Infrastructure-as-Code: How it outweighs manual procedures

Infrastructure-as-Code: How it outweighs manual procedures

In the past, maintaining IT infrastructure was a challenging task. All the hardware and software required for the operation of the apps had to be manually managed and configured by system administrators. However, things have drastically changed in recent years. The way businesses plan, create, and maintain their IT infrastructure has been transformed and improved by trends like cloud computing. Therefore, today, we’re going to discuss one of the key elements of this trend – infrastructure-as-code. So, what is infrastructure-as-code

What is infrastructure-as-code? 

The term “infrastructure-as-code” (IaC) refers to the use of configuration files rather than manual procedures to manage your IT infrastructure.

IaC makes it simpler to change and distribute configurations by creating configuration files that provide the specifications for your infrastructure. Additionally, it guarantees that the same environment is always provisioned. IaC supports configuration management by codifying and documenting your configuration standards, which helps you prevent ad hoc, undocumented configuration modifications.

IaC heavily relies on version control, and configuration files should be subject to it much like source code for other software. By deploying your infrastructure-as-a-code, you may also break up your infrastructure into modular parts that can be automatedly joined in many ways.

By using IaC to automate infrastructure provisioning, developers may avoid manually managing servers, operating systems, storage, and other infrastructure components each time they create or deploy an application. Codifying your infrastructure gives you a template to use for provisioning, as well as an automation tool, even if this can still be done manually.

What is infrastructure-as-code? 

What problem does infrastructure-as-code solve?

In the past, maintaining IT infrastructure required manual labor. Servers would be physically installed and set up by people. They would only deploy the application once the computers had been configured to the precise specifications demanded by the OS and applications. Naturally, this manual procedure would frequently cause a number of issues, and IaaC infrastructure as a code solve can address all of them, including:

  • Cost: Without infrastructure-as-code, you would need to recruit numerous specialists, such as network engineers and hardware maintenance experts, to carry out the necessary duties at each stage of the process.
  • Scalability and availability: Due to the cumbersome manual configuration process, applications frequently struggle with sudden surges in access while system administrators scramble to build up servers to handle the load. This inevitably affects accessibility. The application might be inaccessible for a lengthy time if the company lacked backup servers or even data centers.
  • Performance visibility: With infrastructure-as-code, you can make sure that your environment is blind spot-free and leverage the platform’s topology mapping, event correlation, and automated root-cause analysis to identify the precise location of an issue.
  • Inconsistency: Discrepancies aren’t always going to occur if multiple persons are manually deploying setups.

What problem does infrastructure-as-code solve?

Benefits of infrastructure-as-code

In general, infrastructure-as-code can assist your company in managing its requirements for IT infrastructure while also enhancing consistency, lowering errors, and decreasing the need for human configuration.

1. Speed

Speed is the first major advantage that infrastructure-as-code offers. By executing a script, infrastructure-as-code enables you to swiftly build up your entire infrastructure. That is possible for all environments, including development, production, staging, QA, and more. IaC can increase the effectiveness of the entire software development life cycle.

2. Lower prices 

Without a doubt, IaC’s ability to reduce infrastructure management expenses is one of its key advantages. You significantly lower your costs by combining cloud computing and IaC. Because you won’t need to invest in hardware, pay employees to operate it, or construct or rent physical space to keep it, you won’t have to do any of those things. The “opportunity cost” is one further, more subtle method that IaC reduces your costs. By using infrastructure-as-code, developers are liberated from tedious, slow, and error-prone activities and can instead concentrate on what really matters.

3. Consistency

Errors occur as a result of manual processes. All people have faults. Our memories are flawed. You struggle with communication and are generally not very good at it. No matter how hard you try, manual infrastructure management will still lead to errors. By making the configuration files themselves the exclusive source of truth, IaC addresses this issue. By doing this, you can ensure that the same settings will be deployed consistently throughout time.

4. Accountability

This one is simple and quick. IaC configuration files can be versioned just like any other source code file, giving you complete traceability of the changes that each configuration underwent. 

