And there’s one last important aspect: you’ll provision and configure your infrastructure in the most elegant way possible through code. Infrastructure as Code is an approach to defining and building systems that draws from software development practices. Infrastructure as Code (or IaC) is an automated type of infrastructure management. No more hidden or surprise changes to the environment. As production environments are reduced to code and deployed on AWS, that code can be used to provision a new production environment in a different AWS region without having to pay for any standby failover environments. According to several reports, you reduce risk by releasing small changes frequently. We humans often forget things, especially when it only caused us a small amount of pain. Infrastructure deployments done with IaC can be repeated with automated functions. IaC serves as a form of documentation of the correct way to represent infrastructure, providing a transparent record of changes made to configurations. The first thing you’re going to tell me is, “Production environments are way different than development environments — and more expensive, also.” But when you define your IaC in a way that lets you control the resources you assign or how many replicas you want, it’s possible to have a small version of the infrastructure for development and a bigger one for production. IaC allows you to spin up an entire infrastructure architecture, not only running virtual servers, but also launching storage systems, network infrastructure, databases, and other cloud services, as well. Adding Infrastructure as Code ultimately offers more stable environments at a rapid rate and at scale. Maybe you just need to experiment with the newest version of a dependency of the server. The cloud came to revolutionize the way we thought about infrastructure. If it’s hard to do, do it more frequently so you can become better at it. The Major Benefits Of Using Infrastructure As Code Are: Improved system performance : IaC assures risk prevention by providing timely awareness on concerning areas. If you respect this rule when something goes wrong in the deployment and you don’t know why, you can always check the history, revert, and rebuild. But when you’re in the cloud, you pay for every hour, minute, and even second the server is on. Tracking your changes is also useful for compliance reasons. If all compute, storage, and networking services are provisioned with code, then they are deployed the same way every time. There’s a ton of information out there on how to install and configure helpful services, like an NGINX server. Per Wikipedia: "Infrastructure as code (IaC) is the process of managing and provisioning computer data centers through machine-readable definition files, rather than physical hardware configuration or interactive configuration tools." It gives you ways to safely empower application teams to define the infrastructure for their applications and to create consistent … When infrastructure is deployed with code, all the same disciplines and quality gates that are used to manage code (code reviews, versioning. But we’ll never forget what we did wrong when we brought down a production application. Maybe that’s one of the reasons we usually have a set of scripts and commands that take the risk of human error down a notch. IaaS offers countless benefits to businesses. Join the DZone community and get the full member experience. A single system becomes capable of running multiple structures to architect it in a fashion that aligns with the organization. Published at DZone with permission of Christian Melendez, DZone MVB. ... Infrastructure as Code benefits. The ability to quickly provision networking, storage, and compute resources has resulted in the highest developer productivity ever seen.  The companies enjoying the highest productivity are simultaneously adopting cloud and DevOps practices facilitated by Infrastructure as Code (”IaC”).  IaC is made possible by the API-driven nature of cloud service provisioning and configuration, and is a critical part of unifying infrastructure operations and software engineering.  But, many companies lack the familiarity and skillsets in IaC to be successful.  The first step for any company in adopting an IaC operating model is to understand the business benefits of IaC so that the consensus exists to build the skills, establish the processes, and adopt the tools. Infrastructure as Code has emerged as a best practice for automating the provisioning of infrastructure services. Infrastructure as Code (IaC) enables developers to provision IT environments with several lines of code. When pushing application code changes to any environment, one of the most common problems you’ll encounter is that servers aren’t configured properly. Treat Infrastructure Like Application Code Imagine that! Who approved the changed? This might not be seen as a big problem. The biggest challenge for any organization adopting IaC is undoubtedly culture change and learning curve.  People tend to do what they are comfortable doing, and asking them to learn new skills and to think differently takes effort.  Getting people to understand that making a manual patch or update to production is actually creating technical debt for the organization is a sea change in thinking.  