Infrastructure as Code (IaC) is defined by Microsoft as the management of infrastructure in a descriptive model that uses the same versioning that the DevOps team uses for source code. Translated, this means that the business networks, virtual machines and other parts of the infrastructure are structured to ensure that they deliver the same environment consistently across every application.
It provides DevOps teams and organisations with the ability to embed the principles of continuous delivery into the very fabric of the business by using code instead of manual processes, and it allows for the modern organisation to build a foundation stable enough to pivot and adapt with far greater agility.
According to Forrester, IaC has been gaining traction over the past year primarily because it liberates the architect, the developer and the infrastructure owner. It’s a view shared by McKinsey. The research organisation highlighted that IaC has allowed for the business to automate cloud systems while reducing the risks that come with manual configuration, and that it’s one of the cloud principles that helps the organisation to automate best practice and move at speed without compromising on speed or compliance.
The benefit of a trend
IaC has become a trend in its own right as it taps into the organisation’s need to fully realise the value of automation at a time when speed and efficiency have become competitive differentiators. It’s not a new technology, nor does it come without its own fair share of challenges, but its rise to popularity has seen it evolve and adapt to changing business requirements. Today, it offers the business a centralised layer of policies and toolsets that DevOps teams can use to enhance security and system capability across multiple touchpoints and requirements. This is what has made it such hot and tasty property in the market and is often a component of top performing teams.
“Using infrastructure as code for business allows for enhanced security and system capability across requirements”
However, even though IaC can tick numerous business benefit boxes by embedding the standardisation of infrastructure delivery and improving problem detection, it still needs to be refined to ensure that it really does provide engineering teams with the right layers of support. The organisation has to ensure that it has clearly defined best practice – if not within the wider market but within its own applications of IaC – to ensure that it is implemented properly and doesn’t lose cohesion as it spreads out beyond one, central team. That said, if the business has the right processes in place, it can see significant value in IaC that goes beyond the technical and into measurable cost and time savings.
The ages of technology
The evolution of technology can be broken down into three ages, much like the evolution of humanity. The iron age, cloud age and now, the code age. In the iron age, the business carried its own tin – hardware sitting on-prem that required significant time and cost investment. Then the cloud age shifted the hardware dynamic, putting it onto the sites of those who provided the service and lifting the burden of on-prem off the organisation through the as a Service phenomenon. Here, in the cloud, any service could be provisioned at OPEX and the organisation could, realistically, say goodbye to a significant percentage of compute CAPEX.
The next era is defined by code. By the ability to manage and provision tin with code that is far more efficient than the manual human being. This is why IaC has become so prolific and relevant – it simplifies the necessary and makes it elegant and automated and intelligent. It’s where teams can adapt and evolve the code to help the organisation become increasingly competitive in entirely new, and unexpected arenas. It lifts the burden of admin and maintenance off the teams significantly which then frees them up to do more of value for the organisation.
The importance of IaC
With IaC embedded within the enterprise there is a low barrier to change. This means that the business can move faster and at lower costs while ensuring scale and standardisation. It removes the complexities of manual configuration and admin/time delays with robust and reliable code-based consistency. The value is also seen in security – IaC has shown itself as a potential bridge between DevOps and security, two teams that often clash on the frontiers of deadline and development. It also supports in disaster recovery, the evolution of change management, and in improving team cohesion.
Another benefit of IaC is that it’s not a distant pipedream. With Metsi Technologies, organisations can fully realise the value of IaC in future-proofing the business and creating intelligent and sustainable processes that transform capability. We know that modern workload placement is not just about moving to the cloud, but about creating a baseline for infrastructure strategy based on those workloads. We will work with you to take your business into the future it wants.
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Issued by OZRA Media on behalf of Metsi Technologies.
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