To meet the needs of the increasingly fast-paced software delivery cycle, a modern infrastructure becomes more and more crucial. Enter infrastructure as code – or IaC – a system that uses descriptive coding to automate your entire IT infrastructure.
So, is IaC really a complete revolution in IT infrastructure? Are there new challenges that it brings with it and, if so, how can you overcome them? This article answers all these questions in depth and lays out the specific ways IaC can change the landscape for your IT infrastructure.
Implementing the methods and tools described in the article will increase the productivity and efficiency by making work processes more systematic and automated.
The solution covers the entire lifecycle of Azure platform management, from deployment to decommissioning, providing end-to-end automation
Implementing the described tools will make the organization more efficient and productive, leading to increased competitiveness and market advantages.
Enrich with IaC
Infrastructure as Code (IaC) is the practice of automating, provisioning, and configuring infrastructure through code. With IaC, sysadmins become developers, capable of automating the creation of environments and any infrastructure components through a declarative description (code), as opposed to setting them up by hand.
Modern software delivery and development requires teams to deploy hundreds of apps daily. This necessitates a highly scalable and agile infrastructure management to cope with demands.
IaC empowers teams to automatically spin up the cloud environments necessary to test and run their apps. Resources like networks, databases, virtual machines, and any other infrastructure components can be created, modified, replicated, and replaced in an efficient and auditable way.
This makes IaC key when it comes to applying a DevOps methodology to infrastructure. Automation and agile processes require available IT infrastructure to run and test code. Having to physically configure an environment every time a developer wants to develop, test or deploy software would run counter to DevOps’ principles of speed and efficiency.
With IaC, developers can set up infrastructure in minutes, with all configuration files versioned to ensure consistency across IT environments. They are in full control. But how can you ensure it does not create problems and solve them, with increasing costs and the potential for security risks? Let’s take a look.
Manage with GitOps
GitOps is an operational framework that takes DevOps best practices used for application development such as version control, collaboration, compliance, and CI/CD tooling, then applies them to infrastructure automation.
It is used to automate the process of provisioning infrastructure. In a similar way to how teams use application source code, operations teams that adopt GitOps use configuration files stored as code (infrastructure as code). These files rely on idempotency, which means that they generate the same infrastructure environment every time they are deployed, just as application source code generates the same application binaries every time it’s built.
Another core component of GitOps is change management. This is mainly achieved through git merge requests, in which teams collaborate via reviews and comments, and where formal approvals take place.
Approval steps can have multiple formats, from simple user-explicit approval to automated tests and semantics that validate the code at each commit, ensuring the predefined set of rules and guardrails are not broken. When approved, the changes are merged and the whole process serves as an audit log.
The last core component is CI/CD pipelines. When new code is merged, the CI/CD pipeline enacts the change in the environment, overwriting any configuration drift (such as manual changes or errors) and ensuring the environment converges on the desired state defined in code.
One framework to conquer them all
While many think of managing infrastructure as code as managing VM’s and Networks, modern cloud providers enable management of virtually any resource using IaC. This opens up many possibilities, in terms of having a core tool that relies on code. Versioning and releasing capabilities optimise speed and cost; meanwhile, change management and auditable logging can be utilised across the organisation, ensuring normalisation of processes, empowerment of teams, and implementation of strict guardrails for effective security and cost management.
Core teams can implement QuickStart templates, policies and governance gates. This mitigates any risk that comes from empowering developer teams to deploy and manage their own infrastructure, at their own speed and requirements using the same exact framework. Plus, instead of working in silos, teams are now free to contribute to each other’s work – developers can open change requests towards a given template or policy limiting their ability to achieve any given goal.
The Takeaway – Why you need ACE GitOps from Devoteam M Cloud
ACE GitOps makes it possible to apply DevOps principles to infrastructure, breaking the hard dependency links between teams and areas. Its main advantages are:
- The solution provides an opinionated approach to automating Azure platform management, meaning it provides a recommended set of tools, practices and processes that have been successful in delivering effective automation.
- The solution covers the entire lifecycle of Azure platform management, from deployment to decommissioning, providing end-to-end automation.
- By automating the management of the Azure platform, it speeds up the adoption of cloud automation and infrastructure-as-code within an organization, helping teams to move faster and be more efficient.
- The codebase is flexible and can be easily expanded, making it easy to add new features and capabilities as needed.
With Devoteam’s ACE GitOps tool, enterprises large and small can build from the bottom up, with an IaC infrastructure created on DevOps principles – the perfect foundation for a modern organisation.
Read more about ACE and ACE GitOps here.