Infrastructure as code explained – what container architecture can do for you

Infrastructure-as-Code describes a radical way to accelerate and improve the repeatability of setting up and tearing down infrastructure for development and operations. But it is often only truly understood by those who use it on a daily basis.

Let’s change that.

What is Infrastructure as Code?

Traditionally, infrastructure has been managed and provisioned through manual processes. Framework as code is a simpler, text-based way to do this. You create configuration files that contain the infrastructure details you need. This simplifies and standardizes your infrastructure, because by codifying it, it gives you the ability to provision the same environment the same way, every time. This means that you only use proven infrastructure.

What are the benefits of infrastructure as code?

Infrastructure as code helps reduce deployment problems in several ways.

Configuration Management
In addition to repeatability, DevOps can maintain version control, tracking ad-hoc developer changes on the fly. Without this, there is a danger that later stages (QA, production) will fail due to undocumented infrastructure changes.

Cost reduction
Automated infrastructure as code (and there are several handy tools that allow you to achieve automation) can significantly reduce your infrastructure maintenance costs because you don’t waste developers’ time redeploying infrastructure and to manually root out issues, tweak config files individually, and otherwise baby-sit the “Ops” in DevOps.

Faster, more consistent deployments
As the amount of infrastructure that needs to be implemented in cloud computing continues to grow, the faster you can deploy, the better you serve your customers, while saving your business time and money.

The probability of errors in your infrastructure is reduced and you avoid configuration drifts (which, if left unchecked, can quickly lead to chaos). This means that automating your infrastructure as code brings you benefits in terms of cost, consistency, speed and certainty, especially compared to manual infrastructure upgrades.

Infrastructure as code and DevOps
The importance of infrastructure as code to DevOps practices is that it frees your developer community from the provisioning work that would otherwise clog your continuous integration/continuous development cycle. Infrastructure as code means they can just write a text file to get their infrastructure ready to go and keep the development cycle running at the speed you need to stay competitive.

Approaches to infrastructure as code

There are two main ways to automate your infrastructure as code. You can either opt for a declarative approach or an imperative approach.

The declarative approach, as the name suggests, defines system requirements, components, resources you will need, and maintains a list of system objects. This is a bonus when it comes to dismantling infrastructure, as you can check your infrastructure items against the list of system objects, so you can do a thorough job the first time.

The imperative approach is more technical. It defines the specific commands you need to achieve the configuration you want. If you run these commands in the correct order, it can be a faster approach to automation.

Infrastructure as code automation tools

There are many Infrastructure as Code automation tools on the market. Some of the most popular include:

Ansible
Ansible is an extremely popular automation engine, and it can automate a wide range of server setup and configuration tasks. But one thing that explains its popularity among developers is that it’s relatively easy to use and was designed from day one to deal with multi-tier deployments.

There is nothing between the developer and Ansible – no additional layers of security architecture. It also uses a very simple textual language to facilitate rapid deployments (in INI or YAML format). Playbooks are YAML/INI files for the Ansible application.

When an Ansible playbook is run, it connects to your nodes detailed in Ansible’s inventory descriptions, according to the “instructions” in the playbook. These are designed as lists of resources needed to achieve the desired state of the system.

Ansible runs on each node and ranks after itself. For convenience, you can create a library of playbooks for each type of deployment, and playbooks can install on any machine, including where Ansible itself is hosted. Because we are dealing with text files, the space required to describe (and deploy) huge deployments will be relatively small.

Ansible can be extended with an “authorized key” module, which allows you to control which machine hosts Ansible has automated access to. This combination of simplicity, flexibility, security, and speed is what has made Ansible so popular as an automator of Infrastructure as Code.

Puppet

Puppet is a declarative automaton that has become popular by providing consistency in automating very large and complex constructs. It works very simply – it declares the state it needs of the system (which users will exist, what software needs to be installed, what security patches need to be applied) and lets you easily validate that state. Once this has been achieved, you can quickly identify the failures in your model, what went wrong and why, and Puppet can be easily reconfigured with little programming knowledge.

Puppet’s troubleshooting capabilities have propelled it to the forefront of automation tools available for Infrastructure as Code. It offers reliability, consistency, and relative security to modify your infrastructure as you need it, and is available in both open-source and proprietary, enterprise-focused variants.

Chief

Formerly known simply as “Chef”, Progress Chef helps companies build demanding server setups either on-premises or in public clouds from the mainstream hyperscalers – in fact, Chef is used by many hyperscalers themselves. same.

:like Puppet, Chef can be run standalone or in a client-server model, where a single instance of Chef can create installations on multiple machine instances (clients). The Chef server can query its clients about their capabilities and configurations, and tailor its responses accordingly, making it well suited for replicating identical builds across multi and hybrid clouds. Scalable and relatively simple data consolidations 3rd the party integration has also earned Chef a large following.

Kubernetes

Kubernetes provides automation and functions for containers, in particular. It uses several components, including a container database, container groups functioning as pods, self-replication, load balancing, and self-healing. If you’re running container-based applications in production, you’re probably using (or will be) using Kubernetes.

Kubernetes has fans in the DevOps community as microservices become mainstream. Its layered structure makes sense for developers looking to automate their containerized infrastructure as code. Although its syntax and methodology are considered opaque to all but Kubernetes experts, it proves to be an enabler of scalable, elastic, and reliable containerized applications.

Why you should deploy infrastructure as code

Infrastructure as code is a way to provide faster, more robust, and more visibly version-controlled environmental deployments in a secure manner. Process automation is an important part of operations in a development environment and can save you more money, speed up your development chain, and make it easier to manage and modify your infrastructure environments.

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