HTTPS Content-Based Load Balancer with Terraform

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HTTPS Content-Based Load Balancer with Terraform

1 hour 5 Credits


Google Cloud self-paced labs logo


In this lab, you will create an HTTPS load balancer to forward traffic to a custom URL map. The URL map sends traffic to the region closest to you with static assets being served from a Cloud Storage bucket. The TLS key and certificate is generated by Terraform using the TLS provider.

The following is a diagram of the architecture you will be creating:

The Terraform Architecture, including the Cloud Load Balancing, three instances, and Cloud Storage.


In this lab, you will:

  • Learn about the load balancing modules for Terraform
  • Configure Terraform in the Google Cloud environment
  • Create a global HTTPS Content-Based Load Balancer

Setup and requirements

Before you click the Start Lab button

Read these instructions. Labs are timed and you cannot pause them. The timer, which starts when you click Start Lab, shows how long Google Cloud resources will be made available to you.

This hands-on lab lets you do the lab activities yourself in a real cloud environment, not in a simulation or demo environment. It does so by giving you new, temporary credentials that you use to sign in and access Google Cloud for the duration of the lab.

To complete this lab, you need:

  • Access to a standard internet browser (Chrome browser recommended).
Note: Use an Incognito or private browser window to run this lab. This prevents any conflicts between your personal account and the Student account, which may cause extra charges incurred to your personal account.
  • Time to complete the lab---remember, once you start, you cannot pause a lab.
Note: If you already have your own personal Google Cloud account or project, do not use it for this lab to avoid extra charges to your account.

How to start your lab and sign in to the Google Cloud Console

  1. Click the Start Lab button. If you need to pay for the lab, a pop-up opens for you to select your payment method. On the left is the Lab Details panel with the following:

    • The Open Google Console button
    • Time remaining
    • The temporary credentials that you must use for this lab
    • Other information, if needed, to step through this lab
  2. Click Open Google Console. The lab spins up resources, and then opens another tab that shows the Sign in page.

    Tip: Arrange the tabs in separate windows, side-by-side.

    Note: If you see the Choose an account dialog, click Use Another Account.
  3. If necessary, copy the Username from the Lab Details panel and paste it into the Sign in dialog. Click Next.

  4. Copy the Password from the Lab Details panel and paste it into the Welcome dialog. Click Next.

    Important: You must use the credentials from the left panel. Do not use your Google Cloud Skills Boost credentials. Note: Using your own Google Cloud account for this lab may incur extra charges.
  5. Click through the subsequent pages:

    • Accept the terms and conditions.
    • Do not add recovery options or two-factor authentication (because this is a temporary account).
    • Do not sign up for free trials.

After a few moments, the Cloud Console opens in this tab.

Note: You can view the menu with a list of Google Cloud Products and Services by clicking the Navigation menu at the top-left. Navigation menu icon

Activate Cloud Shell

Cloud Shell is a virtual machine that is loaded with development tools. It offers a persistent 5GB home directory and runs on the Google Cloud. Cloud Shell provides command-line access to your Google Cloud resources.

  1. Click Activate Cloud Shell Activate Cloud Shell icon at the top of the Google Cloud console.

When you are connected, you are already authenticated, and the project is set to your PROJECT_ID. The output contains a line that declares the PROJECT_ID for this session:

Your Cloud Platform project in this session is set to YOUR_PROJECT_ID

gcloud is the command-line tool for Google Cloud. It comes pre-installed on Cloud Shell and supports tab-completion.

  1. (Optional) You can list the active account name with this command:

gcloud auth list
  1. Click Authorize.

  2. Your output should now look like this:


ACTIVE: * ACCOUNT: To set the active account, run: $ gcloud config set account `ACCOUNT`
  1. (Optional) You can list the project ID with this command:

gcloud config list project


[core] project = <project_ID>

Example output:

[core] project = qwiklabs-gcp-44776a13dea667a6 Note: For full documentation of gcloud, in Google Cloud, refer to the gcloud CLI overview guide.

Task 1. Clone the sample repository

  1. In Cloud Shell, clone the terraform-google-lb-http repository:

git clone
  1. Navigate to the multi-backend-multi-mig-bucket-https-lb directory:

cd ~/terraform-google-lb-http/examples/multi-backend-multi-mig-bucket-https-lb

Task 2. Run Terraform

Initialize a working directory

The terraform init command is used to initialize a working directory containing Terraform configuration files. This command performs several different initialization steps to prepare a working directory for use. This command is always safe to run multiple times, to bring the working directory up to date with changes in the configuration.

