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What is a Reference Architecture?

The Gruntwork Reference Architecture is an implementation of best practices for infrastructure in the cloud. It is and end-to-end tech stack built on top of our Infrastructure as Code Library, deployed into your AWS accounts.

The Gruntwork Reference Architecture is opinionated, and delivered as code. It is written in Terragrunt, our thin wrapper that provides extra tools for managing remote state and keeping your configurations DRY. Our _envcommon pattern reduces the amount of code you need to copy from one place to another when creating additional identical infrastructure.


The Gruntwork Reference Architecture has three main components — Gruntwork Landing Zone, Gruntwork Pipelines, and a Sample Application.

Landing Zone

Gruntwork Landing Zone is a terraform-native approach to AWS Landing zone / Control Tower. This uses Terragrunt to quickly create new AWS accounts, configure them with a standard security baseline, and defines a best-practices multi-account setup.


Gruntwork Pipelines makes the process of deploying infrastructure similar to how developers often deploy code. It is a code framework and approach that enables the customer to use your preferred CI tool to set up an end-to-end pipeline for infrastructure code.

Sample Application

Our sample application is built with JavaScript, Node.js, and Express.js, following Twelve-Factor App practices. It consists of a load balancer, a front end, a backend, a cache, and a database.