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1.2: Infrastructure as Code Overview

Infrastructure as Code Overview

In this lesson, we'll introduce the concept of Infrastructure as Code (IaC) and discuss the different approaches for provisioning cloud resources. We'll also explore the various categories of IaC tools and their respective advantages.

Three Main Approaches for Provisioning Cloud Resources:

  1. Cloud Console: A graphical user interface provided by cloud providers, allowing users to interact with and manage cloud services.

  2. API or Command-Line Interface: A method of interacting with cloud services programmatically, allowing for more efficient and automated management.

  3. Infrastructure as Code: Defining your entire infrastructure within your codebase, offering better control, visibility, and consistency across environments.

Categories of Infrastructure as Code Tools:

  1. Ad-hoc scripts: Basic scripts that make API calls to provision infrastructure resources (e.g., shell scripts).

  2. Configuration management tools: Tools like Ansible, Puppet, and Chef, designed to manage software and infrastructure configuration.

  3. Server templating tools: Tools for building server templates, such as Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) or virtual machine images.

  4. Orchestration tools: Tools like Kubernetes, which focus on deploying applications and managing containers.

  5. Provisioning tools: Tools like Terraform, which focus on provisioning cloud resources using a declarative approach.

Declarative vs. Imperative:

  • Declarative tools define the desired end state of your infrastructure (e.g., five servers, one load balancer), and the tool handles the API calls and processes to achieve that state.
  • Imperative tools require you to define the sequence of actions to create the desired infrastructure.

Cloud-Specific vs. Cloud-Agnostic:

  • Cloud-specific tools: These tools, such as AWS CloudFormation or Azure Resource Manager, are provided by major cloud providers and focus on provisioning infrastructure within their respective clouds.

  • Cloud-agnostic tools: Tools like Terraform or Pulumi, which can be used across any cloud provider, allowing for greater flexibility when deploying resources across multiple clouds or when using third-party services.

Understanding Infrastructure as Code and the various approaches to provisioning cloud resources is essential for modern infrastructure management. By leveraging IaC tools, you can better control, maintain, and deploy your cloud infrastructure in a consistent, efficient, and scalable manner. As you plan your infrastructure, consider whether cloud-specific or cloud-agnostic tools would best suit your project's requirements and the potential need to span across multiple cloud providers.