Create Production and Development Environments on AWS

In this blog post, I’ll be walking you through how to create Production and Development environments on Amazon’s Web Service. If you would like an introduction or a refresher on Terraform, please refer to my previous blog post. Without further ado, let’s get into this demo.


  1. Active AWS Account
  2. AWS Command Line Interface
  3. Terraform Command Line Interface
  4. Terraform Starter Kit

Production & Development Environments Demo

First, download the starter kit from Github and cd to the root directory:

git clone
cd learn-terraform-code-organization

These are the files that are visible in your directory:

  • – configures the resources that make up your infrastructure.
  • declares variables to mark the dev and prod environments, along with a region to deploy your infrastructure in.
  • terraform.tfvars.example- will define your region and environment prefixes.
  • specifies the two website endpoints for your dev and prod buckets.
  • assets- houses your app HTML file that will be served to the web

Terraform requires unique identifiers – in this case, prod or dev for each s3 resource – to create separate resources of the same type.

Next, edit the file “terraform.tfvars.example” with the following:

region = "us-east-1" (depends on your location)
prod_prefix = "prod"
dev_prefix = "dev"

Remove “.example” from the file name then run the follow commands:

terraform init
terraform apply
terraform destroy

Separate Configuration

Defining multiple environments in the same “” file may become hard to manage as you add more resources.
So now we are going to organize the current configuration by splitting it into two separate files

First lets make a copy of the main file for dev


Then we will rename main to prod


Then go through the separate prod & dev files and remove all references of prod in dev and all references of dev in prod.

Although our environments are in separate configurations, our “” and “terraform.tfvars” files contain all the variable declarations and definitions for both environments. So we now have resources split between environments in “” and “” and our environments have unique identifiers to distinguish the region we are deploying to.

Terraform loads all configuration files within a directory and appends them together, which means that any resources or providers with the same name in the same directory will cause a validation error. So if we were to run a terraform command now, our “random_pet” resource and provider block would cause errors.

To fix this we’ll comment out provider and first resource in prod file. With prod’s shared resources commented out, our production environment will still inherit the value of the “random_pet” resource from our “” file.

Lastly, we’ll update dev’s resource slightly:

length ="4"

Then run the files:

terraform apply
terraform destroy

However, if we want to truly separate our environments we also need to separate the states as well. We can do by using directories or workspaces. For this webinar, we’ll be using directories because it is more practical.

Create a dev directory

mkdir prod && mkdir dev

Move the “” file to the dev directory and rename it

mv dev/

Next we’ll copy the “”, “terraform.tfvars” and “” files to the dev directory

cp terraform.tfvars dev/

The last step would be to update the “content” path in “” since the assets folder is one level above now


The final step is to go through your dev directory and remove all references of prod in each file.

Now we’ll do the exact same thing for the prod directory. Create a prod directory.

mv prod/

Next we’ll move the “”, “terraform.tfvars” and “” files to the prod directory

mv terraform.tfvars prod/

Un-comment the “provider” & “resource” declarations in “” from before


Now just cd into each directory and deploy the environments

terraform init
terraform apply

Congratulations, you have successfully created a Production and Development environment on AWS using terraform. Feel free to visit your deployed app and play a few rounds of Tetris. When you are done, don’t forget to use “terraform destroy” to shut down your environments.

Webinar Recording


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