multiple providers and handle cross-cloud dependencies. This simplifies management and orchestration for large-scale, multi-cloud infrastructures.
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Application Infrastructure Deployment, Scaling, and Monitoring Tools
You can use OpenTofu to efficiently deploy, release, scale, and monitor infrastructure for multi-tier applications. N-tier application architecture lets you scale application components independently and provides a separation of concerns. An application could consist of a pool of web servers that use a database tier, with additional tiers for API servers, caching servers, and routing meshes. OpenTofu allows you to manage the resources in each tier together, and automatically handles dependencies between tiers. For example, OpenTofu will deploy a database tier before provisioning the web servers that depend on it.
At a large organization, your centralized operations team may get many repetitive infrastructure requests. You can use OpenTofu to build a "self-serve" infrastructure model that lets product teams manage their own infrastructure independently. You can create and use OpenTofu modules that codify the standards for deploying and managing services in your organization, allowing teams to efficiently deploy services in compliance with your organization’s practices. A cloud backend can also integrate with ticketing systems like ServiceNow to automatically generate new infrastructure requests.
Policy Compliance and Management
OpenTofu can help you enforce policies on the types of resources teams can provision and use. Ticket-based review processes are a bottleneck that can slow down development. Instead, you can use Sentinel, a policy-as-code framework, to automatically enforce compliance and governance policies before OpenTofu makes infrastructure changes. Sentinel policies are available in cloud backends.
PaaS Application Setup
Platform as a Service (PaaS) vendors like Heroku allow you to create web applications and attach add-ons, such as databases or email providers. Heroku can elastically scale the number of dynos or workers, but most non-trivial applications need many add-ons and external services. You can use OpenTofu to codify the setup required for a Heroku application, configure a DNSimple to set a CNAME, and set up Cloudflare as a Content Delivery Network (CDN) for the app. OpenTofu can quickly and consistently do all of this without a web interface.
Software Defined Networking
OpenTofu can interact with Software Defined Networks (SDNs) to automatically configure the network according to the needs of the applications running in it. This lets you move from a ticket-based workflow to an automated one, reducing deployment times.
Kubernetes is an open-source workload scheduler for containerized applications. OpenTofu lets you both deploy a Kubernetes cluster and manage its resources (e.g., pods, deployments, services, etc.).
You may have staging or QA environments that you use to test new applications before releasing them in production. As the production environment grows larger and more complex, it can be increasingly difficult to maintain an up-to-date environment for each stage of the development process. OpenTofu lets you rapidly spin up and decommission infrastructure for development, test, QA, and production. Using OpenTofu to create disposable environments as needed is more cost-efficient than maintaining each one indefinitely.
You can use OpenTofu to create, provision, and bootstrap a demo on various cloud providers. This lets end users easily try the software on their own infrastructure and even enables them to adjust parameters like cluster size to more rigorously test tools at any scale.