Infrastructure as Code 101 – Rosemary Wang – Ep 104

As an IT Professional, one of the things I believe is crucial is continued learning and development. Over the last few months I’ve spent more time in the world of cloud infrastructure, both public and private and have started to want to understand more how to automate much of its delivery.

This led me to the concept of Infrastructure as Code (IAC), the idea that we can deploy infrastructure in our cloud via templates, meaning that we retain a consistent repeatable deployment experience, allowing us to build infrastructure quickly and efficiently. One of the challenges in this space is how each cloud provider has its own method for deploying IAC, so what if you are using multiple cloud platforms do you need to learn a new methodology every time?

Luckily this is not the case, with an increasing set of tools from 3rd party providers which offer a single consistent deployment across multiple providers, meaning you only need to learn one set of codes and templates which can then be quickly modified to work on different environments, so we not only get speed and consistency in one cloud, but across any suitable infrastructure.

While that is all well and good, what is the real value of IAC? Do I really need the ability to deploy over multiple clouds? How do these 3rd party tools work and deliver useful outcomes?

It sounded like a great set of questions for our first post summer break Tech Interviews, so that is exactly what we are doing.

Helping me to learn more and give an introduction to the IAC space is Rosemary Wang of Hashicorp, the developers of one of the leading IAC tools, Terraform. Rosemary is a Developer Advocate and helps developers and organisations to understand how they can use IAC and the value it can bring, I caught up with Rosemary ahead of Hashicorps’s US Conference Hahsiconf which runs in Seattle from September 9th.

In this episode we discuss;

  • What is infrastructure and can we deploy software development practices to it?
  • What is driving the need for IAC and is simplification the key?
  • The key benefits for IAC.
  • Is it only a public cloud thing?
  • Risk v Agility, how to help the risk averse to innovate.
  • What infrastructure can we “codify”?
  • The importance of API’s.
  • What is Terraform?
  • IAC for the more traditional “enterprise”.
  • Why an IT decision maker should consider IAC in their enterprise.

These new cloud inspired, but not cloud exclusive, deployment methods are really interesting and Rosemary provides a great intro to the power of Infrastructure as Code and where tools like Terraform can help in a multi-location world.

If you’d like to find out more from Hashicorp about Terraform or IAC, you can find that via hashicorp.com. You can follow Rosemary on twitter via her excellent twitter handle @joatmon08.

You can also hear the latest in this space via the Hashiconf event starting on the 9th September find all the details here.

Next week we revisit the topic of open source, webscale databases, to make sure you catch that show why not subscribe you’ll find us in all the usual places.

If you have an idea for the show or would like to appear as a guest, then contact me via email at podcast@techstringy.com.

Thanks for listening.

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