The benefits and adoption of cloud have been well documented. Cloud platforms built on virtual platforms like AWS, Azure etc. free organizations from the complexities of maintenance, besides brining in cost and operational efficiencies. Another advantage is on-demand speed, which in turn has enabled machine-readable definitions and version control made using Infrastructure as Code (IaC) a reliable reality.
Adoption of IaC
Enterprises today are looking for new ways of working (NWOW), with a focus on automation and innovation. Opensource tools, advantages like cost, faster execution, error-free, and cloud’s API-based approach are fast-tracking the adoption of IaC. It allows automation of repeatable tasks like provisioning, configuration, and deployment, bringing speed, agility and innovation. This trend has pushed cloud providers to invest in tools for a steady and repeatable environment covering almost all their services including network, servers, load balancer, storage, etc. and integrating these into the DevOps lifecycle.
Incorporation or transformation?
Many digital-first organizations like Uber, Netflix, AirBnB, Amazon, etc. live and breathe the software-defined infrastructure. Though IaC has emerged as a new norm of automation in the value chain of software delivery lifecycle it is not a transformation for such breakaway enterprises because they have built their business, culture, and value stream in a greenfield without the baggage of legacy systems and practices. On the other hand, organizations with a traditional established value stream will find IaC adoption to be a bit challenging, as it impacts their culture, practices, and values. To succeed, they will have to be ready to undergo a transformation and embrace NWOW.
Advantages of IaC
Adoption of an automated infrastructure not only speeds up the availability of infra service, but also helps in developing and deploying software. Let’s look at these in detail:
- Efficient deployment process: Makes software development process efficient by allowing you to spin up entire infrastructure including servers, databases, storage system and network components by simply running deployment script(s)
- Errors/deviation reduction: This helps IaC helps standardize infrastructure. Also, consistency for security standards across enterprise can be achieved easily. It creates a stable environment for application and reduces failure rate
- Easy application rollouts and rollbacks: Application rollouts across different environments such as Development, Production can be achieved easily. Since all environments are codified, reverting to desired state is possible by running scripts. It also introduces Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment techniques which further helps to reduce errors and increase speed
- Reduced cost for disaster recovery: IaC helps to cut down high cost for disaster recovery. As infrastructure is reduced to code and can be deployed easily to cloud. This code can be used to spin up new environment in different cloud regions without any extra cost for maintaining standby environment.
- Efforts saving: As repetitive, manual tasks are automated with scripts, engineers have more time for higher value activities.
The future of IaC
IaC has become essential in the modern world, removing infrastructure distractions so that developers can focus on the application code, delivering the solution, and ensuring faster ROI. Not surprisingly, many enterprises are completely automating workflows that were once done manually. Infrastructure as Code is the assurance of a consistent set of instructions and standardization across different environments. Thus, organizations are using more platform-neutral tools such as Terraform, Chef, Puppet, Ansible, etc. to extend this portability benefit across cloud providers or hybrid cloud platforms easily move the workload across different availability zones and regions, as business demands.
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