But, the minute a manual change is made, the code no longer represents a high-fidelity copy of production. Infrastructure as Code brings the benefits of automation, such as quicker, easier, and more reliable execute to the deployment, provisioning and configuration of Servers and other Infrastructure. If something is broken by a recent change, you can always go back to a previous version and rebuild the environment. Why Infrastructure-as-Code? This paper describes the benefits of Infrastructure as Code, and how to leverage the capabilities of Amazon Web Services in this realm to support DevOps initiatives. Digital infrastructure organizations can help businesses deliver faster solutions with more self-service and an exceptional user experience. Simply put, infrastructure as Code is the process of replacing the manual effort required to manage and provision resources with single lines of Code. That’s the reason you can even create unit tests for your infrastructure code. 1. That requires a customer-centric approach rooted in a deep understanding of all the actions customers take to accomplish a task. Tom Lewis May 28, 2019 Amazon Web Services, Cloud Technology, Cloud Transformation, DevOps, In the past few years, cloud computing has completely changed how companies build, scale, and maintain workloads. Every change will be made in the infrastructure definition file. The blog posts and articles that provide this information give a recipe of steps we need to follow, and those become our scripts. As you do with code, you can deliver small changes frequently. Of course, this presents an interesting challenge because you wouldn't put sensitive information like passwords there. IaC also offers the opportunity to introduce Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment techniques, further reducing the issues of human error and increasing speed. Every time you need to make a patch to the server, you’ll define that change in code. Learn more about the use of infrastructure-as-code models. Is there a separation of duties in place? Rather than manually making configuration changes or using one-off scripts to make infrastructure adjustments, the operations infrastructure is managed instead using the same rules and strictures that govern code development—particularly when new serve… Could you ever have imagined these kinds of features with your infrastructure? By codifying our infrastructure, we enable better testing and quality control, more efficient and predictable deployments, and decreased recovery times. Why Testing Infrastructure Is Good for Your Business This unlocks the powerful ability to test your infrastructure just like you test your code. If you have not yet discovered the advantages of the service, read through to know how it can help you obtain IT capabilities and meet your needs in order to achieve the desired business outcomes. Infrastructure and operations as code is an essential practice for realizing the advantages of modern clouds. Infrastructure As Code is the practice of keeping infrastructure definitions within code and subsequently in version control. You can spin up a set of servers in minutes by just running a command or making an API call. This helps to increase the speed of deployments. But just keep doing it until you get it right because you’ll eliminate the lack of knowledge about what’s installed and how it’s configured. Developers can play around with similar infrastructure-as-test or prod before pushing application code changes. In the past, you didn’t have to worry about paying more money because you left-turned on a server for several hours. No human intervention needed. I didn’t. security. This article explains the concepts behind Infrastructure as Code. Plus, it’s automated. [citation needed] Infrastructure automation enables speed through faster execution when configuring your infrastructure and aims at providing visibility to help other teams across the enterprise work quickly and more efficiently. Benefits of Infrastructure as Code. When you start implementing IaC, you might feel like it’s not for you. There, you’ll place the exact same commands you’ll run: say, for example, updating the packages repository and then installing a specific version of the package. The most common language is YAML. Over a million developers have joined DZone. You can apply some proven practices from the development world to Ops. Not only can you deploy virtual servers, but you can also launch pre-configured databases, network infrastructure, storage systems, load balancers, and any other cloud service that you may need. Infrastructure as Code (IaC) is the management of infrastructure (networks, virtual machines, load balancers, and connection topology) in a descriptive model, using the same versioning as DevOps team uses for source code. etc) can be applied to infrastructure services. Another instance of reduced risk is the case of employee turnover. The struggle at that moment is horrible; it’s sometimes traumatic. When the infrastructure is ready, you can also check that it’s properly configured by running some Serverspec tests. As for what language you’ll be working with, it can be any descriptive language. That’s the beauty of IaC. This means that security standards can be easily and consistently deployed across an enterprise without having to have a security gatekeeper review and approve every change. I needed to be very sure that my script was doing what I wanted. I’d say, everyone. What’s awesome about IaC and DevOps is that you can tell them that you closed all doors and the only way to promote changes is through code. This leads to fewer errors and less overall downtime, thus improving the entire customer experience. But the principles and practices of infrastructure as code can be applied to infrastructure whether it runs on cloud, virtualized systems, or even directly on physical hardware. IaC is not just about provisioning; it’s also about configuration management. You don’t need to bother operations anymore. Unlike manual infrastructure setups that require hours or even days to configure, it takes minutes to deploy an IaC system. Business Telegraph > security > The security benefits of using infrastructure as code – TechTarget. When I was developing the scripts to spin up instances and something went wrong, I had to pay for the fragment that instance ran. Similar to the cloud model, it allows organizations to define