More and more companies are currently dealing with Infrastructure as Code. The IT service provider Consol shows the opportunities and challenges associated with the use of IaC in automation.
Infrastructure as Code has gained significantly in importance in recent years. One reason is increasing digitization. It has meant that companies have to develop and deploy new versions of applications as quickly as possible. The automated infrastructure provisioning with IaC provides crucial support. The technology stack with servers, operating systems, storage and other infrastructure components no longer has to be provisioned and managed manually by the developers.
The Advantages Of Infrastructure As Code At A Glance
For companies, the use of Infrastructure as Code offers some essential advantages in day-to-day operations:
- By using Code, identical or similar tasks can be easily repeated. This creates significantly more system stability than, for example, with a purely manual configuration.
- By using pre-made templates, prototypes can be rolled out quickly.
- Clearly defined infrastructure templates for setting up a production environment create the basis for stable production systems. If those involved represent all the details precisely and automatically provide each component, it is guaranteed that every environment from development to production is uniform.
- By implementing GitOps concepts, the entire application, including the infrastructure, can be the responsibility of a small and largely independent team.
Essential Characteristics Of Infrastructure As Code
However, companies should consider some important aspects when using IaC. These include:
- The cloud resources managed by IaC are evolving. On the one hand, infrastructure code can be outdated, and, on the other hand, not all the new cloud features required are always available via IRC. Here, companies should first use as small as possible scripts until the functionality is fully mapped. On the positive side, these scripts are also Code that generates repeatable, automated results.
- The use of CI / CD pipelines and automated tests requires sufficient basic knowledge. Finally, an infrastructure defined as a code must be adequately rolled out and tested to ensure the desired stability.
There Is No Optimal Scaling Without Automation
Despite the challenges, IaC has become an indispensable part of modern deployments due to its numerous advantages. Those who do not automate cannot scale optimally and cannot benefit from the preparatory work of other developers and available best practices. The increasing provision of standardized infrastructures will further accelerate the use of IRC.
“Another important aspect is the selection of the right IaC tool. The numerous existing IaC tools offer different advantages and disadvantages. When in doubt, it is usually worthwhile to start with one of the big three – Terraform, Helm or Ansible, “explains Lukas Höfer, Cloud Solutions Architect at Consol Software in Munich. “When selecting solutions and technologies, it usually makes sense for a company to use an external service provider who has proven DevOps expertise. Finally, one thing must not be forgotten: IaC is just a tiny toolset in the large DevOps kit. ”
The automated infrastructure provisioning with IaC provides crucial support. Those who do not automate cannot scale optimally and cannot benefit from the preparatory work of other developers and available best practices. The increasing provision of standardized infrastructures will further accelerate the use of IRC.