Announcing the Lightstep Terraform Provider: an easier way to get started with observability
by Ben Cronin
Modern businesses rely on source control for software engineering. Code reviews, change history, and the ability to roll back are among the practices required for a company to ship software effectively and efficiently. Without source control, a company would be seriously jeopardizing its ability to do business.
The “infrastructure-as-code” (IaC) approach takes those source control practices that software engineers would never give up and applies them to managing and maintaining the configuration of deployed environments. This approach ranges from configuring virtual machines to multi-cloud deployments to the set up of monitoring and observability tools. It’s a practice that has saved countless organizations time and resources as they scale. Hashicorp’s Terraform has become the industry standard for making infrastructure-as-code work for organizations at any and every scale.
We’re excited to announce Lightstep’s Terraform Provider: an open-source Terraform provider for automating the setup and on-going configuration of Lightstep. We’ve been using the provider ourselves internally for quite some time to manage our own internal observability configuration and cloud infrastructure. We’re excited to be making it public!
Lightstep as Code
Lightstep’s Terraform Provider is a Hashicorp-verified Provider available on the Terraform registry, which allows organizations to automate configuration of Lightstep resources including alerts and dashboards using the Hashicorp Configuration Language (HCL). Using this approach, Lightstep configuration can be managed as source code. This makes setting up dashboards for new services and teams even easier. The Lightstep Terraform Provider will facilitate rolling out updates to many teams at once, as well as rolling back inadvertent changes, and ensuring standards and consistency across development teams is easier. This can all be done at enterprise scale using well-tested patterns used in software source control. Observability configuration can be managed alongside existing Terraform code that manages cloud infrastructure.
Lightstep is known for its ability to process telemetry data at massive scale and complexity. With Terraform support, Lightstep now adds support for configuration management at enterprise scale and all its accompanying benefits of automation, safety, and reusability.
AWS CloudWatch Ingest and Dashboard support
For those on the AWS platform, the initial release of the Lightstep Terraform Provider gives AWS customers an easy way to get started with our AWS dashboard Terraform module. This release combines modules to automate the ingest of data from AWS CloudWatch and spin up prebuilt dashboards for common managed services such as Amazon RDS, EC2, ELB, S3, Kinesis, Lambda, CS, SNS, SQS, DynamoDB, API Gateway, and ElasticCache. Check out the getting started documentation here. To setup the integration for AWS Services, start with AWS CloudWatch Integration and jump straight to the AWS module repos available on GitHub.
Example of a AWS Relational Database Service (RDS) dashboard
Moving Existing Dashboards to a Terraform-based Workflow
While we are also releasing Terraform modules for AWS dashboards with the initial release, the Provider itself is platform and service-agnostic so any existing dashboards you have can be moved to an infrastructure-as-code workflow.
Existing Lightstep metrics dashboards can be exported directly to Terraform’s HCL using functionality built into the provider. Once exported, you have HCL code that’s ready to be copied and pasted into an existing Terraform configuration.
Watch this space
This is great news for any Lightstep customer that leverages Terraform to automate and simplify their infrastructure management. Keep an eye on this space for upcoming changes including additional pre-built dashboards for common cloud and other OpenTelemetry-aware services, more support for Lightstep configuration via Terraform such as alerting, and much more.
Ready to get started?
Use Terraform to Create and Manage Dashboards, Alerts, and More on the Lightstep Learning Portal Ingest Metrics from Amazon on the Lightstep Learning Portal Lightstep Terraform Provider on the Terraform Registry Export existing Lightstep Dashboards to Terraform HCL