services via a declarative nature rather than an iterative one. All the dependencies that the container will need to run the application are defined in the Dockerfile. It can be a part of a delivery pipeline or it could be set up to fire in response to specific business ... you need to use a designated IaC tool to reap the benefits. IaC allows you to spin up an entire infrastructure architecture by running a script. Marketing Blog. In this blog article I will show you why you should apply it and what the benefits are. Watch the full-length video for more information about Infrastructure as Code. Bugs and failures happen because teams build against a staging or development environment and then find upon deployment that the production environment is out of sync, which leads to a time-consuming investigation of why and what is missing. IaC allows you to spin up an entire infrastructure architecture, not only running virtual servers, but also launching storage systems, network infrastructure, databases, and other cloud services, as well. If you’d like to restrict who’s pushing the changes, you can protect the master branch and limit the merge only to the Ops team, for example. When was the change done? April 22, 2019 No comment. You wouldn’t want to interrupt your team if you break something in the environment. Should a lead engineer leave the company, the institutional knowledge doesn’t have to completely go with them. You can keep track of all changes made to the infrastructure because you defined each one in a file. It’s a pretty common feature in Terraform, and it was recently introduced in AWS CloudFormation. When I said, “treat infrastructure like application code,” I meant it. So it’s time to give some formality to those valuable scripts you always use and start implementing IaC. When your code is managed in version control you get benefits such as: you can apply the same code review processes as you would to regular code. Automation removes the risk associated with human error, like manual misconfiguration; removing this can decrease downtime and increase reliability. Developer By testing first, you’re minimizing the chances of introducing instability and differences into each environment. IaC means you have cookbooks to help you manage and provision infrastructure in a consistent manner. And there’s one last important aspect: you’ll provision and configure your infrastructure in the most elegant way possible through code. This mostly applies to cloud applications, but that doesn't mean it can't be done for your on-premise infrastructure. If you decide to go with IaC, you’ll be setting the foundation for a consistent and automated delivery pipeline for your applications. You and your team will get used to having an automated way of making changes to servers. Cloud maturity is a journey–not a state of being.  Every company starts somewhere.  Many companies are moving more quickly with fewer mistakes along the journey by using an embedded Blue Sentry Managed Cloud Center of Excellence(“CCoE”).  This service begins with your commitments to platforms, strategies, security frameworks, etc; translates them into cloud best practice; and reduces them to code. The CCoE then works with your team to build skills sets, select tools and establish good DevOps operational process including IaC.  To learn more, contact Blue Sentry for a consultation. One of the critical pieces of an IaC operating model is that little or no access to production is given to humans.  Changes to production are made by machines running  versioned code.  If no humans are touching production, then the production change logs are 1) the versioning history of the infrastructure code, and 2) the machine logs of the machines on which the code was executed to provision the infrastructure.  3) centralized logs of api calls on the cloud platform  When an auditor can quickly see the history of change, confidence rises and audits go much more quickly. Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own. Environments then become similar. It’s also possible to do static code analysis (linting) — that will help you prevent some obvious problems. With IaC, developers and operations teams automatically manage the tech stack for an application through software, helping to configure and deploy these components quickly and consistently. The benefits of infrastructure as code include treating infrastructure like app code, using the same code for all environments, and knowing what changes. Who made the change? When you treat your infrastructure like your application code, you can be confident that the infrastructure’s file definition won’t get lost easily. The most common approach here is to use encryption or make use of environment variables where only certain people have access, like your Ops team. Fail fast, fail often. You can apply some proven practices from the development world to Ops. Can the Monolithic Model Still Work For Me. You can do this quickly and e… Sound familiar? A good example of this is Dockerfiles. Infrastructure as Code is the process of managing and provisioning resources in the cloud through Code files rather than interactive configuration tools. Why a “Sandbox Database” is Important to Software Developers, Mindful Migration: Six Steps to Ensure Success, Pipeline Automation: The Keys to Unlocking the Right Outcome For Your CI/CD Process, Blue Sentry Launches Free Pre-Migration Cost Assessment Service. As more companies are making the switch to cloud-based services, spending in this area is expected to keep increasing even as traditional IT services slow a little. The most obvious benefit of IaaS is reduced infrastructure costs. Therefore, in a failover scenario the code can no longer successfully be used to deploy the existing production environment.  Nor can it be used to deploy high-fidelity development, test and staging environments.  