  • Run the command:

terraform init

Example output:

... Terraform has been successfully initialized!

Create an execution plan

The terraform plan command is used to create an execution plan. Terraform performs a refresh, unless explicitly disabled, and then determines what actions are necessary to achieve the desired state specified in the configuration files.

This command is a convenient way to check whether the execution plan for a set of changes matches your expectations without making any changes to real resources or the state. For example, terraform plan might be run before committing a change to version control, to create confidence that it will behave as expected.

  1. Run the terraform plan command.

  2. Make sure to replace <PROJECT_ID> with your lab provided Project ID:

terraform plan -out=tfplan -var 'project=<PROJECT_ID>'

Example output:

... Plan: 42 to add, 0 to change, 0 to destroy.

The optional -out argument can be used to save the generated plan to a file for later execution with terraform apply.

  1. List out current directory content. You will see the saved Terraform plan (tfplan):


Example output:

diagram.png gcp-logo.svg tfplan

Apply the changes

The terraform apply command is used to apply the changes required to reach the desired state of the configuration, or the pre-determined set of actions generated by a terraform plan execution plan.

  1. Apply the Terraform plan:

terraform apply tfplan

Example output (yours will differ):

... Apply complete! Resources: 42 added, 0 changed, 0 destroyed. ... Outputs: asset-url = group1_region = us-west1 group2_region = us-central1 group3_region = us-east1 load-balancer-ip =

Verify the resources created by Terraform:

  1. In the Navigation menu navigate to Network services > Load Balancing.

  2. Wait until you see the green checkmark in the Backends column.

  3. Click on ml-bk-ml-mig-bkt-s-lb load balancer and check the details.

Load Balancer Frontend listing the available details, including the various protocols, hosts, and path rules.

Load Balancer Backend listing the backend services and bucktes, each include items such as Type, Zone, and Capacity.

  1. Run the following to get the external URL:

EXTERNAL_IP=$(terraform output | grep load-balancer-ip | cut -d = -f2 | xargs echo -n) echo https://${EXTERNAL_IP}
  1. Click on the EXTERNAL_IP link that is returned to open the load balancer URL in a new browser tab.
Note: If you don't get the expected output in the browser, make sure your load balancer details panel is the same as an above screenshot and wait for few minutes. Note: If you get a privacy error, click on Advanced and then proceed.

You should see the Google Cloud logo and instance details from the group closest to your geographical region.

Google Cloud instance details such as Name, Zone, Machine Type, and Internal IP.

Click Check my progress to verify the objective. Apply the changes in Terraform

  1. Now append the URL with group1, group2 and group3.

Your final URLs should look like (make sure to replace EXTERNAL_IP with your load balancer IP):https://EXTERNAL_IP/group1

  • For group1: You should see the Google Cloud logo and instance details from the group in us-west1.

Example output:

/us-west1-c highlighted in the zone name: projects/958296487646/zones/us-west1-c


  • For group2: You should see the Google Cloud logo and instance details from the group in us-central1.

Example output:

us-central1-b highlighted in the zone name: projects/958296487646/zones/us-central1-b


  • For group3: You should see the Google Cloud logo and instance details from the group in us-east1.

Example output:

us-east1-b highlighted in the zone name: projects/958296487646/zones/us-us-east1-b


In this lab, you learned how to configure load balancing modules in Terraform. You then used the modules to create a global HTTPS Content-Based Load Balancer, and used it to test its response to the group closest to your geographical region.

Finish your quest

This self-paced lab is part of the Managing Cloud Infrastructure with Terraform quest. A quest is a series of related labs that form a learning path. Completing this quest earns you a badge to recognize your achievement. You can make your badge or badges public and link to them in your online resume or social media account. Enroll in this Quest and get immediate completion credit. Refer to the Google Cloud Skills Boost catalog for all available quests.

Take your next lab

Continue your quest with Modular Load Balancing with Terraform - Regional Load Balancer, or check out these suggestions:

Next steps / learn more

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Manual Last Updated June 27, 2023

Lab Last Tested June 27, 2023

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