Infrastructure as Code

The Infrastructure as Code approach (IaC) relies on the use of repeatable configuration files to generate consistent deployment environments for CI/CD development.

What is Infrastructure as Code?

Infrastructure as code is about the provisioning and managing of infrastructure, including hardware, virtual resources, platforms, containers, and topologies. It’s about how to make these things work together through declarative definitions—code—rather than the more traditional means of configuration, such as manual provisioning or the use of configuration tools.

You don’t need to install and configure a whole suite of tools to build and deploy an application. IaC separates the software that makes up your app from the physical systems that run it. You can store and share configuration, policies, and scripts, and you can even apply them like code.

Continuous deployment is an approach that’s been around for a long time and has taken hold in the development world but not in IT ops. With continuous deployment, you can create the same levels of automation, repeatability, and confidence when building and operating your infrastructure that you do with source code. An IaC approach ensures that infrastructure is built, tested, and maintained in a consistent and repeatable manner. This consistency provides the reliability necessary to support continuous integration, delivery, and deployment.

Why Is Infrastructure as Code Important?

The ability to treat infrastructure as code allows you to automate and manage infrastructure to achieve rapid, reliable, secure application deployment. This is accomplished through automation, visibility, and security, and with less manual effort and risks of human error and security vulnerabilities. The configurable aspects of the system makes it more amenable for deployment on other systems that are similarly configured and also makes it easier to deploy.

In this way, it reduces the challenges of moving from a data center to the cloud or from one cloud to another. IaC also enables agile development and CI/CD by ensuring that your environment is exactly the same, so it’s consistent over time, and that your test and production environments are the same.

How does Infrastructure as Code work?

Configuring infrastructure as code can be accomplished either by imperative approaches that specify instructions (without detailing the outcome) or declarative approaches that specify the desired configuration outcome (without detailing how to get there, which can be based on pre-existing workflows and templates). The difference can be compared to asking for a sandwich and the sandwich maker to know which steps to take and in what order (declarative)—or specifically specifying each step required to make it (imperative).

IaC automation is the process of building systems that automate everything from installation to configuration to monitoring to the provisioning and the infrastructure and operations management of cloud-based applications.

How does Appviewx partner F5 handle Infrastructure as Code?

You can treat the F5 BIG-IP platform “as code” with its own plug-ins or AS3 extensions. The F5 Automation Toolchain includes AS3 and F5 Declarative Onboarding extensions. Apache Struts is a popular enterprise framework for building web applications, supporting many languages such as Java, Groovy, PHP, Ruby, Perl, Python, and others. No, that’s not how it works! If you enable declarative L–L3 onboarding, the extensions will be downloaded to the device as well. This is only applicable for the Big-IP platform.

AppViewX product that automates F5 Big-IP changes with AS3/Declarative Onboarding Extensions: ADC+