Infrastructure as Code (IaC): A Revolution in IT Automation | HCLTech

Infrastructure As Code (IaC): A Revolution in IT Automation

Infrastructure As Code (IaC): A Revolution in IT Automation
November 02, 2021

In today’s dynamic business environment, digital transformation is essential to drive strategic business benefits and capture new growth opportunities. Many enterprises have already made the leap and are now reaping the rewards in the form of increased agility and economic gains. Some organizations are using intelligent automation and cloud in some capacity but are looking at ways to embrace it fully. Infrastructure as Code (IaC) automates infrastructure provisioning and managing, enabling organizations to develop, deploy, and scale applications faster with reduced cost and risk. IaC is a holistic process that integrates automation and cloud capabilities to build flexible data centers. It allows developers to push the changes quickly and deploy applications into the data centers or cloud efficiently. This blog discusses the concept of IaC and the way organizations are embracing it.

The emergence of infrastructure as code (IaC)

Traditional methods of involved manual documented processes, brittle scripts, and some GUI tools. Similarly, cloud methodologies require manual provisioning of services from a portal, configuration of several parameters, and interconnection or mapping various components to utilize cloud solutions to their full potential. With the perpetual needs of infrastructure scaling and requirements of transient and on-demand infrastructure along with integrated services, organizations need a better approach toward cloud infrastructure management.Reports suggest that the worldwide Infrastructure Automation market is expected to reach $65.48 Bn by 2022, growing at a CAGR of around 19.9% during the forecast period 2016-2022. Automation in deployment tasks, such as provisioning the pre-defined environment on-demand, was a complicated ask. Still, IaC opened the door to extreme automation, conceptualizing the management of an environment similar to that of applications by defining the complete infrastructure as code.

IaC technology grew as a response to high-frequency creation and destruction of environments and utility computing. IaC is an essential  practice that eliminates the friction from the numerous steps of the software development lifecycle and increases collaboration between development and operations teams. Some of the widely used IaC tools are AWS Cloud Formation, Azure Resource Manager, Google Cloud Deployment Manager, Terraform, Puppet, Ansible, Docker, and more.

IaC adoption has a multitude of benefits:

Increased transparency and accountability: The IaC source code files are configuration controlled and can be versioned, enabling traceability, rollbacks, and branching.

Repeatable configuration consistency: Configuration drift appears when ad hoc changes or updates result in asymmetric development, test, staging, and production environment. IaC prevents configuration drift by provisioning the identical and reproducible environment every time, irrespective of their size. The environment can be easily scaled by calling the centralized/reusable module with the reserved configurations as many times as required.

Speed, more efficient development: IaC increases the velocity of every step of the software delivery lifecycle. Apart from setting up the entire infrastructure quickly within a short turnaround time, it also increases agility in maintenance. This can be realized in any environment, from the development to production stage, that helps achieve lean and agile operations and hence faster time to market.

Essential in multi-cloud: Multi-cloud environments have distinct software-defined APIs. IaC is the most effective way to abstract the layers from the heterogeneity of the underlying cloud.

Protection with documentation and risk mitigation: This acts as a live documentation that is constantly updated as changes are implemented. It makes sure that provisioning intelligence stays in the system, thus mitigating the risks of people change.

Cost optimization: IaC offers better ROI over traditional methods as it dramatically reduces the time and need to hire specialized skillsets to provision, scale, and manage the infrastructure. Organizations can maximize the advantage from utility-based constructs by employing cloud computing solutions. They can also realize cost savings by utilizing automation strategies that prevent technical experts from performing error-prone, manual tasks and spending more time developing innovative and mission-critical applications.

Here are some of the ways in which IaC can be adopted for rapid modernization:

  • platform aids enterprises to integrate a private cloud to multiple public cloud solutions. Such cloud solutions with IaC promises to deliver better flexibility to businesses by switching tasks between several cloud solutions and providing insights in intelligent visualization, orchestration, and optimization for infrastructure and application in hybrid environments.
  • Distributed Storage Service helps store data on multiple standard servers that act as one storage system, although the data is distributed among these servers. Features such as scalability, fault-tolerance, and power consumption of the distributed storage for a become the core aspect of cloud computing to ensure reliability and data availability.
  • Composable infrastructure simplifies management and streamlines operations by providing a unified infrastructure model with comprehensive API architecture, available to both developers and administrators. This type of infrastructure makes it easy to create and delete resources on demand while supporting extensive automation and orchestration, as well as DevOps methodologies.

Matching the pace of innovation with HCLTech Cloud Smart

HCLTech offers a diverse portfolio of innovative cloud services backed by intelligent automation and a broad partnership ecosystem. HCLTech Cloud Smart approach acts as a robust accelerator that helps organizations maximize their business value and accelerate the pace of digital transformation to achieve business goals. Based on the cloud smart strategy, HCLTech has extensive expertise in leveraging IaC to automate the management of Cloud Infrastructure and application lifecycle, including discovery, inventory, provisioning, configuration, and continual compliance. These solutions enable IT organizations to implement a policy-based automation solution for managing the data centers while ensuring the highest uptime for the business-critical services supported by a robust security model.

In today's fast-paced world, organizations must be flexible and quick enough to respond to ever-changing market needs and balance diverse consumer demands. IaC is a crucial element for successful digital modernization. It offers automation solutions across the development, testing, and deployment process that in turn helps improve the quality of software, boost cohesiveness across all the teams, and invariably reduce the overall deployment timeline. IaC helps to realize the true value of cloud computing by providing practices and tools in a unified way to get better functional applications. IT and DevOps teams can reap extensive benefits from IaC in the form of speed, security, reliability, and more. The platform helps in the efficient delivery of new applications and systems, mitigates risks, and enables organizations to be more collaborative, agile, and innovative.

IaC is an essential DevOps practice that eliminates the friction from the numerous steps of the software development lifecycle and increases collaboration between development and operations teams.

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