Software has come a long way. Developers are well-versed in creating software that's reliable and adaptive to the long and constantly growing list of features added to operating systems and hardware every day. Driving the sophistication of software development is something called Infrastructre as Code (IaC).
Simplay put, IaC is where systems are automatically built, provisioned, and managed through code instead of using less flexible scripting or a manual processes. IaC allows for never-before-seen levels of control and introduces modern organizational procedures that, when practiced, make discipline and governance previously unreachable now possible for servers, storage, and networking. With IaC, infrastructure operation teams can use configuration language (code) to automatically provision and manage on-premises and/or cloud environments through code instead of manual processees, create settings and features, and apply them universally with a touch of a button.
Working together, IaC and automation tools - such as Vendita Master Automation Sequencer - expidite the implementation of important IT processes, eliminate repetitive and time-consuming tasks, reduce the need for expensive SMEs to setup, tear-down, and maintain unique infrastructure environemnts, and standardize systems for ease of ownership, versatility, and growth.
An example of IaC in action:
Say a company needs to install Oracle Database on an IBM Power Systems server. Instead of manually going through the processes of provisioning the software onto the hardware - a lengthy processes that requires special knowledge of how to properly configure the two together - the infrastructure team utilizes an automation tool, like Vendita MAS, to install the server, verify it is running properly, create credentialed management accounts, set up and tear-down new database instances as needed, install patches and upgrades when called for, and maintain additional functionality – all through pre-determined code that has been carefully designed, tested, and proven.
The benefits of codifying infrastructure and automating processes are many:
- Less reliance on system administrators to provision and manage the operations aspect of a DevOps environment
- Enables improved testing and quality control
- More accurate, efficient and predictable deployments
- Decreased recovery times
- Lowers the cost of experimentation and innovation
- Allows for reproducealble environments
- Reduces the risks of human error
- Standardizes system processes, which simplifies system management
- Gives users version control and seamless rollback, which increases security and virtually eliminates downtime
From a technical standpoint, utilizing IaC is simple. Most organizations already use source control platforms and have put in place strategies for managing code migrations from design, to testing, to production. What's needed is an effictive tool that gives operations teams the ability to confidently make rapid changes to their infrastructure through automated processes and code - whether on premises or in the cloud.