How to Create MemCached Cluster in AWS Using Terraform

In this article we are going to cover How To Create ElastiCache MemCached Cluster in AWS Using Terraform | How To Create MemCached Cluster in AWS Using Terraform.

In this guide, you’ll discover how to set up a Amazon ElastiCache MemCached using Terraform. The best part is, all the steps we’ll cover can be done without incurring any extra costs because they’re eligible for the Free Tier.

Amazon ElastiCache?

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Amazon ElastiCache is a Caching-as-a-Service from Amazon Web Services. AWS simplifies setting up, managing, and scaling a distributed in-memory cache environment in the cloud. It provides a high-performance, scalable, and cost-effective caching solution. AWS removes the complexity associated with deploying and managing a distributed cache environment.

Amazon ElastiCache is a fully managed, in-memory data store service provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS). It is designed to enhance the performance and scalability of applications by providing a managed caching solution. ElastiCache supports two popular in-memory caching engines: Memcached and Redis. Here’s an overview of Amazon ElastiCache and its key features:

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Key Features of Amazon ElastiCache:

  1. Managed Caching: ElastiCache handles the complex tasks of setting up, configuring, and managing caching infrastructure. It allows you to focus on your application’s logic without worrying about cache management.
  2. In-Memory Data Stores: ElastiCache supports two popular in-memory data store engines: Memcached: Memcached is a simple and fast caching engine that supports simple key-value data storage and retrieval. It is ideal for use cases where you need high-speed caching with minimal complexity. Redis: Redis is a highly versatile, open-source, in-memory data store that supports more advanced data structures, such as sorted sets, hashes, and lists. It is often used for caching, real-time analytics, and as a message broker.
  3. Scalability: ElastiCache allows you to easily scale your cache cluster vertically by selecting different instance types and horizontally by adding or removing cache nodes. This ensures your cache can handle increased workloads as your application grows.
  4. Automatic Failover: Redis clusters in ElastiCache can be configured with automatic failover. If a primary node fails, ElastiCache automatically promotes a read replica to the primary role, minimizing downtime.
  5. Backups and Restores: ElastiCache provides the ability to take manual snapshots of your cache clusters. You can use these snapshots to restore your cache data or clone cache clusters.

What is ElastiCache Memcached in AWS?

Memcached is one of the caching engines supported by AWS ElastiCache. Memcached is a popular in-memory caching system used to improve the performance of web applications by storing frequently accessed data in memory. Until now we have discussed both the caching engines, but I may seem biased towards Redis.

Memcached is an open-source, high-performance, distributed in-memory caching system. It is commonly used to speed up data retrieval operations by caching frequently accessed data in memory, reducing the need to fetch data from slower data stores such as databases.

So the question is, if Redis is all powerful, then why doesn’t ElastiCache provide only Redis? There are few good reasons for using Memcached:

  • It is the simplest caching model.
  • It is helpful for people needing to run large nodes with multiple cores or threads.
  • It offers the ability to scale out/in, adding and removing nodes on-demand.
  • It handles partitioning data across multiple shards.


Before you begin, you should have the following prerequisites in place:

  • You’ll need an Amazon Web Services (AWS) account. If you don’t have one, you can sign up for a free AWS account.
  • Basic knowledge of AWS services and concepts.
  • Visual Studio on your system.
  • Hashicorp Terraform Extension. You can download it from the official Terraform website.

How To Create MemCached Cluster in AWS Using Terraform

Steps for implementation to this project

  • Let’s create the following organizational structure as shown below.
    • Create a Folder – terraform-memcachedb
    • Create 4 Files in our terraform-memcachedb – 1)  2) terraform.tfvars 3) and 4)
terraform mariadb files
  • In Terraform, the file is used to declare and define variables that can be referenced in your Terraform configuration files (typically files with a .tf extension). These variables act as parameters that allow you to customize your Terraform configuration and provide values dynamically. The file is where you define the variables, their types, and, in some cases, their default values.
    • Variable Declaration: This is where you define your variables using the variable keyword, followed by the variable name. For example:
    • Using file: It helps in making your Terraform configuration more modular and adaptable. By centralizing variable definitions, you can easily manage and update configuration values without having to modify multiple places in your code. It also promotes reusability and clarity in your Terraform projects.
variable "example_variable" {
  type        = string
  description = "An example variable"
  • terraform.tfvars In Terraform, the terraform.tfvars file is used to store input variables and their values in a key-value pair format. This file allows you to set values for variables used in your Terraform configuration without hardcoding them directly in the Terraform files (e.g., .tf files). The name terraform.tfvars is the default filename, but you can also use other filenames and specify them with the -var-file option when running Terraform commands. This separation of variable values makes it easier to manage and share configurations with different values for different environments.
  •– In Terraform, is a default and conventional name for the main configuration file. This file is where you define the infrastructure resources and their configurations using HashiCorp Configuration Language (HCL). The file is essentially the entry point for Terraform to understand how to create, update, and manage your infrastructure. Key points about
    • is a naming convention, not a strict requirement. You can name your main configuration file differently if you prefer, but is widely used and recognized.
    • Inside, you specify the resources you want to create (e.g., AWS instances, databases, networks) and their configurations using Terraform syntax. This includes resource types, attributes, and any other settings required.
    • can also include declarations for variables and outputs. Variables allow you to parameterize your configuration, making it more reusable, while outputs provide a way to expose certain values to be easily queried or used by other systems.
    • Here’s a basic example of what a simple file might look like:

