02 - Infrastructure as Code_ Why It Should Be Treated As Code

Infrastructure as Code: Why It Should Be Treated As Code

cdk

Introduction

In the world of DevOps and cloud computing, Infrastructure as Code (IaC) has emerged as a pivotal practice, fundamentally transforming how we manage and provision our IT infrastructure. IaC enables teams to automate the provisioning of infrastructure through code, rather than through manual processes. However, for it to be truly effective, it’s crucial to treat infrastructure as code in the same way we treat software development. Here’s how:

1. Choosing a Framework that Supports SDLC

The Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is a well-established process in software development, comprising phases like planning, development, testing, deployment, and maintenance. To effectively implement IaC, it’s essential to choose a framework that aligns with these SDLC stages. Tools like AWS Cloud Development Kit – CDK not only support automation but also fit seamlessly into different phases of the SDLC, ensuring that the infrastructure development process is as robust and error-free as the software development process.

2. Following the SDLC Process for Developing Infrastructure

Treating infrastructure as code means applying the same rigor of the SDLC process that is used for application development. This involves:

  • Planning: Defining requirements and scope for the infrastructure setup.
  • Development: Writing IaC scripts to define the required infrastructure.
  • Testing: Writing unit test and functional tests to validate the infrastructure code.
  • Deployment: Using automated tools to deploy infrastructure changes.
  • Maintenance: Regularly updating and maintaining infrastructure scripts.

3. Integration with Version Control like GIT

Just as source code, infrastructure code must be version-controlled to track changes, maintain history, and facilitate collaboration. Integrating IaC with a version control system like Git allows teams to keep a record of all modifications, participate in code review practices, roll back to previous versions when necessary, and manage different environments (development, staging, production) more efficiently.

4. Following the Agile Process with Project Management Tools like JIRA

Implementing IaC within an agile framework enhances flexibility and responsiveness to changes. Using project management tools like JIRA allows teams to track progress, manage backlogs, and maintain a clear view of the development pipeline. It ensures that infrastructure development aligns with the agile principles of iterative development, regular feedback, and continuous improvement.

5. Using Git Branching Strategy and CI/CD Pipelines

A git branching strategy is crucial in maintaining a stable production environment while allowing for development and testing of new features. This strategy, coupled with Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) pipelines, ensures that infrastructure code can be deployed to production rapidly and reliably. CI/CD pipelines automate the testing and deployment process, reducing the chances of human error and ensuring that infrastructure changes are seamlessly integrated with the application deployments.

Conclusion

In conclusion, treating Infrastructure as Code with the same discipline as software development is not just a best practice; it’s a necessity in today’s fast-paced IT environment. By following the SDLC, integrating with version control, adhering to agile principles, and utilizing CI/CD pipelines, organizations can ensure that their infrastructure is as robust, scalable, and maintainable as their software applications. The result is a more agile, efficient, and reliable IT infrastructure, capable of supporting the dynamic needs of modern businesses.

04 - Terraform license change sparks move to open source AWS CDK for AWS Infrastructure_

Terraform license change sparks move to open source AWS CDK for AWS Infrastructure.

cdk

Introduction

In a move that has sent ripples across the tech industry, HashiCorp, recently announced a significant shift in its licensing model for Terraform, a popular open-source infrastructure as code (IaC) tool. After approximately nine years under the Mozilla Public License v2 (MPL v2), Terraform will now operate under the non-open source Business Source License (BSL) v1.1. This unexpected transition raises important questions and considerations for companies leveraging Terraform, especially those using AWS.

Terraform has been a staple tool for many developers, enabling them to define and provide data center infrastructure using a declarative configuration language. Its versatility across various cloud providers made it a go-to choice for many. However, with this licensing change, the way organizations use Terraform might undergo a considerable transformation.

Implications for AWS Users and the Shift to Cloud Development Kit (CDK)

For businesses and developers focused on AWS, this change by HashiCorp presents an opportunity to evaluate AWS’s own Cloud Development Kit (CDK). The AWS CDK is an open-source software development framework for defining cloud infrastructure in code and provisioning it through AWS CloudFormation. It provides a high level of control and customization, specifically optimized for AWS services.

As a CIO or CTO selecting an Infrastructure as Code (IaC) tool for your organization, this licensing change may prompt reconsideration. With the importance of mitigating risk in tool selection, the appeal of open-source alternatives without the complexities of licensing issues becomes increasingly clear. This shift could significantly influence the decision towards truly open-source tools like AWS CDK over Terraform for streamlined, hassle-free IaC management especially if you are already using AWS as your cloud provider.

Why CloudKitect Leverages AWS CDK

CloudKitect, a provider of cloud solutions, has strategically chosen to build its products using AWS CDK. This decision is rooted in several key advantages:

  • Optimization for AWS: AWS CDK is inherently designed for AWS cloud services, ensuring seamless integration and optimization. This means that for companies heavily invested in the AWS ecosystem, CDK provides a more streamlined and efficient way to manage cloud resources.
  • Control and Customization: AWS CDK offers a high degree of control, allowing developers to define their cloud resources in familiar programming languages. This aligns well with CloudKitect’s commitment to providing customizable solutions that meet the specific needs of their clients.
  • Enhanced Security and Compliance: Given AWS’s stringent security protocols, using CDK infrastructures can be easily secured and tested to be compliant with various security standards, a critical consideration for enterprises.
  • Future-Proofing: By aligning closely with AWS’s own tools, CloudKitect positions itself to quickly adapt to future AWS innovations and updates, ensuring its products remain at the cutting edge.

Conclusion

HashiCorp’s shift in Terraform’s licensing model is a pivotal moment that prompts a reassessment of the tools used for cloud infrastructure management. For AWS-centric organizations and developers, AWS CDK emerges as a robust alternative, offering specific advantages in terms of optimization, customization, and security. CloudKitect’s adoption of AWS CDK for its product development is a testament to the kit’s capabilities and alignment with future cloud infrastructure trends. This strategic move may well signal a broader industry shift towards more specialized, provider-centric infrastructure as code tools.  If you would like us to evaluate your existing infrastructure, schedule time with one of our AWS cloud experts today.