What Does It Mean to Run Infrastructure as Code?

Infrastructure as code is not limited to the design and provision of physical computing resources. It also includes software infrastructure, such as a configurable web server and database, and components such as authentication, messaging, and identity services.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a more formal term covering IaaS to the infrastructure, as the higher-level services of software applications are owned and managed by IaaS vendors.

  • Business Continuity: with adequate components, IaaS helps your business be resilient against disruptions, allowing companies to continue to function smoothly during a time of crisis.
  • On-Premises Infrastructure: your corporate infrastructure is your core infrastructure and must be in a stable physical location to ensure physical computing resources are up and running at all times. The on-premises model is a business’s core, critical infrastructure and must be protected as such.
  • Cloud IaaS: this model is of great interest to many because it enables businesses to leverage the best of both worlds by making the experience of developing software more streamlined, reducing costs, and improving speed to market.

It is the most popular model in the world for cloud computing, with the numbers still rising.

Cloud computing is a concept where computer resources are provided on-demand, in the cloud, or on-premises. The focus is on services delivered to consumers in computing capacity, storage, and connectivity. Cloud computing reduces the need to acquire hardware, allows for scalable computing, and offers distributed computing on demand.

Cloud computing has evolved over recent years, from simple internet-facing servers to the more sophisticated on-premises models of server virtualization, private and hybrid cloud architectures, and cloud computing infrastructure as a service.

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Cloud computing infrastructure as a service is a service that delivers the storage and computing resources as-a-service or via a pay-as-you-go model. The data center architecture for this is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model.

What Is Cloud Infrastructure as Code?

The cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) model is a convenient, scalable, platform-as-a-service model that offers cloud computing capabilities at an affordable cost to support the development and management of IT systems.

In contrast to private and hybrid cloud infrastructure, where hardware is owned and operated by the business, the public cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) model is managed by a third party such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Google Cloud Platform.

In contrast to the traditional enterprise information technology (IT) infrastructure, which is on-premises and not in the cloud, the ‘expertise to run cloud applications’ is off-premises, meaning that the solutions run remotely, without the need to install, configure and maintain their own hardware and software.

A service provider delivers cloud infrastructure as a service to businesses in the form of physical and virtual servers, storage, networking, and managed application services, provided via a global network of data centers and cloud computing infrastructure.

One of the principal advantages of cloud infrastructure as a service is that the associated infrastructure can be more efficiently and economically deployed when compared to a dedicated server.

A dedicated server requires capital investment and a significant amount of time to set up, and service intervals are subject to the vagaries of the IT market and the availability of system components. Cloud infrastructure as a service is free of these expensive initial expenditures. It provides businesses with a network of one or more ‘hubs’ that hosts the infrastructure resources, along with the ability to bring those resources back up and down on-demand, as required.

Unlike a dedicated server, this ability to shift capacity to meet peak demand is much more easily managed.

A virtual server is provisioned with access to an IP address and a virtual hostname. It has no hardware components and thus may run on a remote server or in a data center.

What Are the Tools You Can Use to Run Infrastructure as Code?

Several tools support Infrastructure as Code.

  • Hybrid Cloud Platform

Hybrid Cloud Platform is a popular tool that allows users to set up and manage multiple physical and virtual servers in an AWS-like environment. The devices support Azure cloud infrastructure and allow for automated cloud infrastructure provisioning, especially across various regions. Hybrid Cloud Platform also provides insight into the model of an application’s traffic capacity and performance across all public cloud deployments. The tools can also be used to deploy applications, storage, and virtualization from an operating system.

  • Distributed Storage Service

Distributed Storage Service is an open-source tool that supports the management of all storage that is residing in the same physical or virtual machine. The tool helps centralize storage on a single material or virtual machine backed by the same high-speed storage available in every single server.

  • Hyper-Converged Infrastructure

Hyper-converged Infrastructure (HCI) is a new paradigm that uses standard server technology to enable software-defined storage and compute. The HCI platform uses a virtualized and modular operating system and uses standard server hardware to manage all the servers. Using the HCI platform, Hyper-converged Infrastructure makes it much easier to provide critical infrastructures such as virtualized storage, unified computing, and application delivery. Hyper-converged Infrastructure provides users with significant cost savings on hardware and software, as well as high availability and performance.

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Software-Defined Storage

Software-defined Storage is a functional subset of virtualization. Together with a virtualization manager, it enables storage on a hypervisor, bare-metal, or a cloud platform to be changed at runtime and managed in a software-defined manner.

Software-defined Storage uses a hypervisor to run the virtualized storage software and a virtualization manager that runs on a single node. The software-defined storage runs with the help of a storage volume, a logical volume with a model similar to a physical storage device. The software-defined storage is designed to enable IT organizations to manage storage more effectively, enabling IT to deliver services to users at a lower cost.

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Infrastructure as Code for Your Organization

With infrastructure as code, the need for resource consumption by servers and other computer systems is reduced. That allows businesses to focus on services that drive business value.

For organizations seeking to implement infrastructure as code, infrastructure as a service is often the most straightforward and most cost-effective approach. For businesses with more than one or two data centers and lack the resources and ability to manage the entire infrastructure at once, it makes more sense to virtualize multiple data centers.

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About the Author

Matthew DavidMatthew David

Matt is a Digital Leader at Accenture. His passion is a combination of solving today's problems to run more efficiently, adjusting focus to take advantage of digital tools to improve tomorrow and move organizations to new ways of working that impact the future.

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