Infrastructure as code has become widely popular over the past years due to several reasons such as higher efficiency in product development, time and cost-effectiveness, improved configuration, and reduced errors, to name a few.
With businesses being more aware of its advantages, infrastructure as code is getting adopted at an increasing rate. As stated in a recent market report, the global infrastructure as code market is set to reach $2.3 billion by 2027 from its benchmark of $0.8 billion in 2022 while growing at a CAGR of 24% during this forecast period.
While this just gives a glimpse of its growing popularity, the rising adoption of cloud architecture, limitation in resources, increasing demand for composable infrastructure, and the need to reduce errors tend to remain some of the key driving factors of the high popularity of infrastructure as code.
Starting from start-ups to big businesses - infrastructure as code is getting adopted at an increasing rate and if you are yet to opt for it, then now is the time. Wondering where to start? Read on to know more.
What Is Infrastructure as Code?
Infrastructure as code is defined as the process of using DevOps methodology to manage and provision infrastructure through coding. Not only does this approach help manage storage infrastructure, networking infrastructure, data center servers, and others, but helps simplify the configuration and management on a large to very large scale.
Infrastructure as code is highly popular among the developers as it bypasses the hassles of manually provisioning and managing different types of storage, servers, operating systems, and other infrastructure components. It lets you simply follow a template for coding your infrastructure and automate the whole process which also reduces the human errors. There are mainly two main approaches of infrastructure as a code as discussed below:
1. Imperative Approach
In this approach, one needs to define the required commands to configure certain infrastructure. And after that you need to execute those commands in the right order to achieve the target result.
2. Declarative Approach
In a declarative approach, first you need to define the required system state and then you need to list out the resources you need for the configuration. Also, you need to list out the key properties of the resources you choose, as well as the current system state to configure the infrastructure as per your requirements.
See More: Why DevOps Is Important?
Benefits of Infrastructure as Code
Infrastructure as code is gaining traction for several reasons and here we have listed out its top benefits that you too can leverage for your specific business purposes.
1. Higher Productivity
One of the key driving factors to the high demand for infrastructure as code is it helps you automate all the operational and functional activities of your business as well as all the infrastructure processes related to configuration, modification, maintenance, and others. This in turn optimizes the productivity of your teams and overall business and bypasses the hassles of managing everything manually.
2. Improved Consistency
Be it infrastructure configuration or upgrading the existing infrastructure of a system, infrastructure as a code helps maintain consistency throughout the process. For instance, for configuration and setup in cloud migration during the infrastructure development process, you need to maintain optimum consistency to avoid any possible errors, and ambiguities.
The infrastructure as code approach helps standardize the whole process, reduces the human errors and risks, and other hassles while ensuring optimum consistency during the development, set-up, or configuration process.
3. Minimized Risks of Errors
One of the cons of manual infrastructure configuration is there is increased risks of human errors. Opting for infrastructure as code reduces this risk by automating the configuration set up, upgrading, or management process. Be it standardizing all the relevant tasks or creating in-depth analytical reports and documents - it improves all the processes and reduces the risks attached.
Infrastructure as code is a cost-effective approach and lets you utilize your resources properly without any wastage. As it automates the tasks for IT, operations, functional, and other teams, your overall cost associated with human resources, complex and tedious tasks gets reduced resulting in a more cost-effective solution for all.
See More: How Do Agile and DevOps Interrelate?
Top Use Cases of Infrastructure as Code
Infrastructure as code has widespread use cases across diverse industries and sectors and you can opt for it based on your specific requirements. Here’s a list of the top use cases of infrastructure as code-
One of the key use cases of infrastructure as code can be observed in application monitoring. Be it ensuring complete monitoring, aligning with the business-specific and market-driven goals, or tracking errors and issues on time - infrastructure as code helps streamline and simplify everything for your products and business. Also, it helps generate automated logs, alerts, and reports to give you a 360 degree view on the infrastructure.
2. Cloud Deployments
Infrastructure as code is highly sought-after in cloud deployments. Starting from automating your complete set of resources to configuring your applications and executing cloud deployments - infrastructure as code improves the workflow for everything while assuring the required output.
Being compatible with a broad range of public clouds like Azure, AWS, as well as private environments like Windows Server, it is highly required in cloud deployments in various areas. You can easily execute the deployment process by using JSON-based template files as well as can handle multiple cloud environments with a single configuration.
3. Infrastructure Testing
Infrastructure as code is highly adopted in infrastructure testing, especially creating a highly functional test environment that is similar to the actual production environment. As it automates and simplifies the whole process, developers and testers prefer this approach for better infrastructure testing and quality assurance. This approach lets you easily test and experiment with diverse modifications, upgrades, features, and changes making the infrastructure testing process even more efficient.
Top Infrastructure as Code Tools
Now that you have a clearer idea on infrastructure as code, you must be wondering from where to start or how to adopt it. And for that, here we have listed out the top infrastructure as code tools for your knowledge -
Terraform is one of the most used infrastructure as code tools that offers high flexibility and supports a range of prime cloud platforms like AWS, GCP, and Azure. Also, it supports diverse providers like GitHub, DigitalOcean, and CloudFare, to name a few, while ensuring optimum consistency and reliability.
Here’s some of its top features and advantages-
- Offers easy modularity
- Works well in multi-cloud environments
- Offers simple version control integration
- Facilitates easy command line integration
- Offers a compact solution for data sharing and remote state management
- Offers competitive solution for infrastructure management and running triggers
Not only does it let you utilize a differential set of frameworks, tools, and approaches for infrastructure configuration and management, but also supports Azure Cloud, AWS, and GCP.
Some of its top features and perks are as listed below -
- Helps deploy reusable cloud infrastructure
- Drives innovation and better collaboration
- Provides advanced solutions for engineering practices in infrastructure
- Being open source, lets you create, deploy, and manage infrastructure easily
- Fully compatible with traditional infrastructures such as databases, VMs, and networks
- Supports a range of serverless functions, containers, and modern infrastructure
3. Azure Resource Manager
Azure Resource Manager is a famous infrastructure as code tool that comes with its dedicated ARM templates to manage different types of infrastructure and dependencies. Be it segregating and organizing resources, controlling access types, or deleting resources - it provides an all-in-one solution to improve and simplify your tasks.
Some of its key features and solutions are as listed below -
- Improved resource management through declarative templates
- Efficient and simple resources deployment
- Easy provisioning and modification of resources
- Real-time resource group building
- Easy storage and management of different types of container images
- Easy deployment and execution of containerized web apps
This globally popular infrastructure configuration tool by Red Hat offers a robust and automated solution for infrastructure configuration, management, and modification. Equipped with YAML-based configuration modules, Ansible facilitates easy plugins and modules writing and simplifies tedious and repetitive tasks.
Some of its prime features and advantages are as listed below -
- Automates diverse execution environments
- Facilitates automated hubs for infrastructure management
- Offers a pool of competitive Ansible content collections to leverage
- Offers an in-depth analytics & insights
- Comes with automated mesh and services catalog
- Provides with automated controllers
The role of infrastructure as code approach in today’s infrastructure deployment, configuration, and management is imperative and the above definitive guide will help you understand its importance better and pick up the right tol. However, a better practice will be to opt for a curated infrastructure as code tool, solution or software that is designed to meet your specific business requirements.
We, at Third Rock Techkno, can not only meet but exceed your requirements by providing you with the most suitable solution possible. Also, we offer a range of other diverse custom software development services and solutions to accommodate your variable business requirements. Check out our portfolio and contact us to get started today.