Infrastructure as Code (IaC) is an approach to managing and provisioning IT environments by describing their infrastructure resources in code. In other words, you have your infrastructure running as scripts, or sets of scripts.
With IaC you treat your servers, databases, networks and other infrastructure elements like software. This means applying the principles of software development to IT infrastructures’ management, including versioning, testing and continuous integration.
There are several tools designed to help you automate how you build, deploy and manage your infrastructures, such as Terraform, Ansible, CloudFormation, Puppet, Chef, etc. Here at SHALB, we strongly believe in Terraform as a de facto standard of the IT industry. While having practical experience with all the technologies listed above, we decide in favour of Terraform because of its wide integration possibilities and flexibility of use.
Apart from reducing the time and skills required to provision and scale cloud infrastructures,IaC allows organizations to take full advantage of cloud computing’s pay-as-you-go billing: your IaC script can automatically spin down environments when they’re not in use, thus saving on cloud computing costs.
Once your configuration is ready, you can generate as many environments as you need by simply executing the same code.
Expand the existing infrastructure by writing the code.
Test the infrastructure code before deploying in the same way you do with the software.
IaC configuration generates the same environment every time it is applied.
Record and comment your code for better understanding.
Trace all infrastructure changes with the version control system.
Terraform is an open-source tool created by HashiCorp. It is a powerful instrument for creating, changing and upgrading IT infrastructures at scale using a declarative approach.
Terraform uses operator-provided config files that contain the description of a desired infrastructure. Then, based on the config file, it generates a plan that describes its actions to achieve the desired state. Terraform builds the described infrastructure by executing the plan. As the configuration modifies, Terraform catches up with the changes and reruns the execution plans accordingly.
Terraform supports over hundred different providers, including cloud computing vendors, solutions for IaaS, PaaS and SaaS, with each of them able to handle multiple resources. The providers come as working modules that integrate into Terraform workflow by means of API. This way Terraform consolidates different infrastructure elements in a single unified workflow.
SHALB engineers have great expertise in using Terraform for deploying both cloud-based and on-premise environments. Benefit from a well-defined infrastructure and enforce the consistency of your environments with IaC - one of the core DevOps practices.
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