Gone are the days when you had to manually configure your infrastructure. Today, more and more infrastructure is delivered as code. Be it HCL with Terraform, TypeScript with AWS CDK or Python with Pulumi. This transition to Infrastructure as Code is happening quickly and changing at a rapid pace. So the question arises why infrastructure as code is becoming so important. But also, why would a company invest their developers’ time in implementing this infrastructure?
In the past, managing the infrastructure was a very laborious process. The servers had to be physically located, set up and managed manually. Software and applications could only be implemented after manual configuration. This process was slow, labor-intensive and expensive, and left a lot of room for human error. Failures always required on-site technicians to diagnose and fix the problem, and due to inconsistencies in the original configuration, this could become a complex and time-consuming process. Because the networks weren’t in the cloud, tools like server monitoring weren’t possible. But fortunately that has changed in the meantime…
Was ist Infrastructure as Code?
Infrastructure as Code is a method of managing infrastructure configurations that allows the elements of an organization’s infrastructure to be stored in text files within a version control system. These text files contain the specifications of the infrastructure and make it easy to edit, duplicate and distribute configurations.
Using infrastructure as code helps reduce or eliminate the need for manual infrastructure management and deployment processes. By providing these infrastructure configuration specifications as code and maintaining detailed version control notes, IaC eliminates undocumented ad hoc configuration changes and creates process consistency.
IaC helps to reduce or eliminate environmental drift problems that are common in software development infrastructures. Cloud applications typically consist of interconnected resources in separate deployment environments for different phases of the release lifecycle. Environmental drift occurs when infrastructure is not synchronized between development, staging, and production environments.
Infrastructure as Code (IaC) is an essential way to improve the security of your IT infrastructure. Because all configurations are defined as code and deployed from the cloud, IaC eliminates the possibility of shadow IT in an organization and ensures that all changes are appropriately managed in a version control system and that all configurations are maintained in their desired state. Infrastructure as Code also enables infrastructure configurations to be standardized and scaled in an automated manner.
Frequently asked Questions:
In our everyday life we often work for and with customers on various IaC projects. Especially at the beginning of a project, there is a lot that needs to be explained about IaC. We have summarized our answers to the most frequently asked questions for you here:
- What are the pros and cons of Infrastructure as Code (IaC)?
- What is the difference between Infrastructure as a Service (IaaC) and Infrastructure as Code?
- Is infrastructure as code part of DevOps?
- Which service is right for us?
What are the pros and cons of infrastructure as code?
IaC helps reduce or eliminate manual infrastructure management and provisioning. By saving the configurations in code and carefully versioned are avoided, ad-hoc configuration changes are avoided and process consistency created.
Infrastructure as code also contributes improve security by preventing shadow IT from arising in an organization and all changes are properly managed in a version control system. In addition, it enables standardization and scaling of infrastructure configurations automatically.
However, there are also challenges in using IaC, such as ensuring code security, complying with code policies, and the difficulty in standardizing communications and security across different environments. However, these challenges can be overcome with careful backup strategies, differentiated access permissions, and clear visibility and monitoring of the entire infrastructure.
All in all, IaC offers a multitude of advantages, such as reducing costs and scalability of business processes, as well as improved visibility and control over the IT infrastructure.
What is the difference between Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Infrastructure as Code (IaC)?
Infrastructure as a Service is a virtualized computing solution offered by cloud computing providers. IaaS is an entirely cloud-based infrastructure system that gives you the ability to provision servers and storage, network firewalls and security, and sometimes even physical assets virtually over the Internet through third-party providers.
Infrastructure as code is managing and deploying infrastructure through code rather than through manual processes. By encoding and documenting your configuration in files and submitting them to a version control system, IaC supports configuration management and helps prevent undocumented or unwanted changes.
Infrastructure as Code is closely linked to DevOps and Cloud Computing Infrastructure as a Service.
Which service is right for us?
If you only use one cloud provider, you can use one of the provider-specific options. AWS, Azure, and GCP all offer a JSON-based tool, but it’s not as accessible in its syntax and structure. That’s why there is now an abstraction on-top, that’s for Azure Bizeps and for AWS CDK. CDK in particular makes it easier to start directly with infrastructure as code thanks to a range of supported languages. It then provides a CloudFormation template, which in turn describes resources and dependencies. In addition, Terraform and Pulumi are also suitable for single-cloud, if you are already familiar with them, especially with their state management, which you manage yourself via a remote state in one of the common cloud storage systems. In the case of multicloud scenarios, frameworks can be combined, but Terraform and Pulumi in particular simply enable provisioning to multiple cloud providers.
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