Benefits of infrastructure-as-code

How does infrastructure-as-code work?

When it comes to the mechanics of how they operate, infrastructure-as-code tools can be broadly categorized into two groups: those that follow the declarative approach and those that follow the imperative method. You’d be correct to assume that the aforementioned categories have something to do with programming language paradigms. The directive method “gives orders.” In order for the infrastructure to achieve the desired outcome, it specifies a series of commands or instructions. On the other hand, a declarative approach “declares” the desired result. The declarative method just illustrates the final result, as opposed to precisely defining the series of steps the infrastructure must take to get there.

Custom Software Development Services

Ways to approach infrastructure-as-code

Infrastructure-as-code can be approached in one of two ways: declaratively or imperatively.

  • A declarative approach: Specify the intended system state, together with the resources you require and any other characteristics they should have, and an IaC tool will design the system accordingly. Additionally, a declarative approach maintains a record of the status of your system objects, which makes managing the infrastructure shutdown easier.
  • An imperative approach:  Specifies the precise commands that must be executed in the right order in order to achieve the intended configuration.

The needed infrastructure will be automatically provisioned by many IaC solutions, which adopt a declarative approach. A declarative IaC tool will apply changes you make to the intended state for you. You must determine how to implement those changes in order to use an imperative tool. IaC tools can frequently operate in both modes, but they frequently favor one over the other.

Short list of infrastructure-as-code best practices

  • Make code the sole authority on anything. All infrastructure requirements should be explicitly coded in configuration files. The only reliable source of information for all issues relating to infrastructure management should be your configuration files.
  • Each configuration file is controlled by version. Put every single one of your configuration files in source control, even if it probably doesn’t need to be said.
  • Keep your infrastructure specifications’ documentation to a minimum, if not none at all. The logical conclusion of the first point is this one. There should be no need for further documentation because your configuration files should be your only reliable source of information. The configuration files prevent this from happening, however external documentation might quickly become out of sync with the actual setups.
  • Check and keep an eye on your configurations. Infrastructure-as-code is code, and like all code, it can be tested. So make sure you try it! You can examine your servers for errors and consistency issues before deploying them to production by using testing and monitoring tools for IaC.

Why does infrastructure-as-code matter for DevOps?

IaC is a crucial component in implementing continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) and DevOps processes. IaC relieves developers of the majority of provisioning effort so that they can just run a script to get their infrastructure ready.

In this way, infrastructure installations are not delayed and sysadmins are not required to handle laborious manual procedures.

Through the entire application life cycle, from integration and testing to delivery and deployment, CI/CD relies on constant automation and continuous monitoring.

An environment must be consistent in order to be automated. When the operations team deploys and configures environments one way and the development team deploys and configures environments another, automated application deployments are ineffective.

A DevOps approach to team alignment between development and operations reduces errors, manual deployments, and inconsistent behavior.

Because both teams can utilize the same description of the application deployment, IaC supports a DevOps approach and aids in the alignment of development and operations.

Every environment, including your production environment, should employ the same deployment procedure. Every time IaC is utilized, the identical environment is created.

IaC also ensures that the production environment will be constant and eliminates the need to maintain several deployment environments with distinctive configurations that cannot be automatically replicated.

Infrastructure-as-code (IaC) is likewise subject to DevOps best practices. When developing software, infrastructure can run through the same CI/CD pipeline as an application, allowing the infrastructure code to undergo the same testing and version control.

Why does infrastructure-as-code matter for DevOps?

As such, infrastructure-as-code is a methodology that can have a significant impact on how teams create, test, and maintain systems and applications. There are numerous solutions available to assist you in defining infrastructure and deploying resources on a continuous and regular basis. IaC can assist you in transitioning away from manual configuration and deployment of infrastructure resources and toward a more automated — and, more crucially, consistent — method. Furthermore, using IaC, you can version manage the files that specify infrastructure resources and enforce best practices such as modularity and code reusability.

Related articles:

Similar Posts
Scroll to Top