Infrastructure as Code or IaC, as the name indicates, mainly relies on on perceiving infrastructure in the same way as any code which is why it is commonly referred to as programmable infrastructure. It simply provides means to define and manage the IT infrastructure by using configuration files.
The IaC concept came into prominence because of the limitations associated with the traditional way of managing the infrastructure. Traditionally, the infrastructure was managed manually and the dedicated people had to set up the servers physically.
Only after this infrastructure setup was done, the application would have been deployed. Manual configuration and setup were constantly prone to human errors and inconsistencies. This also involved increased cost in hiring and managing multiple people ranging from network engineers to hardware technicians to manage the infrastructural tasks.
The major problem with the traditional approach was decreased scalability and application availability which impacted the speed of request processing. Manual configurations were also time-consuming and in case the application had a sudden spike in user usage, the administrators would desperately work on keeping the system available for a large load. This would impact the application availability. IaC solved all the above problems.
IaC can be implemented in two approaches:
- Imperative approach: This approach gives orders and defines a sequence of instructions that can help the system in reaching the final output.
- Declarative approach: This approach declares the desired outcome first based on which the infrastructure is built to reach the final result.
That’s a brief idea about infrastructure as code in DevOps.