Infrastructure as Code (IaC) has emerged as one of the key practices of the DevOps movement and is used alongside continuous delivery. Experts suggest that IaC is really what led to the cloud revolution and is the driving force behind DevOps.

What is Infrastructure as Code

Simply put, the idea behind IaC is to treat your IT infrastructure as you would treat your software. With IaC, the operations environment is managed using the same way, using the same rules that govern applications and code development.  It is more technically defined as the process of managing and provisioning data centers through machine-readable definition files, instead of manually changing configurations or using interactive configuration tools.

When do you need Infrastructure as Code

With increased automation, there is now an increased need for virtualization and virtual server spaces. These virtual server spaces allow developers to work away from production systems. These virtual servers or machines are technically easy to create, but in reality, take a long time to provision. Here’s where Infrastructure as Code comes to the rescue. This approach essentially is about using code to automate the process of configuring a virtual machine, which allows for faster replication.

Benefits of using Infrastructure as Code

Infrastructure as Code enables you to manage IT infrastructure efficiently in a DevOps environment that relies on continuous delivery.

DevOps teams must provision multiple test environments constantly and reliably. Infrastructure as Code is the main process that allows DevOps teams to test applications in production-like environments early in the development cycle. The definitions provided by IaC also provide the guideline for the cloud to dynamically provision environments.

The benefits of IaC include the ability to deliver stable environments at scale. Teams no longer need to manually configure their environments as it is done with code. These environments are repeatable. IaC is beneficial in reducing and preventing runtime problems caused by configuration drift.

More importantly, IaC enables DevOps teams to work together with a unified set of tools to deliver applications and their supporting infrastructure quickly, reliably and at scale.

Best practices for IaC

There are a few best practices for IaC, which if followed, can result in a more optimized DevOps practice.

  • The first is to manage infrastructure via source control. This provides a detailed audit trail for changes.
  • The second is to avoid written documentation. The code will document the state of the machine, and so infrastructure documentation will be updated.
  • Use unit, functional and integration testing to apply testing to infrastructure
  • While implementing IaC in organizations, it is better to restrict IaC tools to experienced DevOps professionals rather than novices.
  • Set up specific and strict requirements for the environment, including network bandwidth to reduce problems and errors.

If you’re looking to deliver quick and efficient software products and services while improving operational performance, then you should consider introducing DevOps. A trusted solutions provider with a proven track record should be able to guide you through the process. Tricon Infotech has experienced DevOps professionals with expertise across areas including strategy, planning, execution and managed IT services. Connect with us to learn more.