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Infrastructure as Code- Benefits of using IaC

By Unni MohanAug. 16, 2022, 4:34 p.m. Application development company
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Infrastructure as code has come into vogue as development cycles have shortened and infrastructure changes are more frequent


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Infrastructure as Code

As the name indicates, Infrastructure as Code (acronym IaC) is used when code is used to provision, configure, and manage infrastructure. Up till the recent past, it is common knowledge that setting up the infrastructure is a long and tedious manual process. 

Human intervention is required to physically stack servers. After this, the next process is to manually configure the servers to the requirements of the operating system that has been chosen and also the application that will be hosted. Finally, the application is deployed to the hardware. Only after this can the application be launched.  

If you have decided to use IaC, then you can use tools such as Terraform, Azure ARM, CloudFormation, Ansible and others that will help to create scripts to configure your servers, and operating systems, databases, and software. Also, you can quickly and easily deploy as well as replicate complicated environments easily.

IaC liberates both the Dev and Ops teams of an organization that help to automatically manage and provision the technology stack using the software.

https://stackpath.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/diagram-infrastructure-as-code@2x-1024x513.png

 

Benefits of using IaC

When any organization uses IaC, they experience the following benefits:

  • Avoiding manual intervention causes infrastructure deployments to become both quick and safe.
  • It is possible to check code in source control and this allows increased transparency and accountability.
  • The infrastructure code is equivalent to live documentation of the actual state of the existing infrastructure.
  • Identical infrastructure can be consistently deployed across the board, avoiding one-off configurations and edge cases.
  • DevOps when used makes software delivery more efficient whereas IaC brings agility to the infrastructure management realm.
  • IaC allows for the creation of reusable modules and this, as an example, allows replication of development and production environments.
  • Automating the infrastructure deployment using IaC allows engineers to spend less time performing manual and non-productive work, and more time executing higher-value and more productive tasks.

Read our blog ‘Kubernetes and Helm’ for managing Kubernetes applications.

Declarative vs. imperative IaC

IaC tools are built to implement infrastructure configurations in two major differentiating approaches. They are declarative and imperative. In the imperative approach, users can specify the exact steps to be taken for any change, and the system does not deviate from these specified steps. In the declarative approach, the users only need to define the end requirements. Here, the tool handles all the steps to be taken to achieve the requirements that have been defined.

The declarative approach is preferred in most infrastructure management use cases. It offers more flexibility when managing infrastructure. A chef is an imperative tool, where Terraform, CloudFormation, Puppet, etc., are all declarative. Ansible is unique in that it is mostly declarative but with support for imperative commands.

IaC – Some popular examples

  • Terraform
  • CloudFormation
  • Azure ARM
  • Ansible
  • Chef, Puppet, and Others

Ansible, Puppet and Chef are configuration management tools that allow you to install and manage the software on the current servers. Terraform, and CloudFormation are software packages that help to define infrastructure. They function as an orchestration tool, which means they have the capability to provision the servers and infrastructure.

Choosing the Right Tool

DevOps has the main goal of delivering software more efficiently and quickly. For this, you require some tools and this is where tools such as Hashicorp’s Terraform come in handy and help organizations with Iac and automation.

Terraform is a software package that aids DevOps by transforming how infrastructure is managed. The result is that it becomes faster and more efficient to execute and manage DevOps principles. Other technologies used for automating and provisioning software are Ansible, Chef, or Puppet. Terraform is similar and serves to set up IaC, but the focus is on automation of the infrastructure. Terraform can be used to define the entire Cloud infrastructure of an organization (instances, volumes, networking, and IPs, among others).

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Why Choose Terraform

The following reasons contribute to the popularity of Terraform:

  • It is open-source
  • It is free
  • There is a large support community
  • Terraform is “Declarative”
  • It provides support for multiple platforms with over 200+ available providers
  • The configuration language is simple 
  • It allows for easy integration with other configuration management tools (like Ansible)
  • The package is easily extensible with plugins

Being open-source, Terraform is supported by a strong and passionate community of developers. This is helping its evolution onward. Terraform is expected to greatly contribute to DevOps in an organization.

Summary

IaC supports DevOps because everything can be automated. Here, servers, databases, and networking components can be treated as software as you can write code for managing, automating, and delivering applications continuously.

IaC can help to easily integrate infrastructure into version control mechanisms. This makes tracking and auditing infrastructure changes an easy affair. IaC provides the ability to extensively automate infrastructure management. Because of this, IaC can be integrated into CI/CD pipelines as an integral step of the SDLC.

IaC eliminates the need for manual infrastructure provisioning and management and thus allows users to easily control the inevitable configuration drift of the infrastructure and strives to keep all the environments within the defined configuration boundaries.

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How SayOne Can Help

At SayOne, we design and implement microservices systems that do not have complex architectural layers, and this enables the services to deliver exceptionally fast performance. Moreover, we provide services that are significantly decoupled, allowing you to launch independent services and not end up with the usual inter-dependent microservices that work more or less like a monolith.

We design the microservices keeping in mind the margin required to allow for the transitioning into the new system of your organization’s legacy architecture as well as expanding into the cloud system. Our microservices comprise lightweight code and we provide competitive pricing options for our clients.

Our microservices are built according to the latest international security guidelines that ensure the complete safety of all the data. We also ensure that we deliver the services within stipulated deadlines and we always assure a quick turnaround time for our clients. Equipped with the best infrastructure and the latest tools and technologies, our expert developers will provide you with the best microservices that are easily scalable, enabling a good ROI in the shortest period.

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