Importance of Infrastructure as Code

IaC is the abbreviation for Infrastructure as Code, which is essentially a process that has to do with IT infrastructures’ management. In it, the best practices with regard to DevOps software development are applied to cloud infrastructures’ resources’ management. Infrastructure as Code offers a solution for the purpose of rapidly configuring and managing complex cloud infrastructures. The productivity of committing code to a Git repository and then applying feature branches and pulling request workflows has been well established. The automation brought by these workflows to software development has aided in reducing cloud systems’ administration’s complexity.

To digress, cloud technology is also used in cloud hosting, which is a type of web hosting service that is meant for making websites accessible over the Internet. The files of websites are stored on the servers of web hosting companies and are delivered from there, over the Internet, in order to render websites accessible. The most efficient web hosting services are referred to with terms, such as the “Top Cloud Hosting”, the “Best Windows Hosting”, the “Best Website Hosting” etc.

Understanding Infrastructure as Code

As an IT infrastructure management process, Infrastructure as Code, is applicable to certain infrastructure resources, such as load balancers, virtual machines, databases, networks as well as other networked applications.

IaC codifies the infrastructure resources of an organization into text files for carrying out the management of configuration. Next, these files are committed to a system for version control, such as Git. Feature branch and pull request workflows are enabled by the version control repository. The rise in platforms that have to do with cloud infrastructure hosting, such as IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), makes it possible to have Infrastructure as Code. Cloud resources’ on-demand provisioning and requisition through remote APIs is enabled by IaaS. The automation features of Infrastructure as Code can run the configuration files against the IaaS APIs that are remote. CI/CD (Continuous integration and continuous delivery) practices can be applied to the changes in infrastructure, after infrastructure configuration has been committed to version control. A DevOps workflow can be followed by infrastructure related updates. In the event that a configuration text file has been edited, code review workflows and pull requests can be used for auditing as well as verifying it. Additionally, automatic infrastructure deployments and rollbacks are utilized by an Infrastructure as Code system that has been enabled by DevOps.

The Functioning of Infrastructure as Code

Certain dependencies should be in place for fully achieving Infrastructure as Code. These include, remote accessible hosting, version control system and configuration management platform. In the context of remote accessible hosting, the tool for configuration management has to connect to the remote host and modify it. APIs which enable users to automatically create, modify and delete infrastructure resources on demand, are provided by cloud hosting platforms that are IaaS-enabled. It is possible to access these APIs through configuration management tools for further automating tasks. Another important requirement for complete and proper functioning of Infrastructure as Code involves a tools’ suite, which automates common tasks by connecting to the IaaS APIs.

A platform for configuration management uses text files for the purpose of declaring such tasks and sequences that the platform needs to execute. A version control system repository can be used to store these text files. The repository functions as a central resource and enables code review and pull requests. Git is an example of a popular version control system. Once these dependencies are in place Infrastructure as Code can function efficiently.

 What makes Infrastructure as Code important?

Separate deployment environments exist in the release lifecycle stages of cloud applications. Usually there are environments for development, production and staging. Networked resources, such as load balancers, application servers, databases etc. form these environments. When the infrastructures of these various environments are at odds with each other, then an environment drift takes place. Infrastructure as Code has evolved as a perfect solution for the issue of environment drift.

In the absence of IaC, the process of infrastructure management can easily become very fragile as well as disorderly. When system administrators connect to remote cloud providers manually and use web dashboards or API for provisioning new resources and hardware, such a manual workflow is not able to provide a holistic view of the application infrastructure. Additionally, an environment drift can be caused when administrators carry out manual changes in one environment and forget to carry out the same changes in the other. An environment drift is a waste of money. Moreover, in the absence of Infrastructure as Code, the process of manual infrastructure management becomes slow. When a change in infrastructure is identified that has resulted from an environment drift, spikes in traffic etc., it can take an unspecified amount of time for this change to be successfully implemented. The outcome can be outages as well as customers’ exasperation. When Infrastructure as Code is utilized, it enables an infrastructure to automatically adapt to configuration related changes as well as react to an increase in traffic through auto-scaling features.

Another important benefit of IaC is that it ensures better visibility with regard to manual systems’ administration. Moreover, when the infrastructure configuration files are committed to a version control repository, any member from a team is able to view as well as edit infrastructure data. This provides effective auditing capabilities. The version control commit history serves as a log that can be reviewed, which is also an advantage of IaC.


Infrastructure as Code (IaC) is very efficient in configuration management as it automates the management of cloud IT infrastructure. IaC can be used to attain CI/CD automation for changing the infrastructure of a project. Additionally, it provides various insights into communication as well as transparency, in the context of changes in infrastructure.

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