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Remote state is (IMO) one of Terraform’s most powerful and unsung features. It’s also a feature that I notice a lot of first-time users (and unfortunately sometimes people who’ve even been using it for some time) tend to gloss over and ignore. For the first-time user, the light bulb usually goes off for the need of a solution that remote state provides when a scenario like this comes to pass:

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Background In my last post, I talked about creating lean providers for maximum flexibility. As I closed out the post, I mentioned the potential peril of performing operations against the wrong account by virtue of having the AWS_PROFILE variable set for a profile matching an account other than the one you’re intending to work with (and believe me, if you work with more than a handful of accounts, this is a very easy mistake to make).

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In the last 15 months, I have become a daily user of Terraform. In that time, several things have happened in my “relationship” to the tool: I have used it to build out some complex (as well as some not-so-complex) deployments (and learned a lot of lessons the hard way) I have been particularly impressed with the growth in the tool’s capability and HashiCorp’s commitment to pushing the tool forward by expanding its capability set as well as improving core functionality.

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