8 Ways To Terraform Your Infrastructure
The way we build and maintain our infrastructure has a profound impact on the environment. Here are eight ways to terraform your infrastructure and make it more sustainable.
As the world progresses, more and more industries are turning to automation in order to increase efficiency and profits.
One area that has been seeing a lot of growth in recent years is infrastructure automation.By automating your infrastructure, you can improve your organization's ability to respond quickly to changes, scale easily, and manage complexity.
There are many ways to automate your infrastructure, but one of the most popular methods is using Infrastructure as Code (IaC).
IaC is a way of representing your entire infrastructure in a declarative format, such as YAML or JSON.
This allows you to define your infrastructure in a single place, making it easy to version control and track changes over time.
We will discuss ways you can terraform your infrastructure:
- Use IaC Templates for standardization
- Provision Resources with Code
- Automate & Orchestration
The process of standardizing an organization's infrastructure refers to the creation of repeatable processes and configurations that can be implemented across all environments.
This includes both physical and virtual systems, as well as networking, storage, and security.
There are many benefits to standardizing one's infrastructure.
First, it reduces the overall complexity of the environment.
Second, it increases predictability and reliability by ensuring that all systems are configured in the same way.
Third, it reduces costs by making it easier to manage multiple environments using a common set of tools and processes.
Fourth, it makes it easier to roll out new features and updates across all environments.
Finally, it improves security by allowing organizations to quickly identify and fix vulnerabilities in a consistent manner.
There are several best practices for creating a standardized infrastructure.
First, identify which resources need to be standardized (e.g., operating system images, application code) and create templates or gold images for each type of resource.
Second, use configuration management tools such as Puppet or Chef to provision and configure servers according to the standards defined in the templates.
Third, automate provisioning processes using tools like Ansible or Terraform.
Fourth, use containerization technologies such as Docker or Kubernetes for greater portability across different types of environments.
Fifth, integrate monitoring into all aspects of the infrastructure so that issues can be identified and fixed quickly.
By following these best practices, organizations can realize significant benefits from standardizing their infrastructures.
A recent study found that 83% of organizations have suffered at least one IT outage in the past year, with an average loss of $740,357 per incident.1 Availability and resilience are critical to business success, but many organizations struggle to achieve both.
One way to improve availability and resilience is through reproducibility—the ability to quickly and easily recreate a system or environment from scratch if necessary.
There are many benefits of reproducibility, including:
- Reduced downtime: If an issue arises, you can quickly spin up a new instance of your system rather than waiting for repairs.
- Increased flexibility: You can experiment with different configurations without affecting production systems.
- Improved security: By keeping images of your production environments, you can more easily roll back if there’s a security breach
- Easier compliance: Documentation and procedures are built into the process, making it simpler to meet auditing requirements.
Here are eight ways to make your infrastructure more reproducible:
1) Use Infrastructure as Code (IaC): Write code that describes your infrastructure resources and their desired state (e.g., “two web servers should exist”).
This allows you to provision and manage resources in multiple environments consistently with little effort—you can even use Ia C tools such as Terraform or AWS Cloud Formation templates for serverless deployments on Amazon Web Services (AWS).
2) Adopt Declarative Configuration Management: With this approach, also known as “desired state configuration,” everything is defined upfront, including the end-state desired outcome.
Tools like Puppet and Chef automate and keep track of all config changes.
3) Keep Everything under Source Control: Whether it’s application code or config management scripts used for automating repetitive tasks, using a Version Control System (VCS) like Git will maintain full history records.
4) Containerize Applications & Infrastructure: Containers package up an application along with its dependencies so it runs consistently across machines.
This significantly reduces issues caused by differences in environment configs. Tools like Docker and Kubernetes help manage containerized workloads.
5) Deploy using Immutable Servers: Rather than making incremental changes directly on live servers, which carries risk, instead completely replace them.
Using new, identically configured server images every time, thereby any unexpected behavior can be immediately discarded.
6) Leverage Templates & Gold Images: Consistently define server builds—operating system type + versions, applications installed, etc. Make copies of these approved template & gold images (master copy used to create identical duplicates), which act as masters.
7) Automate Provisioning Process: Ideally want push-button deployment solution. Can use existing open source tools or cloud services like AWS Cloud Formation or Azure Resource Manager.
8) Test Environments Regularly: Recreate from Scratch.
As part of development & testing pipeline, periodically wipe test environments, recreating them completely from original templates & artifacts.
In the event something does break, it’s easier to identify the root cause when you start fresh.
Automation & Orchestration
1. The first step to terraforming your infrastructure is automating and orchestrating your resources.
2. Automation can help you manage your infrastructure more efficiently and effectively.
3. Orchestration can help you provision and configure your resources more easily, so that they work together seamlessly.
4. Automation and orchestration can help you save time and money, while improving the reliability of your infrastructure.
5. Here are eight ways to automate and orchestrate your infrastructure:
- Use a configuration management tool like Puppet or Chef to automate the provisioning and configuration of your servers.
- Use an Infrastructure as Code tool like Terraform or Cloud Formation to provision and manage your cloud resources declaratively (without having to manually create them).
- Use a container orchestration tool like Kubernetes or Docker Swarm to deploy and manage containers at scale.
- Use a monitoring tool like Nagios or Zabbix to automatically detect issues with your infrastructure components, monitor their performance over time, and alert you when something goes wrong.
- Deployment automation tools like Jenkins can help you automatically build, test, and deploy new code changes safely into production.