I have completed an Infrastructure-as-Code project using Terraform and Ansible. Currently, I organize my project as follows:

      scripts\<some script files>
      templetes\<some tfl files as templates>
      Playbooks<some playbook yml files> 
      vars\<some variable files used by vars_file>
      files\<files to be copied to remote hosts>
      templates\<jinja2 templated files>
      roles\<some roles such as webserver, dbserver, etc.>

Note I did not layout Ansible code using the following links yet:

e.g. I did not put vars/, templates/, files/ to individual role folder since Most of my roles did not have vars and templates. Besides, I want to manage vars, templates, files in one file instead of multiple roles, so I moved vars/, templates/ and files/ out of roles/.

For my next project, I may build an Infrastructure-as-code project using CloudFormation/Terraform and Ansible/Chef. Next, I may work on Jenkins, code pipeline, and so on.

In general, should I organize my DevOps projects based on projects, in this way:


Or should I organize my DevOps projects based on tools, in this way:


I believe separate with projects makes more sense. but then how do we reuse code? for example, what if project1 and project2 use similar terraform code and some ansible roles. and I want to reuse the code of project1 to project2?

or is there any typical samples online I can refer?

1 Answer 1


The layout of your repository depends in many ways upon the context you are developing the automation in. If, for example, you are building out the infrastructure for a product as part of a product team, then it would make sense to tie the infrastructure to the product - i.e. keep the infrastructure in the same repository as the software source code.

If however, you are building out common infrastructure components to stand-up basic infrastructure for DNS, File Storage, Email, etc. then it probably makes more sense to have a single common-infrastructure repository. Some of this will be tied to the tool you are using, Terraform for example leads you down the path of having a single repository for all of your environments to support the terraform.tfstate construct.


You quite rightly called out reusability and code sharing as a problem you are going to encounter sooner rather than later. This is an important principle in Software Development called Don't Repeat Yourse - or DRY for short. Most all DevOps tools allow you to modularize your code in such a way that you don't need to copy/paste code:

Conceptual Consistency

I advise that you don't use too many tools, try and standardise on a single tool rather than changing tools for each project, typically you see sets of tools being used across an organization:

  • Jenkins, Terraform and Ansible
  • TeamCity, Octopus Deploy and Desired State Configuration

This makes it easier to share code across projects, document what has been done so far and handover the code to other or future developers.

  • Talking about shared code, would it make sense to use a git submodule? This allows it to be versioned and different projects to use different versions while being easy to upgrade. It’s basically a poor mans VCS.
    – Moritz
    Commented Jan 9, 2018 at 21:05
  • @Moritz you have to be a bit careful of submodules, and incorporate them into your workflow with the full agreement of the whole team otherwise, it tends to descend into chaos. See effective use of submodules. Commented Jan 10, 2018 at 10:00
  • Agreed, using submodules requires the team to be fairly familiar with Git. Had a few problems at the beging because Git was treated like SVN
    – Moritz
    Commented Jan 10, 2018 at 12:32
  • Thanks Richard. currently my Infrastructure-as-Code will be separated based on projects, according to what you suggest. and I already have ansible roles for my project1. About code reusability, how will the future projects make use of the roles in my project1? should I move roles of directory project1 from project1 to a top directory so that project2 can also use it? all the tutorials of ansible put roles directory in its project. so I do not know how roles is reused.
    – user389955
    Commented Jan 10, 2018 at 17:59
  • @user389955 I generally follow the Open Source model, anything that could be shared across multiple projects is extracted out to a shared project. Commented Jan 11, 2018 at 9:47

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