We no longer want to waste time on routine operations.
We want the tasks to be automated.
We want repeatable results. We especially want repeatable test results.
And we want development and testing to be faster.
One of the key factors, and why it is so important for testers, is that development typically can be done very fast, however, to release a product it needs to be tested and integrated with several other systems. In this case infrastructure as a code is very effective in spinning up test environments.
Infrastructure as code (IaC) is a form of configuration management that codifies an organization’s infrastructure resources into text files. These infrastructure files are then committed to a version control system like Git. The version control repository enables feature branch and pull request workflows, which are foundational dependencies of CI/CD.
DevOps is key to the flexibility if you need to deliver high quality software quickly. Infrastructure automation is required to accelerate DevOps processes. Many companies have implemented limited automation and therefore do not see the full benefits expected.
Recent research shows that of DevOps teams that have done any release automation, only 20% have achieved full release automation.
To make DevOps practices work, professionals must move away from partial scenarios in favor of full automation and participate in the entire lifecycle; they must also learn to fail quickly and learn from these mistakes.
There are multiple benefits to conducting operations based on infrastructure as code principle.
- Immutable infrastructure. As all the environments are provisioned using automated manifests and CI/CD pipelines, there is no room for human error. This ensures system uniformity throughout the whole delivery process and removes the risk of configuration drift – a situation where different servers develop different configurations and software versions due to manual updates performed on various occasions over time.
- Deployment speed. DevOps tools working with virtualized infrastructure provide an immense increase in environment provisioning and configuration speed. We are not talking about 30% here, we are talking about shortening the server delivery time from hours to seconds.
- Change management. Due to versioning the manifests and using identical environments throughout the whole software development process, it is easy to configure exactly the needed environment. This is crucial in speeding up bug fixing, which helps ensure the quality and security of the resulting code.
- High scalability. When using Terraform and Kubernetes manifests and working with virtualized cloud resources, additional app instances can be provisioned with ease and in literally no time. They can also be freed up as soon as they are not needed, ensuring unparalleled cost-efficiency.
- Shorter feedback loops. Due to being able to deploy infrastructure rapidly, your developers will be able to develop new features more quickly in response to customer feedback. And when customer feedback turns into a new feature in a couple of weeks, not a year – customer satisfaction skyrockets through the roof!