March 2023

IaC as a DevOps Practice

a man is typing on a laptop computer
a man is typing on a laptop computer

Infrastructure as code (IaC) is a relatively new concept that is gaining popularity among DevOps teams. Infrastructure as code (IaC) is managing and provisioning computer data centers through machine-readable definition files rather than physical hardware configuration. It is a method of managing infrastructure in a way that parallels software development. IaC tools allow DevOps engineers to use the same workflows as software developers to version, rollback, and otherwise manage changes.

IaC has several benefits.

  • It automates many tasks traditionally done manually, such as provisioning and configuring servers. This reduces the likelihood of human error and makes it possible to manage infrastructure at scale.

  • Reduces the time required for configuration and deployment. This is critical for organizations that must spin up resources and deploy applications promptly and quickly.

  • Enables DevOps teams to share infrastructure configurations between multiple environments easily. This makes it possible to replicate development, staging, and production environments with minimal effort.

  • Allows teams to audit their infrastructure by tracking changes over time. This makes it easier to diagnose problems or investigate security issues.

  • Makes it easy to roll back changes if something goes wrong. This is because IaC changes are typically stored in version control systems, allowing easy tracking and reverting of changes.

With IaC, DevOps engineers can provision and manage infrastructure in a fraction of the time it takes with traditional methods. By leveraging the power of automation, they can quickly set up development, staging, and production environments with only a few clicks. In addition, they can make changes to multiple servers at once, ensuring consistency across their environment.

IaC tools like Terraform and ARM are two of the most popular. Terraform is more geared toward infrastructure management than configuration management, making it a valuable tool for companies that want to automate their IT infrastructure. Additionally, the declarative nature of Terraform makes it easy to use and understand, allowing DevOps engineers to get up and running quickly.

Azure provides native support for IaC via the Azure Resource Manager (ARM) model. This means that teams can define declarative ARM templates that specify the infrastructure required to deploy solutions. This enables them to manage their infrastructure in a consistent and repeatable way and makes it easier to capture and share best practices. ARM templates can provision, update, and delete resources in Azure. They can also be used to automate the deployment of Azure solutions. In addition, ARM templates can be linked to continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipelines, making it possible to deploy changes to Azure resources automatically.

Here is the documentation from Microsoft on building the ARM templates -

IaC is an essential tool for DevOps engineers who want to quickly provision and manage infrastructure consistently and repeatedly. Automating the process with IaC saves time and decreases the chances of human error.

IaC as a DevOps Practice

Implementing IaC is an essential DevOps practice that can streamline workflows and improve efficiency.

3/30/20212 min read