Infrastructure as Code: 5 Tips to Get the Most out of IaC for Your Business
Nowadays, every business needs an IT infrastructure that will handle mission-critical processes and establish business operations in the digital realm, leading to higher efficiency among many other benefits. After all, it is a digital world we live in, and a big part of digital transformation means taking your processes to the cloud or building an on-site infrastructure. That said, even though the cloud brings considerable advantages, it’s important to note that setting up and provisioning IT environments can be a difficult and complex task.
This is where IaC (Infrastructure as Code) comes in as the best way to take your infrastructure to new heights of efficiency and security. In short, the IaC solution allows you to provision IT environments using code in a matter of minutes, automate everything, and use various other features to manage your infrastructure efficiently and effectively.
Let’s dive deeper into the concept and give you the best practices you can use to get the most out of IaC for your company.
Document everything promptly and automatically
Documentation is one of the most complex parts of infrastructure provisioning and management, as there can be no room for error if you are to avoid irregularities and misconfiguration. This means that engineers need to document everything in order to allow for seamless infrastructure management, but doing this manually presents numerous risks. By utilizing infrastructure as code, the process of documentation is handled automatically to create a more efficient and stable process for all.
The IaC code is the documentation itself, automatically updating in step with any infrastructure changes for all engineers and key stakeholders to see. This type of prompt and accurate record-keeping can be invaluable, especially should your master engineer leave your company and a new specialist takes their place. Instead of reverse-engineering the previous employee’s work and relying on manual documentation, the IaC structure presents an accurate account of all changes and applications.
Continuously testing and deploying better processes
With manual testing and integration of infrastructure changes, there is always a risk of post-deployment issues and irregularities that will lead to errors, failures, and backtracking. Needless to say, this can severely impact your operation and cause you needless financial waste, so it’s important to ensure that all processes, applications, and changes are delivered in the best possible way to prevent and avoid inconsistencies.
Doing this manually might be complex and time-consuming, but infrastructure as code allows you to continuously test, integrate, and deploy changes in a controlled environment. In fact, IaC gives you a controlled sandbox environment where QA can constantly test new applications to ensure they fit and correspond with your infrastructure set up perfectly.
IaC allows you to codify your entire infrastructure
One of the biggest benefits of IaC is that it codifies your entire infrastructure. You should use infrastructure as code to codify all infrastructure specifications in your configuration files, regardless of the tool you’re using to manage your IaC system. This can be handled by your in-house team or an external team of professionals who will deploy IaC into your system using their preferred tools.
By codifying everything in your infrastructure, you will get a single “source of truth” of all specifications in your new system. This lets engineers know exactly what cloud components to use and how they are connected to each other, as well as how the infrastructure environment is configured so that management and upkeep is quick and seamless.
Creating a more modular infrastructure code
Nowadays, one of the more popular development trends when it comes to developing code for infrastructures is the modular approach, meaning that engineers will develop smaller, modular pieces of code that they can deploy independently or integrate into a complete infrastructure. IaC allows you to utilize the same concepts and effectively separate your infrastructure into smaller independent components to run by themselves or combine them into an automated structure.
The first and most obvious benefit is that this allows you to control access to your code. This way, you can make different parts of your infrastructure code available to different levels of engineers in your company, making sure that your junior engineers, for example, aren’t able to tamper with mission-critical code.
Use IaC to build an unchangeable infrastructure
Last but certainly not least, you should use IaC to build a virtually immutable infrastructure. The goal behind building an immutable infrastructure is to ensure consistency and eliminate undocumented and unsolicited changes to your infrastructure while avoiding configuration drift.
Infrastructure as code allows you to do this seamlessly and “lock” your infrastructure in place to ensure consistency across the board and boost security. Because there are fewer configuration edits, you can easily run troubleshooting should a problem arise, allowing your engineers to fix the problem quickly.
Managing your own infrastructure can be a chore and it can consume a lot of resources, but with IaC, you can elevate efficiency while minimizing risks and expenses. Use these tips to get the most out of IaC and take your company and all its processes forward.
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