Infrastructure as Code (IAC) is a type of IT infrastructure, that operations teams can automatically manage and provision through code, rather than using a manual process. Infrastructure as Code is sometimes referred to as programmable infrastructure.  It means writing code (which can be done using a high level language or any descriptive language) to manage configurations and automate provisioning of infrastructure in addition to deployments. This is not just writing scripts, but involves using tested and proven software development practices that are already being used in application development. For example: version control, testing, small deployments, use of design patterns etc. In short, this means you write code to provision and manage your server, in addition to automating processes.

Infrastructure and operations as code is an essential practice to realize the advantages of modern cloud service providers.  For enterprises looking to migrate to Amazon Web Services, Azure, or Google Cloud Platform, scripted infrastructure and automation are the key first steps, through which other Devops practices become accessible.CloudFormation and Terraform are the most valuable tools to implement Infrastructure as Code on AWS. Terraform is a tool used for building, changing, and versioning infrastructure safely and efficiently, that can manage existing and popular service providers as well as custom in-house solutions, whereas AWS CloudFormation provides a common language for you to describe and provision all the infrastructure resources in your cloud environment.

Few advantages of IAC to talk about are Automate your deployment and recovery processes. Also, with infrastructure automation, reproducible environments become possible.  We can use the same automation scripts to deploy exact copies of production to development, test, and production environments. Redeploy the infrastructure instead of troubleshooting the error as troubleshooting server performance issues can be very time-consuming.  For these reasons, it wouldn’t be an easy to troubleshoot and repair our servers. Rather, it is now more economical to destroy the old server instance and replace it with a new, working copy. Automated deployment scripts developed can be used to deliver working servers to replace broken and impaired servers. Immutable infrastructure pattern can be followed, in which changes made are permanent on a server once it is deployed.  This helps avoid the problem of configuration drift and also simplifies our operations on a large scale. Now, the only repair operation left is to redeploy the service.