provider "aws" {
  region = "us-east-1"

resource "aws_elasticache_cluster" "example" {
  cluster_id           = "cluster-example"
  engine               = "memcached"
  node_type            = "cache.m4.large"
  num_cache_nodes      = 1
  parameter_group_name = "default.memcached1.4"
  port                 = 11211
  •– In Terraform, the file is used to define output values that can be displayed after the execution of the Terraform configuration. This file allows you to expose specific information about the resources you’ve created or modified during the Terraform run. Outputs are useful for providing useful information or data to users or external systems.
    • In the file, you define one or more output blocks. Each block specifies a named output and the value you want to expose.
    • Using enhances the usability and interoperability of your Terraform configurations by making key information easily accessible. It’s a way to communicate important data between different parts of your infrastructure or share it with users and systems consuming the Terraform outputs.
    • In this example, an output named “example_output” is defined, and its value is set to the ID of an aws_elasticache_cluster created in the Terraform configuration.
output "example_output" {
  value =

Create a file in terraform-memcachedb folder

  • Enter the below code
  • Create a file.
variable "access_key" {
    description = "Access key to AWS console"
variable "secret_key" {
    description = "Secret key to AWS console"
variable "region" {
    description = "AWS region"

Create a terraform.tfvars file in terraform-memcachedb folder

  • Create a terraform.tfvars file.
  • You are defining the dynamic values for the variables declared in file.
region = "us-east-1"

Create a file in terraform-memcachedb folder

  • Create a file.
#defining the provider as aws
provider "aws" {
    region     = "${var.region}"
    access_key = "${var.access_key}"
    secret_key = "${var.secret_key}"

#create a ElastiCache MemCached Cluster
resource "aws_elasticache_cluster" "demo_cluster" {
  cluster_id           = "demo-cluster"
  engine               = "memcached"
  node_type            = "cache.t4g.micro"
  num_cache_nodes      = 2
  port                 = 11211
  tags = {
    Name = "mynewcluster"
} memcache

Create a file in terraform-memcachedb folder

  • Create an file.
  • Outputs the ElastiCache MemCached endpoint to confirm that they are created.

output "elasticache_cluster_endpoint" {
  value       = aws_elasticache_cluster.demo_cluster.arn
} memcache

Initialize and Apply Terraform Configuration

  • Open a terminal in the directory containing your file and run the following commands:
terraform init
memcached init
  • By running terraform plan, you get a detailed list of these three categories— Additions, Modifications, and Deletions. It’s a way for you to review and confirm that Terraform understands your intentions correctly.
terraform plan
memcached plan 1
memcached plan 2
  • Once you’re satisfied with the plan, you can proceed to apply those changes using terraform apply.
  • This two-step process—terraform plan followed by terraform apply—helps prevent unintended or accidental changes to your infrastructure. It gives you a chance to review and approve the proposed changes before Terraform makes any modifications to your environment.
terraform apply -auto-approve
memcached apply
memcached apply1
memcached apply2
  • Wait for 5-6 minutes till all the resources have been created.
  • Go to ElastiCache Console, Click on the MemCached , You can see ElastiCache MemCached Cluster created successfully.

Delete AWS MemCached Cluster Using Terraform

  • Run this below command to destroy your resources.
terraform destroy
memcached destroy
memcached destroy1
memcached destroy2


In this article, we’ve demonstrated How to Create Elasticache MemCached Cluster in AWS using Terraform | MemCached Cluster in AWS Using Terraform and destroyed it later not to incur charges.


Related Articles:

Terraform Cloud Tutorial | Create EC2 using Terraform Cloud

About Sohail Behlim

Hey, I am Sohail Behlim, I am an aspiring DevOps and Cloud enthusiast who is eager to embark on a journey into the world of DevOps and Cloud. With a strong passion for technology and a keen interest in DevOps and Cloud based solutions, I am driven to learn and contribute to the ever-evolving field of DevOps and Cloud.

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