Infrastructure as Code: Managing IT Infrastructure in a DevOps Environment
What is Infrastructure as Code?
As Microsoft states, “Infrastructure as Code is the management of infrastructure in a descriptive model, using the same versioning as DevOps team uses for source code”. Putting it simply, IAC is the practice of managing and configuring infrastructure using code and machine-readable files. With IAC in place, infrastructure is treated like just any other code.
Best Practices of Infrastructure as Code
- In contrast to conventional practice, which involved humans manually handling VMs, Infrastructure as Code uses automation and code execution to set up and tear down complex environments. This automation reduces cycle time, making it simpler to create and deliver reliable, validated platforms for host applications.
- IaC improves version control by making the development environment transparent and consistent as part of the code. It eliminates the need to record anything a user or developer might need to know. In this way, IaC makes error-tracking and error-replication simpler, allowing for a quicker turnaround.
- Furthermore, IaC stores all environment build-up commands in a repository, allowing for quicker rollback to a previous instance or redeployment. This eliminates the need to spend time maintaining a server. All you have to do is either restore a previous deployment from the version history or redeploy it with a working copy.
Benefits of Infrastructure as COde
Infrastructure as Code can help avoid inconsistencies in cloud deployment, boost developer productivity, and minimize costs.
- Minimized Risks– There is no risk of human error because all environments are provisioned using automated manifests and CI/CD pipelines. This ensures system uniformity in the delivery process and eliminates the possibility of configuration drift.
- Cost Savings– Automating the infrastructure deployment process allows developers to spend less time performing low-value manual tasks, and more time executing higher-value tasks, which ensures better ROI on your investments. Also, since an IaC script can automatically spin down environments when not in use, it will further save on cloud computing costs.
- Faster Deployment– When DevOps tools are used in tandem with virtualized infrastructure, the speed of environment provisioning and configuration increases dramatically. The cutting of time it takes for a server to deliver data is dramatic.
- Fixing of Infrastructure– It’s simple to configure exactly the right environment since manifests are versioned and similar environments are used in the software development phase. This is critical for speeding up bug fixes and ensuring the consistency and security of the final code.
- High Scalability– Scalability is ensured when using IAC, and with scalability, the cost of maintaining and managing the IT infrastructure is also brought down.
- Enhanced CSAT– Your developers will be able to build new features more efficiently in response to customer feedback because they will be able to deploy infrastructure quickly. And when a customer suggestion becomes a new feature in a matter of weeks rather than months, customer satisfaction skyrockets!
Infrastructure as Code addresses the three major drawbacks to manual setups: high costs, slow installation times, and inconsistency throughout the environment.
Watch this space for more on the popular tools we use and how IAC can be integrated with the CI/CD tools.
The enabling idea of Infrastructure as Code is that the systems and devices used to run software can be treated as if they, themselves, are software.
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