‘Drift’ may be a cool word in the world of car racing, but it’s just the opposite when it comes to IT infrastructure. You see, configuration drift means that your system in production has drifted away from the state you originally intended for it. This causes all kinds of problems when troubleshooting issues, and releasing new updates to the system. It becomes a top priority for DevOps teams to fight this kind of drift. That’s where Infrastructure as Code comes in. In this article, we look at what IaC is and how different open source tools allow Infrastructure as Code.
What is Infrastructure as Code?
Infrastructure as Code is a toolset designed to make production systems as identical as possible to internal ‘declared’ systems. They work as a solution to inconsistent environment issues. Offering cloud computing resources through code instead of manual provisioning ensures all the systems are identical and better controlled. IaC prevents manual updates to infrastructure like virtual machines, servers, and containers through an automated procedure.
It is defined in two ways – Declarative IaC and Procedural IaC.
A declarative IaC includes instructions about how the system should be configured after the process is done. In contrast, a procedural IaC contains instructions on what the system should do to get the right configuration results.
Why does DevOps need Infrastructure as Code tools?
Documentation: IaC works as a self-documented process, as it aims to inform everything related to the system’s configuration.
- Safety: It is simpler to adhere to safety standards when all the systems are configured identically. There is no room for error which means fewer chances for any misconfigurations that lead to attacks.
- Version Control: IaC are version controlled as code, so when the system respond unexpectedly to a change, it is rolled back and assessed.
- Better Testing: DevOps teams that use IaC always execute tests on systems the same as production. Regular systems enhance the efficiency of testing and reduce errors at later stages.
- A Comprehensive Solution: IaC means you can use any system with it, be it local or cloud, or edge.
- Cost: The above things offer a great cost reduction in the long run. With your needs scaling, the ROI grows. The soon you start using IaC, the more the rewards.
Here are the best IaC tools you should know about.
Top IaC Tools to Know in 2022
Terraform is the HashiCorp’s IaC tool. It allows you to outline resources and infrastructure in a simple-to-read format and declarative configuration. Moreover, it handles your infrastructural lifecycle. Terraform offers several benefits over humans managing your infrastructure.
- It can handle infrastructure on several cloud platforms.
- The human-readable format helps you understand infrastructure code easily.
- It helps track resource changes all through the deployment.
How does Terraform enable infrastructure as code?
Handle all infrastructure
Terraform plugins known as providers allow it to interact with cloud platforms and other services through APIs. Over 1000 providers in the HashiCorp and Terraform community can handle resources on AWS, Azure, GitHub, Kubernetes, Google Cloud, and more. If you need providers for yourself, you can write one.
Standardize your deployment functions
Providers outline separate infrastructure units, for instance, compute instances as resources. The resources are composed of different providers in configurations.
These declarative configurations mean the desired end-state for the infrastructure is defined. Terraform providers assess dependencies between resources to make or destroy them accordingly.
Infrastructure deployment with Terraform:
- Scope: Acknowledge your project’s infrastructure.
- Writer: Create your infrastructure’s configuration.
- Initialize: Install the plugin it needs to handle the infrastructure.
- Strategize: Preview the changes to align with your configuration.
- Apply: Make the changes.
Terraform can be used in a hosted terminal to create and destroy a Docker container.
Helm is a package manager for Kubernetes that helps deploy repeatable apps and services to groups. It allows easy app management through Helm Charts, which eases outlining, installing, and upgrading K8s settings.
Helm Charts are groups of files that transform into Kubernetes manifest format. It can be reused and has YAML-based templates of
- Configuration maps
- Different deployments
The charts are managed through a single command-line interface. Helm has a simple architecture that includes clients and an in-cluster Tiller server.
Helm Client offers a command-line interface to work with Helm Chart and interrelate with Tiller Server. It helps perform operations like installing, upgrading, and more.
Tiller Servers run in the cluster and are interrelated with the K8s API server for installing and upgrading the removal of Kubernetes resources.
Helm is good for CI/CD processes that depend on K8s resources. Teams can outline a standard blueprint and use it instead of editing files for every microservice.
Kustomize manages Kubernetes objects through command-line configuration. It helps make declarative amendments to your configuration without affecting a template. It allows adding pieces from different courses keeping your customization in control. It can be done by creating a file that combines everything.
Advantages of Kustomize:
- Declarative template
- Simple-to-track codebase
- Integration with Kubectl
Users should add a base YAML template for reference, patched by Kustomize depending on the target surrounding to use Kustomize for Infrastructure as Code.
Infrastructure as code is the new big thing when managing cloud resources. The IaC tools enhance the efficiency of any project by automating human work in a more secure environment with better consistency. Most companies are switching to IaC, which means less time is spent handling the WebUI of the cloud platforms. Companies are getting familiar with IaC tools in their workflow for better results.
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