What is Infrastructure as Code (IaC): Everything You Should Know

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Infrastructure as code is recently getting recognition due to offering several advantages over traditional software development. IaC has many applications, including building databases, firewalls, load balancers and servers.

What is Infrastructure as Code (IaC): Everything You Should Know

Infrastructure in development of software is important as it’s integrated into the whole process. Manual management is considered unscalable, especially in the face of DevOps cycles.

Currently, infrastructure as code is the de facto solution as it can accommodate growth and scalability compared to manual infrastructures. Find out more what is infrastructure as code here.

Why Should You Use Infrastructure as Code?

Seamless and Timely Changes

Organizations can be more agile with IaC in tow. Any important processes and updates can be done without having to wait for other workers, thereby ensuring rapid integration and development. Whenever businesses and enterprises feel the need to add new solutions, products or services they can do so quickly and with minimal interruptions.

Standardized and Reproducible Configurations

IaC’s greatest strength lies in its reproducible structure. Instead of a manual process everything is done through code, and this means distribution and edits are easier to complete. Furthermore, there’s a higher chance that the state of the infrastructure will be preserved as per the organization’s specifications.

With this in mind, developers can introduce automation into management and remove the need for manual operation.

Two Choices- Imperative or Declarative

IaC tools are diverse in that you can choose between two general solutions- imperative and declarative.

Declarative is when the users define only the end requirement to achieve the software goal. The rest will be taken care of by the platform or a tool through code. Imperative, on the other hand, lets the user define the steps they need to achieve the end goal. Here, the system follows the steps up until completion.

Scale as You Want

The good thing about infrastructure as code is its ability to scale along with the organization. In today’s world, most people and businesses use software and apps to buy and provide products and services. Organizations can grow very quickly, and their software needs to grow along with them. Not doing so can allow the competition to catch up and get a share of the market and profit pie.

Infrastructure management is optimized, and you can reduce spending in the OpEx and CapEx department. Manual interactions and incorrect configurations are minimized and only used in critical situations.

Common IaC Platforms and Tools

Infrastructure as Code is a huge umbrella of platforms and tools, and with it come several solutions depending on what you need.

Ansible

An open-source management tool with aspects of IaC, Ansible supports on-prem and cloud environments and works very well when there’s a need for provisioning and configuration management.

Terraform

Widely considered as the leading tool for IaC, Terraform specializes in managing infrastructures in popular environments such as Alibaba Cloud, Oracle Cloud, GCP, Azure, AWS and Heroku.

The IaC program offers infrastructure management and provisioning in different use case scenarios. It’s stable in that the desired state tends to be achieved at all times.

Chef and Puppet

Two tools in one package. Both offer automation and config management, with several other features developers will find very useful. Chef is primarily integrated into DevOps and its collaboration tools, while Puppet works towards sheer process automation. There are even built-in ‘watchers’ to check for config drift.

Azure Resource Templates

Azure Resource Templates is used in Microsoft Azure for facilitating IaC functions. It’s versatile in that it can handle any resource configuration.

Within Azure Resources are tools for specific tasks, such as Rex for infrastructure automation, Cloud-Init for cloud initialization and script execution in servers, and Azure Image Builder to create custom OS images.

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Lucy Bennett

Lucy Bennett is a Contributing Editor at iLounge. She has been writing about Apple and technology for over six years. Prior to joining iLounge, Lucy worked as a writer for several online publications.