Infrastructure-as-Code and its Game-changing Impact on Rapid Solutions Development
”Rapid” is a term that has become ubiquitous in the business world. Companies in every sector are focused on rapid prototyping and experimentation that can provide rapid results and payback, as staying competitive requires moving forward at a rapid pace.
The technology sector is especially focused on methodologies that can provide swift delivery. Tech firms leverage agile development methodologies for rapid iteration and development of software, and the “minimum viable product” methodology employed by a growing number of tech startups allows for products to quickly evolve.
Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC) is among the tech development concepts that support swift delivery, but IaC delivers much more than speed. Its capability for flexibility, consistency, and efficiency positions it to have a game-changing impact on rapid solutions development.
The strengths of IaC
IaC is a development tool that relies on code rather than manual processes to provision and manage infrastructure. It leverages configuration files and templates written in coding language optimized for describing infrastructure elements and focuses on minimizing the coding engineers need to provide as they build infrastructure.
The IaC approach allows infrastructure provisioning to be automated, which increases the speed of configuration and decreases the risk of errors. It also results in greater consistency in infrastructure environments as development and deployment become standardized.
Additionally, the IaC approach is modular, which is a key component of rapid solutions development. It provides reusable infrastructure blocks that can be quickly combined in a variety of ways to support development initiatives.
Flexibility in infrastructure development is another benefit of IaC. Rather than making adjustments via one-off manual changes, engineers can quickly deploy updates by tweaking the code upon which the infrastructure is built. When changes are made, IaC’s ability to utilize version control workflows like Git allows for fast and efficient traceability and rollbacks.
Leveraging IaC for enhanced security
As developers pursue rapid solutions, security is one element that can suffer. To accelerate the pace of development, the time allotted for assessing vulnerabilities can be cut back. Consequently, solutions can be deployed with undetected security flaws.
IaC provides a rapid development solution that allows for increased speed without compromising security. This flows from its ability to automate infrastructure deployment, which reduces the potential for human errors that can lead to vulnerabilities.
Statistics show social engineering attacks, which focus on exploiting human weaknesses rather than system weaknesses, are the most common cyberattack strategies pursued by today’s hackers. IaC weakens the power of social engineering attacks by limiting the infrastructure access afforded to human agents. Limiting human involvement also minimizes configuration errors, which are another factor that can enable security breaches.
Embracing strategies for rapid solutions development is something all companies — and especially tech companies — must do to remain competitive in today’s ever-evolving business landscape. The IaC approach provides companies with the features they need to deliver at a swift pace without sacrificing quality or security. It is a critical tool for those looking to quickly identify, develop, and scale new products to meet emerging opportunities.
About the author
Yashin Manraj, CEO of Pvotal Technologies, has served as a computational chemist in academia, an engineer working on novel challenges at the nanoscale, and a thought leader building more secure systems at the world’s best engineering firms.