Top Five Facts to Consider for any Infrastructure-as-Code Automation Platform

Top Five Facts to Consider for any Infrastructure-as-Code Automation Platform

One of the greatest innovations of DevOpsis Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC). Developers can quickly build, manipulate, or destroy an infrastructure using few codes. Using code is indeed a lot easier than a traditional system. However, it may also create issues.

Running IaC tools locally is a common practice for developers. They store the files locally, clone them, and execute the process. It is a common and acceptable process by all. The issue arises when it comes to working in a team, especially in ensuring visibility and governance. When developers work together, it can be challenging to understand who, when, what, and how the code should be deployed. Here IaC automation tools come to solve the issues.

There are several IaC tools to choose from. Developers need to find the best tools according to business needs. In the meantime, developers also need to consider some facts before choosing the best one. The top five are:

PR Plan

The feature of the plan of pull requests makes the workflow easier. It is also called Plan on Pull Request or speculative plan. In this system, whenever developers pull requests against a branch, the automation tools will auto-deploy up to the planning phase. Thus members can understand what code changes can do.

It gives a quick option to fix errors. Another benefit of this feature is, it auto-updates the pull request with comments of possible changes. It works like a forecast visualizing what will happen if developers merge the deployment to the main branch. Operators can also gain some control over the deployment process.

Continuous Deployment (CD)

Though the significance of the deployment process varies depending on workflows, it is a must-have feature. Continuous deployment is creating a connection with the source code repository to automate the deployment process. It auto deploys whenever users commit or push the code to the repository.

Developers can deploy any time of the day. However, the best way is to pause the deployment process after the planning phase, ensure the plan’s acceptance, and approve the deployment. It is possible to make the process automation without caring about the validation. But a good platform must have the ability to control the deployment process.

Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)

Role-based access control is one of the most needed must-have features. Automation of IaC removes the option of visibility. As a result, teams do not know who, when, what, and how are deploying the code. Members prefer visibility to have control on deployment.

Control on IaC helps to reduce the time and limit waste, make an error-free budget, and ensure security. Users can also get control on manual and self-service deployment access. It not only helps to have control over deployment but also provides a design of security.

Shift Tools and Process Left

Shift left extensibility is the ability to integrate and interoperability of tools during the deployment process. One of the shift left concepts is called continuous verification. It means shifting the tools and processes to the left to stay on top of the problems before they appear.

Besides catching configuration issues, it is also necessary to avoid security, compliance, performance, and budget issues. Thus teams do not have to worry about going over budget or insecurity deployment.

Self-Hosted Agents

Most IaC tools are SaaS platforms from a security perspective. Though SaaS is very secure, developers should have some control over the deployment process. Here, users can use self-hosted agents or runners. It is the ability to secure cloud credentials and sensitive information in users’ way. Users can choose a third-party solution. 

While deploying code, the tools get a copy of the code. In the SaaS system, they have access to the code. Self-hosted agents control the access to keep it secure from third-party access.

Automation workflow, security features, deployment, etc., are part of IaC. Depending on the organization, these developers need to ensure above five-mush have features.