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Why Infrastructure as Code or IaC is gaining popularity among organizations

To understand the importance of Infrastructure as code approach lets first understand what is Infrastructure as code or IaC

Rise of IaC:

Traditionally the virtual datacenters (Virtualization) say on VMware was provisioned using a management portal where an administrator logs in to the system and from the GUI provision all the required components (VM’s, Network, Storage, etc.) which could consume ranging from few days to months depending upon the Infrastructure size. As we are making the transition towards Cloud where the majority of the things are API driven and mostly infrastructure can be provisioned within a few hours compared to the traditional approach explained above.

Moreover, resources on the cloud-scale well and depending upon the requirement we might require to scale our application to meet the requirements. The best example I can think of is the Amazon Big Billion period. During the sale period, there is huge traffic on the servers and they need to scale out their application to meet the high demands and scale-in later on. Now all the scale-out and scale-in becomes challenging if we are doing everything manually and the manual approach is more error-prone and time consuming where all the configurations steps need to be captured in detail. Hence the need to use code to deploy infrastructure becomes very critical here.

Introduction:

IaC is the process of managing and provisioning the Virtual Infrastructure (Virtual Machines, Network, etc.) through code. Usually, developers and Operations teams manage and provision the entire Infrastructure using code. IaC uses high-level descriptive languages to manage and provision infrastructure. The IaC is similar to programming scripts where normally scripts are used to automate a single feature whereas IaC focuses on the large requirement i.e to provision the environment for single or multiple applications. IaC is one of the DevOps practice which allows the team to rapidly create and recreate the overall environment. As its a DevOps practice hence its always preferred to store the Code in the “Version control system“. IaC solves the problem known as “drift” or “Infrastructure drift”. Drift is the difference in the actual configuration to code configuration. Drift usually arises if any change is done on the infrastructure manually instead of code. There are various famous tools in the market like Terraform, AWS CloudFormation, Azure Resource Manager, Google Cloud Deployment Manager, etc.

Benefits:

Below are the benefits of IaC but are not limited to the following points only, clearly explains organizations’ behavior in adapting IaC approach.

  • Less Drift thus Efficient development.
  • Faster time to market.
  • Lower cost.
  • Minimize risk and Increased efficiency.
  • Quick recovery in case of disaster.
  • Reduction in management overhead.

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