The 7 Biggest Benefits of Infrastructure as Code
For modern cloud applications, Infrastructure as Code levels up every stage of the development pipeline to give critical business processes a boost. Here’s how.
Automation is almost always considered a business benefit in and of itself, but automation through Infrastructure as Code unlocks a whole range of benefits that work together to level up any DevOps department. From reducing unnecessary risk and costs to increasing accountability and efficiency, replacing redundant manual processes with an efficient Infrastructure as Code strategy is a boon for businesses of all kinds. In this article, we’ll examine seven of the most important Infrastructure as Code benefits that every company should carefully consider:
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What Is Infrastructure as Code?
Infrastructure as Code (IaC) is a method of managing and provisioning cloud infrastructure using programming techniques instead of manual processes. IaC allows engineers to codify desired specifications in configuration files so they can return to them time and time again. It’s also easy to combine multiple pre-configured components to avoid the redundant work of manually provisioning each individual service from scratch. Put simply, Infrastructure as Code makes it easy to replicate the same pre-configured environment each time you spin up a virtual machine, network, or connection topology, for example.
7 Top Infrastructure as Code Benefits
There are many cascading and compounding benefits available to businesses that adopt IaC as the foundation of their development and deployment strategies. Let’s look at the top seven reasons why Infrastructure as Code is the right move for DevOps:
#1: Consistent configurations
Repeatability is core to the nature of Infrastructure as Code; the ability to spin up pre-configured environments every time ensures consistency across the board. In addition to helping eliminate deviations and reduce errors, ensuring consistent configurations also avoids incompatibility issues that would prevent applications from running correctly. The consistency that IaC provides also unites engineering teams, so that every developer (regardless of their role, specialty, or start date) is using the same pre-approved baseline infrastructure and can initiate deployments without sacrificing quality or requiring oversight from senior leadership.
#2: Decreased risk
The manual process of developing and deploying infrastructure from scratch over and over again creates countless possibilities for human error and can leave engineering teams bogged down with redundant work, complex troubleshooting, and delicate debugging after the fact. Infrastructure as Code is considerably less error-prone, and is also considerably more democratic. Codifying IaC makes it impossible for a single engineer to be the sole owner of crucial company knowledge, like how to manage and deploy critical infrastructure. Ensuring that infrastructure is documented in a source code repository instead of in one person’s brain reduces risk when talent churns.
#3: Stronger security & faster recovery
The benefits of Infrastructure as Code security features are connected to the concepts of creating consistency and decreasing risk. Pre-provisioning infrastructure with code creates an opportunity to bake in security protocols at the ground level, ensuring that every deployment is as secure as possible without additional layers of review and approval by a gatekeeper. If changes are made to a company’s security practices, it’s simple to update the coded infrastructure to reflect them company-wide. Infrastructure as Code can also factor into recovery plans, although deploying disaster recovery environments in this way can sometimes lead to longer downtimes than other strategies.
#4: Faster deployment
Maintaining Infrastructure as Code leads to faster execution because it takes just a single command and a few minutes to fully provision environments. This is certainly useful for small- or medium-sized businesses and startups fighting uphill battles with their funding plans and go-to-market strategies, but it’s also important for the testing phase of the development process. Faster deployment times help prioritize steps like penetration testing, load testing, and bug hunting because they can be executed in duplicate production environments, speeding up timelines and keeping productivity high.
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#5: Improved accountability
In the past, engineering teams have been forced to commit huge amounts of time and effort to carefully document every move they make in an attempt to facilitate collaboration, eliminate bottlenecks, and counteract issues like talent churn and human error. But with Infrastructure as Code, all that input is replaced by simple and fully traceable changes to the source code repository. Version control supports visibility into every update, including information about who made the change and when. If there are questions about a change or about a specific code block that is causing problems, it’s easy to pinpoint the issue, understand the broader context, or identify the right person to follow up with if necessary.
#6: Increased operational efficiency
Infrastructure as Code increases efficiency and productivity for developers, architects, and administrators. First of all, it’s easy to deploy complex cloud architectures using a combination of pre-configured IaC components, which dramatically shortens the development lifecycle. And because deploying consistent configurations is as simple as running a script, multiple teams can be executing work in perfectly matched environments with Infrastructure as Code. That means development, security, QA, and user testing teams can all be iterating consistently and moving an application toward the finish line instead of forcing progress to happen one step at a time. In addition to enabling CI/CD techniques, Infrastructure as Code also makes it easy to spin down environments that aren’t in use, keeping the overall cloud architecture lean, efficient, and scalable.
#7: Financial savings
Essentially, every single benefit on this list so far contributes to the financial savings that Infrastructure as Code unlocks. By creating consistency, decreasing risk, strengthening security, speeding up deployment, improving accountability, and increasing efficiency, Infrastructure as Code reduces unnecessary costs at every level of the development pipeline. The automation of otherwise manual processes allows engineers and IT leaders to return their time and attention to high-value tasks and critical business issues. All of these financial benefits empower employers to make more effective and sustainable hiring decisions ranging from the size of the team to individual salaries.
Infrastructure as Code presents a whole range of powerful benefits for DevOps teams and companies at large. When you’re ready to design, develop, and deploy applications at scale using an Infrastructure as Code approach, DuploCloud can help. We help small- and medium-sized businesses accomplish cloud provisioning 10 times faster and reduce their costs by 75% using our low-code/no-code DevOps platform. To get your company started with a low-code/no-code deployment strategy, contact us today.