Running CrateDB via Terraform

In Running CrateDB on Azure VMs, we elaborated on how to leverage Azure’s functionality to set up a CrateDB cluster. Here, we will explore how to automate this kind of setup.

Terraform is an infrastructure as code tool, often used as an abstraction layer on top of a cloud’s management APIs. Instead of creating cloud resources manually, the target state is specified via configuration files which can also be managed in a version control system. This brings some advantages, such as but not limited to:

  • Reproducibility of deployments, e.g., across different accounts or in case of disaster recovery

  • Enables common development workflows like code reviews, automated testing, and so on

  • Better prediction and tracing of infrastructure changes

The crate-terraform repository provides a predefined configuration template of various Azure resources to form a CrateDB cluster on Azure (such as VMs, load balancer, etc). This eliminates the need to manually compose all required resources and their interactions.

See also

Engage with us in the community post on Terraform deployments for any questions or feedback!


The provided configuration is meant to be used for development or testing purposes and does not aim to fulfil all needs of a production environment.


Before creating the configuration to launch your CrateDB cluster, the following prerequisites should be fulfilled:

  1. The Terraform CLI is installed as per Terraform’s installation guide

  2. The git CLI is installed as per git’s installation guide

  3. Azure credentials are configured for Terraform. If you already have a configured Azure CLI setup, Terraform will reuse this configuration. If not, see the Azure provider documentation on authentication.

Deployment configuration

The CrateDB Terraform configuration consists of a set of variables to customize your deployment. Create a new file with the following content and adjust variable values as needed:

module "cratedb-cluster" {
  source = ""

  # The Azure subscription ID
  subscription_id = "x-y-z"

  # Global configuration items for naming/tagging resources
  config = {
    project_name = "example-project"
    environment  = "test"
    owner        = "Crate.IO"
    team         = "Customer Engineering"

    # Run "az account list-locations" for a full list
    location = "westeurope"

  # CrateDB-specific configuration
  crate = {
    # Java Heap size in GB available to CrateDB
    heap_size_gb = 2

    cluster_name = "crate-cluster"

    # The number of nodes the cluster will consist of
    cluster_size = 2

    # Enables a self-signed SSL certificate
    ssl_enable = true

  # Azure VM specific configuration
  vm = {
    # The size of the disk storing CrateDB's data directory
    disk_size_gb         = 512
    storage_account_type = "Premium_LRS"
    size                 = "Standard_DS12_v2"

    # Enabling SSH access
    ssh_access = true
    # Username to connect via SSH to the nodes
    user = "cratedb-vmadmin"

output "cratedb" {
  value     = module.cratedb-cluster
  sensitive = true

The Azure-specific variables need to be adjusted according to your environment:



How to obtain


The ID of the Azure subscription to use for creating the resource group in

az account list


The geographic region in which to create the Azure resources

az account list-locations


Storage Account Type of the disk containing the CrateDB data directory

List of Storage Account Types


Specifies the size of the VM

az vm list-sizes


Once all variables are configured properly, Terraform needs to be initialized:

terraform init

To proceed with executing the creation of resources, apply the configuration. There will be a final confirmation prompt before any changes are applied to your Azure account:

terraform apply

Once the execution succeeded, a message similar to the one below is shown:

Apply complete! Resources: 22 added, 0 changed, 0 destroyed.


cratedb = <sensitive>

Terraform internally tracks the state of each resource it manages, including certain outputs with details on the created Cluster. As those details include credentials, they are marked as sensitive and not shown in the output above. To view the output, run:

terraform output cratedb

The output variable cratedb_application_url points to the load balancer with the port of CrateDB’s Admin UI. Opening that URL in your browser should show a password prompt on which you can authenticate using cratedb_username and cratedb_password.


If the CrateDB cluster is not needed anymore, you can easily instruct Terraform to destroy all associated resources:

terraform destroy


Destroying the cluster will permanently delete all data stored on it. Use snapshots to create a backup on Azure Blob storage if needed.