Developing the skills, process discipline, and tools to change the code first and then apply the new code to production takes time.  But, in the end, the benefits of infrastructure as code are certainly worth the effort. If you have the code and the proper access, you’ll be able to spin up a similar environment from production. Mature code bases contain many unit and integration tests, to verify that the code’s logic is correct. All the values that are different in each environment will be under version control. Environment drift becomes an expensive business waste. Thanks to automation, engineers spend less time performing repetitive, manual work and more on higher-value tasks.   Another added advantage is that the spinning down of unused resources and environments can be automated, decreasing cloud computing costs and other maintenance expenses. Why? Because, as with your application code, you’ll store this file in a version control system. And as if that weren’t enough, you can also plan the changes your script will perform so you can preview how the infrastructure will look. IaC means you have cookbooks to help you manage and provision infrastructure in a consistent manner. If you work in the world of automation and DevOps, you probably have come across the term "Infrastructure as Code" (IaC). Developers can play around with similar infrastructure-as-test or prod before pushing application code changes. Code forms the backbone of this approach, giving rise to the term infrastructure as code (IaC), which, in simple terms, means code that helps in provisioning systems out onto an IT platform. I myself had to deal with this problem. Infrastructure as Code can bring the management of your infrastructure to the next level and beyond. Instead of making a change to the current servers, you’re replacing them with a new version built from your file definition. As code can be version-controlled, IaC ensures any change to the service configuration is documented through the version control process. Here’s where the term “infrastructure as code” (IaC) enters the game. Auditors love to see that an organization keeps track of how a change went from one environment to another. Adopting IaC means very low cost disaster recovery. Because security and other enterprise standards are established in the infrastructure code, developers have independence to move more rapidly.  In addition, testing can occur in separate staging environments simultaneously. The code used to create production environments can be used to quickly create high-fidelity development, testing and staging environments in minutes. But when the same problem arises in another environment and we don’t remember what we did to fix it, it is a big problem. If you embrace end-to-end automation in your delivery pipeline, you’ll be promoting changes from one environment to another. When you implement IaC, gone are the days when you made manual changes to the server so the application worked. Every part of your business — from the back-end operations to the customer experience — is affected by IT infrastructure. Your entire team will always know how the application is architected at the infrastructure level because now they’ll have a standard language. I know. IaC, is a method of provisioning and managing IT infrastructure through the use of source code, rather than by using manual processes and standard operating procedures. The benefits of infrastructure as code Embracing IAC is primarily going to keep your developers happy. It helps teams avoid configuring an environment manually. With all the options available and the possibility of committing to the wrong framework, it can be easy to continue with business as usual and ignore the benefits of IaC. Anyone can make suggestions or apply fixes. As the name suggests, infrastructure as code is the concept of managing your operations environment in the same way you do applications or other code for general release. The security benefits of using infrastructure as code 1 Infrastructure as code bolsters security and ensures security best practices are built into software development. First thing first, best practices are quite important for managing infrastructure as code in a highly efficient way, so please consider following key recommendations for your infrastructure as code project. Find out the real world business and cultural impact of implementing Infrastructure as Code with an interview with kCura.  But, the largest hard cost savings usually comes from the ability to have high-fidelity development, testing, staging and failover environments  when needed without having to pay for them when they are not in use. You’re reducing the chance of misconfigurations in the application. In order to take full advantage of this, you shouldn’t allow yourself or your team to make any manual changes that weren’t tested in a different environment first. How many of us have faced not having the same exact version of a dependency across all environments? You no longer have to remember which buttons to click or which commands to run in order to get an environment up and running. This post will enumerate some key benefits that become possible once we embrace infrastructure as code practices. So instead of considering this a drawback, the industry found new ways to protect the budget. You no longer have to remember which buttons to click or which commands to run in order to get an environment up and running. Key Benefits of Infrastructure as Code. Moving past the drawbacks to manual processes, listed are some reaping benefits of IaC for your company: Lighting Speed. Also, it ensures compliance and safety of IT infrastructure along with the faster response to issue/requirements. Increased speed and efficiency . When you take this approach, several benefits come included. 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