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Techniques

Pipelines for infrastructure as code

Nov 2019
adopt?

The use of continuous delivery pipelines to orchestrate the release process for software has become a mainstream concept. CI/CD tools can be used to test server configuration (e.g., Chef cookbooks, Puppet modules, Ansible playbooks), server image building (e.g., Packer), environment provisioning (e.g., Terraform, CloudFormation) and the integration of environments. The use of pipelines for infrastructure as code lets you find errors before changes are applied to operational environments — including environments used for development and testing. They also offer a way to ensure that infrastructure tooling is run consistently, using CI/CD agents rather than individual workstations. Our teams have had good results adopting this technique on their projects.

May 2018
trial?

The use of continuous delivery pipelines to orchestrate the release process for software has become a mainstream concept. However, automatically testing changes to infrastructure code isn’t as widely understood. Continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD) tools can be used to test server configuration (e.g., Chef cookbooks, Puppet modules, Ansible playbooks), server image building (e.g., Packer), environment provisioning (e.g., Terraform, CloudFormation) and integration of environments. The use of pipelines for infrastructure as code enables errors to be found before changes are applied to operational environments — including environments used for development and testing. They also offer a way to ensure that infrastructure tooling is run consistently, from CI/CD agents, as opposed to being run from individual workstations. Some challenges remain, however, such as the longer feedback loops associated with standing up containers and virtual machines. Still, we've found this to be a valuable technique.

Nov 2017
trial?

The use of continuous delivery pipelines to orchestrate the release process for software has become a mainstream concept. However, automatically testing changes to infrastructure code isn’t as widely understood. Continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD) tools can be used to test server configuration (e.g., Chef cookbooks, Puppet modules, Ansible playbooks), server image building (e.g., Packer), environment provisioning (e.g., Terraform, CloudFormation) and integration of environments. The use of pipelines for infrastructure as code enables errors to be found before changes are applied to operational environments — including environments used for development and testing. They also offer a way to ensure that infrastructure tooling is run consistently, from CI/CD agents, as opposed to being run from individual workstations. Some challenges remain, however, such as the longer feedback loops associated with standing up containers and virtual machines. Still, we've found this to be a valuable technique.