You might remember how just a few years ago servers took up a lot of space almost at every company that provides software development. In recent years the lifecycle of software development has changed. Today it is absolutely normal to store, develop and deploy the product in the cloud. Thus, there are two common things that change the process of building applications – cloud computing and DevOps. The first changes the infrastructure management and the second changes the approach to code development and deployment. As a result, the whole software delivery industry has changed.
DevOps methodology includes a lot of processes, concepts and methods. All these processes increase software development speed, efficiency and security. The core of the DevOps philosophy is the automation of the routine manual processes and building a continuous delivery pipeline.
We defined DevOps in general. If you want to read more about DevOps methodology follow the link – https://itsvit.com/services/devops/.
Today we’ll be talking about DevOps components like Infrastructure as a Code (IaC), Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD). We can name the infrastructure as a foundation of the software development process. CI/CD is the basic principle of the DevOps philosophy. Thus, if you want to get a better understanding of the whole development process it is important to know what all these terms mean.
What is IaC and how it associates with DevOps?
In simple words, Infrastructure as Code is a way to deliver and manage cloud resources. IaC is a model where the process of the infrastructure setup is written in the manifests as a code in the executable file. Thus said, you can change the software environment for your needs by changing the manifest or just use another version written before. Before creating the DevOps methodology, the developers needed to ask IT operations to provision a new environment for code deployment each time when they needed to test the software. The environment had to be made on the physical servers or configured manually on virtual machines. It was a very laborious and slow process, especially in a situation with lots of developers and only a few IT operations engineers. DevOps and IaC have changed the approach to software development and made the life of IT talents much easier. Now DevOps engineer writes deployment scenarios using manifests, and the developers can use it when they need it.
This is possible because of cloud computing and virtualization. IaC allows to increase the reliability of the software development process and deploy code much faster because you don’t need to set the environment manually each time. CI/CD means a continuous process, so IaC provides it with the best practices allowing to make faster releases. IaC and CI/CD in the cooperation automate the software development process. As a result, you receive speed, agility and flexibility without quality losses.
Simply put, Infrastructure as Code is one of the necessary conditions of the DevOps implementation to your business.
Advantages and disadvantages of the IaC
Implementation of any new tool or technology can bring some advantages and disadvantages to the business workflows. So, what will you obtain while implementing DevOps and IaC to your company?
Advantages of the IaC implementing:
- Speed. IaC and CI/CD pipeline can highly increase the speed of the product delivery through automatization.
- Scalability. IaC allows you to scale your resources by changing a few strings in the manifest. Thus, you might turn two servers into two hudreds in a minute.
- Profitability. You’ll significantly reduce costs because you’ll pay only for recourses you use without overpaying for the maintenance of the servers. Also, faster deployment shortens the time-to-market for the product. Thus, your users will have all the new features as fast as possible.
Disadvantages of the IaC implementing:
Actually, there are no disadvantages to this implementation. But you’ll face some challenges. The most complex part of them is about tools and collaboration. DevOps philosophy changes the whole approach to software development. Thus, you’ll need to teach your specialists to use new tools or hire new ones. Also, you might need to change the relationships in the team. There is the one fastest and lightest way to implement DevOps and IaC – to hire a Managed Service Provider (MSP). MSP already has a team that knows best practices of IaC implementation. They can implement DevOps methodology, teach your specialists how to work with it and even stay connected with you providing the technical support.
Conclusion: why do you need IaC?
As you read above, IaC is an important part of the DevOps methodology. So, let’s wrap up all we discussed. Earlier software development was different. It was built and deployed on physical servers with rigid specifications for each application. This made software development lifecycle slow and laborious. To solve this problem IT talents created the DevOps methodology that simplified the whole process. Before DevOps, collaboration in the team looked like continuous project bouncing between developers, IT operations and QA specialists.
DevOps philosophy includes not only the modern tools but the strong interaction between all the team members too. As a result, developers can deploy their code by themselves, DevOps engineers can improve infrastructure and QA specialists do not need to manually test all the software continuously because huge part of this process is automated.
The optimized software development process is good not only for specialists who work with it but also is very profitable for the business.