The Before Times
In the past, provisioning and configuring infrastructure was a manual process that was both time-consuming and error-prone.
Infrastructure as code (IaC) is a way to automate the provisioning and configuration of infrastructure using code. This code can be stored in version control systems, making it easier to track changes over time and collaborate on changes.
There are many benefits to using IaC, but before we delve into that, let's talk about what IaC is and why it may be important to you.
What is IaC and why is it important?
In simple terms, Infrastructure as Code (IaC) is the process of managing and provisioning computer data centers through machine-readable definition files rather than physical hardware configuration or interactive configuration tools.
IaC is an approach to infrastructure management that is rapidly gaining popularity due to the many benefits it offers. Perhaps the most significant advantage of IaC is that it enables organizations to treat their infrastructure in the same way they treat their application code.
Like application code, IaC can be stored in version control systems, reviewed by team members, and deployed using continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) processes. This makes it possible to manage infrastructure in a more agile and efficient manner and eliminates the need for manual, error-prone configuration tasks.
In addition, IaC files can be used to automate the provisioning of infrastructure, which can save a significant amount of time and money. IaC can also be used to manage infrastructure at scale in a consistent and reliable way.
Overall, IaC is a powerful tool that can help organizations better manage their infrastructure and improve the efficiency of their operations.
What are the main benefits of IaC?
- IaC reduces the chances of human error
When provisioning and configuring infrastructure manually, it is easy to make mistakes. Mistakes can range from typos in configuration files to misconfigured security settings. These mistakes can have serious consequences, such as outages or security vulnerabilities.
With IaC, mistakes can be caught and fixed before they cause problems. IaC can also be used to automate the testing of infrastructure changes, further reducing the chances of errors.
- IaC is repeatable and consistent
IaC can be used to create an infrastructure that is consistent and repeatable. This is important for two reasons. First, it means that you can easily recreate your infrastructure if it is ever destroyed. Second, it means that you can ensure that all of your infrastructure is configured the same way, which can be important for security and compliance.
- IaC is versionable
Because IaC is stored in code, it can be easily versioned using tools like Git. This means that you can track changes to your infrastructure over time and easily roll back to previous versions if necessary.
- IaC is declarative
When using IaC, you declare what your infrastructure should look like rather than writing code to provision and configure it. This makes it easier to understand and maintain your infrastructure code.
- IaC is idempotent
Idempotence is a property of operations that means that they can be run multiple times without changing the result. This is important for IaC because it means that you can run your infrastructure code multiple times without fear of creating duplicate resources or making other unwanted changes.
Overall, IaC is a powerful tool that can help you automate the provisioning and configuration of your infrastructure. IaC has many benefits, including reducing mistakes, improving consistency, and making it easier to version and manage your infrastructure. So, if you have yet to take advantage of IaC, be sure to learn more about it and work with the pros to implement it!
Terrateam offers the complete Terraform CI/CD platform on GitHub. If you're looking for a Terraform IaC platform with GitHub Pull Requests and GitHub Actions, reach out to us today!