What is Infrastructure as Code (iac)?

Infrastructure as Code can be described with the following: IaC defines your environments, to include network, servers, storage and other computer resources as a text file, this can be in a form of a script or definition, which is checked into version control and used as the base source for creating or updating environments.

Instead of doing it the traditional way by remoting in to the environment and adding resources and configurations manually, adding a new server or resource is done by editing a text file and released by running a release pipeline.

In other words Infrastructure as Code is a programmatically way to create and provision your infrastructure, in the process of creating the scripts and tools it’s important that they’re set to be idempotent, it means the scripts should be able to run multiple times without error and with consistency.

IaC Automation

This enables the possibility for automation and validation of the creation and teardown of infrastructure, such as network and virtual machines, to help deliver more secure and stable application hosting platforms. Another benefit, is when issues occur in the environment, you can run your automation to provision the infrastructure again. This offers consistency, where the same automation can be run across the different environments you have.

Automation minimize manual effort, and is the core method of driving DevOps. Where the goal of script and configurations automation is to never having to perform the same activity twice. It also brings the developer team and IT operations people together by using same processes and tools both teams is familiar with to develop application and infrastructure. As a result it simplifies the job in both teams, and repeating work is automated and not manually performed.

What benefits do you get from creating, provision and teardown environments automatically in the development lifecycle with IaC?

  • Automation frees people from performing repetative, monotonous work. This also helps eliminate mistakes.
  • Automation gives people more time to work on creative ways to provide strategic value to the company.
  • Automated processes are faster than their manual counterparts.
  • Automation improves the quality of the entire release process because it standardizes important steps such as deployments. Ensuring well understood processes and environments results in predictable out comes.
  • Creating environments in the form of scripts, you also get the documentation in place.
  • Automation reduces costs if you take a medium- or long-term viewpoint. Once they are in place, automated processes cost less than manual processes.