One of the first steps in setting up your infrastructure involves the provisioning and management of what used to be called “data center resources”. While this can be done via physical hardware configuration, most modern users prefer to use automated software deployments against cloud infrastructures that can be implemented remotely.
This method of provisioning and managing infrastructure, both classic data centers and IaaS on the cloud is referred to as Infrastructure as Code (IaC). There are many different IaC solutions that can be used to set up automated software deployments and server provisioning from a remote access point. In this article, we will outline some of the benefits of IaC strategies and provide some examples of popular IaC solutions.
Set up your own Infrastructure as Code solution with Ansible!
Benefits of Infrastructure as Code
IaC solutions contain a number of benefits over traditional, manual data center provisioning:
By leveraging the utility of remote access provisioning and management, the cost involved in setting up a data center can be substantially reduced. IaC solutions remove the need for expensive data center personnel and labor typically required by physical hardware provisioning and frees up financial resources for other data center operations.
The automation of data center provisioning allows for much more rapid execution of infrastructure deployment, reducing the turnaround time significantly. In bypassing the need for manual, one-by-one provisioning strategies, IaC solutions help you get your data center infrastructure online and configured in relatively short order.
Since IaC solutions operate based on machine-readable definition files, the room for human error is much lower than with manual configuration techniques. As such, IaC solutions offer superior reliability and decreased downtime.
Examples of Infrastructure as Code Solutions
While there are a number of different IaC solutions available, here are two of the more popular options:
Ansible – Open-source software provisioning, configuration management, and application-deployment tool provided by Red Hat. Primarily written in Python.
Terraform – Open-source software provisioning tool owned by the HashiCorp software company. Primarily written in Go.
We ourselves use both Ansible and Terraform in our private cloud offerings. We use Ansible to create the IaaS product for the end user and then the end user can use Terraform against the OpenStack APIs to automate the creation of their VM or bare metal based infrastructure