Just by pressing a button. That's the cloud revolution. One person can activate a hundred machines by flipping a switch. And the process doesn't stop there. You can also configure them correctly and take advantage of their elasticity and availability to go even further. In this way, your ally is infrastructure as code, a practice that organises the infrastructure as if it were programming software. Because it is no longer enough to have interfaces and APIs to be able to programme the infrastructure. We want it to be easy to manage so as to boost the growth of our business.
Using infrastructure as code offers finer control of resources and instant adaptation to needs, as it defines our infrastructure in a few lines of code. It also allows us to manage the instances in a programmed way, a scalable and programmable infrastructure. Everything becomes faster, safer and more manageable, which reduces errors, saves time and increases productivity.
It’s not simple automation. It’s a concept that requires applying DevOps best practices to the scripts to ensure that they are error-free, that they can be redeployed to multiple servers, that they can be reversed in the event of problems and that the development and operations teams can be involved. This whole path is designed to make infrastructure environments like code, accessible to anyone with a basic knowledge of modern coding techniques and structures.
And what are the top 4 best practices?
- Manage the infrastructure through source control, thus providing a detailed audit for changes.
- Apply the tests to the infrastructure in an integrated, functional and unitary manner
- Avoid written documentation, as the code will document the state of the machine. This means that, for the first time, infrastructure documentation will always be up to date.
- Enable collaboration on infrastructure configuration and provisioning, especially between developers and operations.
Infrastructure as code revolutionises organisations. It is clear how things should not be done to cause pain. Most configuration management systems are non-declarative and for the most part cannot calculate the status of implementation, i.e. they rely on feedback loops and look for conditions such as Is X installed? or Is Y configuration up to date? When conditions fail, they take corrective action. It describes what the programme should do rather than how it should do it.
It is true that implementing and reconfiguring server environments is simple, but it can become a double-edged sword for people who are starting out in infrastructure as code. Hundreds of instances can be spun in just a few minutes, but an incredible amount of damage can also be caused in a short time. So when you want to go further, you'll need to do it carefully and have users supervised and guided by a support person, especially when trying something new.
Another thing to keep in mind is to be strict. What does that mean? Don’t leave anything to chance. For example, specify the infrastructure requirements and storage I/O operations per second. Similarly, know the factors that affect the behaviour and performance of the application, and involve the developers in writing the infrastructure specifications as code for the infrastructure elements and runtime environments. Use the monitoring information and feedback to adjust your configuration management scripts for continuous improvement.
It is time to make a decision, to move forward on the path of Digital Transformation. Any infrastructure environment is susceptible to infrastructure best practices such as code and automation. This is because this framework takes proven coding techniques and extends them to your infrastructure directly, blurring the line between what is an application and what is an environment.
Don’t know where to start? Terraform is a code-like infrastructure solution designed to define, provision and manage the IT infrastructure of a large number of public and private cloud services. Its power and simplicity of use, together with the large number of integrations with different cloud service providers, make Terraform the de facto standard within this framework.