Thanks to the X-as-a-Service era which moved Infrastructure as Code up the stack! I can't imagine putting application development teams to wait for one full week just for provisioning a few servers.
Well, a lot of you must have come across this term(IaC), we will find out what it exactly means and the growing need of it in today's fast pace demands and dynamic infrastructures.
Note: I'll be using IaC as short for Infrastructure as Code.
Infrastructure as code (IaC) helps in the managing and provisioning of infrastructure through code instead of manual processes. It revolutionized how companies design and build IT infrastructure by providing an efficient and robust foundations. It allows DevOps teams to set up infrastructure resources, for example, virtual machines, networks and load balancers, using descriptive models and languages. This is driving us towards more reliable, secure, repeatable, easy to inspect cloud infrastructure.
Even setting up infrastructure in AWS console manually is a cumbersome process, not scalable, and difficult to track infrastructure's lifecycle. It becomes more complex if it requires strict infrastructure management and/or configuration management. To overcome the management of such infrastructure and configurations, comes the need for Infrastructure as Code tools.
Self-Service Infrastructure: As a DevOps team the end goal is to provide automation solutions. Introducing IaC tools to devops team becomes even more relevant for self-service automations. Even though DevOps might be the right guardian for the Terraform or CloudFormation version control repositories, however, developers, SREs can contribute to similar declarative infrastructure definitions for automation and change control processes.
Speed and Efficiency: IaC allows to build entire infrastructure architecture by running a script. It enables quick and easy development, staging, and production environments, making your software development process efficient indeed. Development teams are gaining rapidity through new tools, streamlined processes, and more robust Continuous Integration (CI) pipelines. Leveraging tools like Terraform, AWS CloudFormation, Pulumi, one can write the infrastructure component code once, and use dynamic naming to avoid naming conflicts between environments.
Diversity: IaC tools offers a great compatibility with diverse number of external systems in cloud computing. Configuration drift spans beyond cloud services like AWS, Azure or GDP. Leveraging IaC tools like Terraform one can centrally manage a lot more than just cloud computing resources.
Cost Savings: IaC reduces the hours and manual labor for completing the infrastructure development, or even re-using it, which helps saving man power, time and ultimately cost. Moreover, it makes tracking changes easier when using centrally managed IaC tools combined with version control. This fast feedback loop approach ties back into the efficiency benefits provided by IaC.
Below mentioned are the top IaC tools(in 2022) used by organizations:
Most of the tools are used as a combination with others. For infrastructure management maybe Terraform is an excellent tool across multiple cloud environments and yet may be limited when in-depth configurations are required. Users can utilize a tool such as Ansible in these scenarios, to work out with the required configurations.
Implementing such tools significantly improves the productivity of teams as they invariably need cloud infrastructure to meet the technical needs of business.
PS: Hey, hope this blog helps! Please feel free to comment and stay tuned!