Infrastructure as code

Until recently, most servers, storage, and networks were configured manually. Systems managers installed operating systems from an installation medium, added libraries and applications, patched the system to the latest software versions, and configured the software to this specific installation. This approach is, however, slow, error prone, not easily repeatable, introduces variances in server configurations that should be equal, and makes the infrastructure very hard to maintain.

As an alternative, servers, storage, and networks can be created and configured automatically, a concept known as infrastructure as code.

2017-05/infrastructure-as-code.jpg

The figure above shows the infrastructure as code building blocks. Tools to implement infrastructure as code include Puppet, Chef, Ansible, SaltStack, and Terraform. The process to create a new infrastructure component is as follows:

  • Standard templates are defined that describe the basic setup of infrastructure components.
  • Configurations of infrastructure components are defined in configuration definitions.
  • New instances of infrastructure components can be created automatically by a creation tool, using the standard templates. This leads to a running, unconfigured infrastructure component.
  • After an infrastructure component is created, the configuration tool automatically configures it, based on the configuration definitions, leading to a running, configured infrastructure component.
  • When the new infrastructure component is created and configured, its properties, like DNS name and if a server is part of a load balancer pool, are automatically stored in the configuration registry.
  • The configuration registry allows running instances of infrastructure to recognize and find each other and ensures all needed components are running.
  • Configuration definition files and standard templates are kept in a version control system, which enables roll backs and rolling upgrades. This way, infrastructure is defined and managed the same way as software code.

The point of using configuration definition files and standard templates is not only that an infrastructure deployment can easily be implemented and rebuilt, but also that the configuration is easy to understand, test, and modify. Infrastructure as code ensures all infrastructure components that should be equal, are equal.


This entry was posted on Thursday 18 May 2017

Earlier articles

Infrastructure as code

My Book

DevOps for infrastructure

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

(Hyper) Converged Infrastructure

Object storage

Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV)

Software Defined Storage (SDS)

What's the point of using Docker containers?

Identity and Access Management

Using user profiles to determine infrastructure load

Public wireless networks

Supercomputer architecture

Desktop virtualization

Stakeholder management

x86 platform architecture

Midrange systems architecture

Mainframe Architecture

Software Defined Data Center - SDDC

The Virtualization Model

What are concurrent users?

Performance and availability monitoring in levels

UX/UI has no business rules

Technical debt: a time related issue

Solution shaping workshops

Architecture life cycle

Project managers and architects

Using ArchiMate for describing infrastructures

Kruchten’s 4+1 views for solution architecture

The SEI stack of solution architecture frameworks

TOGAF and infrastructure architecture

The Zachman framework

An introduction to architecture frameworks

How to handle a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack

Architecture Principles

Views and viewpoints explained

Stakeholders and their concerns

Skills of a solution architect architect

Solution architects versus enterprise architects

Definition of IT Architecture

What is Big Data?

How to make your IT "Greener"

What is Cloud computing and IaaS?

Purchasing of IT infrastructure technologies and services

IDS/IPS systems

IP Protocol (IPv4) classes and subnets

Infrastructure Architecture - Course materials

Introduction to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

IT Infrastructure Architecture model

Fire prevention in the datacenter

Where to build your datacenter

Availability - Fall-back, hot site, warm site

Reliabilty of infrastructure components

Human factors in availability of systems

Business Continuity Management (BCM) and Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP)

Performance - Design for use

Performance concepts - Load balancing

Performance concepts - Scaling

Performance concept - Caching

Perceived performance

Ethical hacking

Computer crime

Introduction to Cryptography

Introduction to Risk management

The history of UNIX and Linux

The history of Microsoft Windows

The history of Novell NetWare

The history of operating systems - MS-DOS

The history of Storage

The history of Networking

The first computers

History of servers

Tips for getting your ITAC certificate

Studying TOGAF

Is your data safe in the cloud?

Proof of concept

Who needs a consistent backup?

Measuring Enterprise Architecture Maturity

Human factors in security

Master Certified IT Architect

ITAC certification

Open group ITAC /Open CA Certification

Human factors in security

Google outage

SAS 70

TOGAF 9 - What's new?

DYA: Development without architecture

Spam is big business

Why IT projects fail

Power and cooling

Let system administrators participate in projects

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Archimate

A meeting with John Zachman

ITAC - IT Architect certification

Personal Information is Personal Property

The Irresistible Forces Meet the Movable Objects

Hardeningscheck and hack testing for new servers

Knowledge management

Information Lifecycle Management - What is ILM

LEAP: The Redmond trip

LEAP: The last Dutch masterclasses

What do system administrators do?

Is software ever finished?

SCADA systems

LEAP - Halfway through the Dutch masterclasses

Securing data: The Castle versus the Tank

Non-functional requirements

LEAP - Microsoft Lead Enterprise Architect Program

Reasons for making backups

Log analysis - Use your logging information

Archivering data - more than backup

Patterns in IT architecture

Layers in IT security

High performance clusters and grids

Zachman architecture model

High Availability clusters

Monitoring by system administrators

What is VMS?

IT Architecture certifications

Storage Area Networks (SAN)

Documentation for system administrators

Rootkits

Presentations: PowerPoint sheets are not enough

99,999% availability

Linux certification: RHCE and LPI

IT Infrastructure model

Sjaak Laan


Recommended links

Ruth Malan
Gaudi site
Byelex
XR Magazine
Esther Barthel's site on virtualization


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The postings on this site are my opinions and do not necessarily represent CGI’s strategies, views or opinions.

 

Copyright Sjaak Laan