Infrastructure as Code (IaC) allows Devops teams to deploy, manage and automate cloud infrastructure as lines of code.
It’s an idea that has evolved over the past 15 years. Its origins can be traced back to the first set of configuration management tools that appeared around that time. Some of the change management tools such as Chef, Puppet, Ansible and Saltstack are considered as corner stone IaC tools in any top 10 list of IaC tools.
IaC to a large extent cuts down on human intervention in various infrastructure operations. It should not be confused with Serverless Computing or Platform as-a-service though some of the goals of these ideas are also similar to IaC.
The 4 Pillars of Infrastructure as Code
There are 4 pillars to any IaC solution according to most experts.
As explained earlier, the root idea of IaC germinates from configuration management tools.Configuration management is how engineers keep an application or group of applications hosted on servers or clusters of servers in a definite state.
Configuration management tools not only manage server components but also aspects of security, applications, network availability among others.
These tools are also capable of managing change in infrastructure as well as applications. They rely heavily on automation. Configuration management tools such as Chef and Ansible are heavily used in ensuring systems stay redundant during change.
While not every IaC tool needs a version control system to be shipped as part of solution, to deliver a proper IaC solution version control is a critical element. Most configuration files go within a code repository and then pushed to production.
Good IaC practice often involves making deployment via code repositories an easy affair. Not just initial deployment, it also means any further changes and continuous integration of code far easier.A well written IaC deployment system makes frequent updates a painless event, unlike manual deployments.
Provisioning is the way IT infrastructure assets both software and hardware are allocated depending on the needs of the project. This is a manual job. Systems engineers based on architecture documents spend time in provisioning hardware, installing software, and optimize the configuration settings.
Good IaC practice often involves making deployment via code repositories an easy affair. Not just initial deployment, it also means any further changes and continuous integration of code far easier.
In a rapid development environment, often manual errors end up in disastrous system downtimes. The IaC approach puts configuration ahead of manual tweaking.
Automating infrastructure provisioning with IaC means that developers don’t need to worry about issues such as auto scaling of applications.
Server provisioning is the process of setting up a server to be used in a network based on required resources. Network provisioning is making networks available for these resources.
Assured Compliance through automated provisioning and various other access policies, engineers can control who's granted access to which tools and applications, and trace the account activity.
Easily scalable because change is a constant in any organization, automated provisioning allows you to scale your infrastructure as the business grows.
Optimize transparency across users automated provisioning grants users access to tools and applications based on their roles and permission levels inside the organization.
Provisioning is an important aspect of a business and IT infrastructure because it enables the organization and allocation of resources efficiently for maximum profit and productivity.It is essential to provision your resources accordingly as this will determine the success of your business.
Automation is the 4th pillar of IaC and is often not just a pillar, but also the end goal for an IaC practitioner. Much of this has been achieved because of the adoption of containerization and virtualization which makes it easy via APIs to spin up and scale down nodes.
How does Netzary help customers with Infrastructure as Code (IaC) ?
Our outsourced Devops team will code or help you code your Infrastructure as code. We have experience with a number of IaC tools including Terraform, Ansible and Pulumi. We also understand the best practices for IaC while deploying in various public and private cloud environments including AWS, GCP and Azure.
IaC is one of the sure shot ways to reduce your pain in deploying, configuring and maintaining infrastructure.
If you are interested in deploying infrastructure as code, and need a partner, look no further. Connect with us.