We continue to highlight infrastructure as code. This technique treats infrastructure configuration in the same way as code; checking configuration into source control, then carefully pushing changes out to the data center.
The DevOps movement continues to grow, with developers and operations staff working closely together to solve the “software last mile” problem. Infrastructure as code is a technique for treating infrastructure configuration in the same way as code; checking it into source control, then using it to push changes out to the data center. In addition to web server, application server and application configuration, we are seeing network configuration treated in the same way. Network switch, firewall and load balancer configuration can be infrastructure as code, and even changed at runtime.
The large number of hosts and devices in a modern datacenter or cloud deployment have made manually installing and configuring infrastructure unwise. Infrastructure as code is an approach whereby infrastructure configuration is scripted or described by files that are stored in version control, and changes are pushed out to the datacenter in a controlled manner. This parallels the discipline of source control and build promotion used in software development, hence ‘as code’. The two front-running open source tools for infrastructure automation are Chef and Puppet. They both use a textual DSL to script automation. Using this approach provides consistent and repeatable environment changes, reducing the manual effort involved, especially in troubleshooting environmental differences.