Infrastructure-as-Code is one of the most important DevOps practices that is associated with continuous delivery. The benefits that drive the organizations to migrate to IaC are consistent infrastructure, faster deployment speed, scalability, cost savings, and risk reduction. IaC enables DevOps teams to use different tools & approaches to automatically control as well as adjust the required infrastructure instead of configuring servers and operating systems manually.
Infrastructure as Code (IaC) has completely changed the way software engineers design, test, and launch their applications, as the production & deployment cycles have increased. And to make the infrastructure development and configuration process smoother, more competitive, and further reduce the involved costs and efforts – Automation tools that practice Infrastructure as Code’s best practices are required.
Let’s take a look at these top Infrastructure as Code tools (DevOps Tools) that have made their mark in the market and are popularly known for automating recurring tasks like configuration, provisioning, deployments, etc.
Top Infrastructure-as-Code Tools
Hashicorp created Terraform – an infrastructure provisioning tool – to let you describe your IaC i.e., infrastructure as code. You get to generate “execution plans” that outline exactly what happens when you run your code, produce graphs of your resources, as well as automate updates with minimal human input or interaction.
Hashicorp Configuration Language (HCL) is Terraform’s own domain-specific language (DSL). HCL is JSON-compliant and is used to generate configuration files that specify the infrastructure resources that are to be deployed.
Terraform is cloud-agnostic – it allows you to automate infrastructure stacks from different cloud service providers at the same time, as well as integrate third-party services. You can even develop Terraform plugins to extend the platform’s sophisticated features.
AWS CloudFormation, like Terraform, is a configuration orchestration tool that enables you to code your infrastructure to automate deployments.
The primary distinctions are that CloudFormation is highly integrated into and you can use it with AWS. Further, CloudFormation templates can be produced with YAML along with JSON.
CloudFormation enables you to preview suggested modifications to your AWS infrastructure stack. The tool understands how they may affect your resources, as well as help you manage dependencies between these resources.
To guarantee that infrastructure is deployed and updated in a controlled manner, CloudFormation utilizes Rollback Triggers to restore infrastructure stacks to a previously deployed state if issues are identified.
With a single CloudFormation template, you can even deploy IT stacks across various AWS accounts and regions.
Ansible is a tool for infrastructure automation developed by Red Hat, a large enterprise open-source technology vendor.
Rather than managing systems independently, Ansible models your infrastructure by specifying how your components and system interact with one another. Ansible does not employ agents, and its code is expressed in YAML as Ansible Playbooks, making configurations simple to understand and deploy.
Along with that, you also get to enhance the functionality of Ansible by creating your own Ansible modules and plugins.
Docker makes it simple to construct containers that bundle your code and dependencies so that your applications can further run in any environment, from your local workstation to the servers of any cloud service provider.
YAML is used to construct Dockerfiles, which are configuration files. These Dockerfiles serve as blueprints for creating container images that contain everything needed to run a piece of software, including code, runtime, system tools and libraries, and settings.
Docker has been especially useful in firms that use hybrid or multi-cloud systems since it facilitates the portability of applications.
Azure Resource Manager
If you use Microsoft Azure, you can use their IaC tools, which are similar to AWS CloudFormation.
You can use Azure Resource Manager to specify the infrastructure and dependencies for your app in templates, organize dependent resources into groups that can be deployed or deleted in a single action, limit access to resources through user permissions, and more.
Google Cloud Deployment Manager
Many similar tools are available in Google Cloud Deployment Manager to help you automate your GCP infrastructure stack. You can use YAML or Python to construct templates, see what changes will be performed before publishing, and examine your deployments in a terminal user interface, among other things.
Google Cloud Deployment Manager allows you to simultaneously deploy multiple resources at the same time, control the order of resource generation, and also create resource definition dependencies. Deployment configurations are handled as code, and deployments can be readily repeated by keeping consistency in their state.
Chef is a famous configuration management tool used by businesses in their continuous integration and delivery operations.
Chef’s Ruby-based DSL lets you construct “recipes” and “cookbooks.” These recipes and cookbooks detail the specific steps required to configure your apps and utilities on existing servers. This is referred to as a “procedural” approach to configuration management since you explain the technique required to achieve your desired outcome.
Chef is cloud-agnostic and works with a variety of cloud service providers, including AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and OpenStack.
The Cloud Services market is quickly expanding, as is the demand for and importance of DevOps. Understanding what DevOps is, how it is implemented, and why it is vital for enterprises is a critical step toward implementing its principles in the future.
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