» About Terraform Enterprise Runs

A "run" represents the logical grouping of two Terraform steps - a "plan" and an "apply". The distinction between these two phases of a Terraform run are documented below.

When a new run is created, Terraform Enterprise automatically queues a Terraform plan. Because a plan does not change the state of infrastructure, it is safe to execute a plan multiple times without consequence. An apply executes the output of a plan and actively changes infrastructure. To prevent race conditions, the platform will only execute one plan/apply at a time (plans for validating GitHub Pull Requests are allowed to happen concurrently, as they do not modify state). You can read more about Terraform plans and applies below.

» Plan

During the plan phase of a run, the command terraform plan is executed. Terraform performs a refresh and then determines what actions are necessary to reach the desired state specified in the Terraform configuration files. A successful plan outputs an executable file that is securely stored in Terraform Enterprise and may be used in the subsequent apply.

Terraform plans do not change the state of infrastructure, so it is safe to execute a plan multiple times. In fact, there are a number of components that can trigger a Terraform plan. You can read more about this in the starting runs section.

» Apply

During the apply phase of a run, the command terraform apply is executed with the executable result of the prior Terraform plan. This phase can change infrastructure by applying the changes required to reach the desired state specified in the Terraform configuration file.

While Terraform plans are safe to run multiple times, Terraform applies often change active infrastructure. Because of this, the default behavior is to require user confirmation as part of the Terraform run execution. Upon user confirmation, the Terraform apply will be queued and executed. It is also possible to configure automatic applies, but this option is disabled by default.

» Environment Locking

During run execution, the environment will lock to prevent other plans and applies from executing simultaneously. When the run completes, the next pending run, if any, will be started.

An administrator of the environment can also manually lock the environment, for example during a maintenance period.

You can see the lock status of an environment, and lock/unlock the environment by visiting that environment's settings page.

» Notifications

To receive alerts when user confirmation is needed or for any other phase of the run process, you can enable run notifications for your organization or environment.