Terraform for_each Loops w/ If Statements

Posted by Miguel Lopez on Wed 01 December 2021 in terraform

Technical Stack: Terraform 0.12.6+, AWS

Read: 5 minutes


The most basic example of a for_each loop looks like this:

resource "s3_bucket" "rg" {
  for_each = {
    a_group = "bucket-1"
    b_group = "bucket-2"
  name     = each.value
  tags = {
    Name = each.value
    Group = each.key

Starting in Terraform v0.12.6+, the for_each loop became available for all Terraform resources and modules.

Building conditiional statements inside for_each is a powerful way to control which resources are built inside complex modules. For example, you can use a for_each loop to build an autoscaling group module that only builds a load balancer if the user specifies it. This is a great way to build dynamic and reusable modules.

Full For-Each Documentation

Building Conditional If Statements

In this example, we're building a Load Balancer module that can be used to create multiple load balancers. If the user specifies a network load balancer, we'll build a VPC link to connect the load balancer to an API Gateway.

Let's imagine the resource block for the VPC link looks like this:

resource "aws_api_gateway_vpc_link" "link" {
    for_each    = { for key, value in var.load_balancers : key => value if value.load_balancer_type == "network" }
    name        = each.key
    target_arns = [aws_target_group.lb[each.key].arn]

And given this input:

    load_balancer_type: application
    security_groups: [ ]
        <ommitted for simplicity>
    load_balancer_type: network
    security_groups: [ ]
        <ommitted for simplicity>

You can break down the for_each loop inside aws_api_gateway_vpc_link like this:

  1. Loop through each key/value in load_balancers. Treat the each.value value as an object.
  2. Check if the each.value contains load_balancer_type = "network".
  3. If the load_balancer_type is network, then build the VPC link.

Autoscaling Group Module Example

Imagine you're building a microservice with API and worker profiles. Each service component will require an autoscaling group. However, not every autoscaling group requires a load balancer.

How can we build a module that does not require a load balancer for each service component being defined?

You could build a for_each loop something like this:

for_each = { for key, value in var.services : key => value if value.load_balancer_enabled == true }

Let's imagine our module looks like this:

    module "load_balancer" {
      for_each  = { for key, value in var.services : key => value if lookup(value, "load_balancer_enabled", false) == true }
      source    = "../load-balancer"  # custom module reference as an example

      name                       = each.key
      enable_deletion_protection = lookup(each.value.load_balancer, "enable_deletion_protection", true)

      domain             = lookup(each.value.load_balancer, "domain", null)
      security_groups    = lookup(each.value.load_balancer, "security_groups", [])
      internal           = lookup(each.value.load_balancer, "internal", true)
      load_balancer_type = lookup(each.value.load_balancer, "load_balancer_type", "application")

      tags = merge(jsondecode(var.tags), lookup(each.value, "tags", {}), local.common_tags)

      target_groups        = lookup(each.value.load_balancer, "target_groups", {})
      load_balancer_listeners         = lookup(each.value.load_balancer, "listeners", {})
      extra_listener_rules = lookup(each.value.load_balancer, "extra_listener_rules", {})
      extra_ssl_certs      = lookup(each.value.load_balancer, "extra_ssl_certs", {})

And given this input:

        instance_type: t4g.medium
        min_size: 1
        max_size: 1
        desired_size: 1
        load_balancer_enabled: true
          internal: true
          <ommitted for simplicity>
        instance_type: t4g.medium
        min_size: 1
        max_size: 1
        desired_size: 1
        load_balancer_enabled: false

Here's how to break down this for_each loop:

  1. The if statement inside the for_each uses the value.load_balancer_enabled to check if the service requires a load balancer. Use lookup() to safely fetch the key from the object.
  2. The { } wrapped around my loop tells Terraform to reduce the var.services object based on the if statement result.
  3. Build this resource/module for any object that contains load_balancer_enabled = true. In this example, only the api object will build a load balancer.