Five worthy reads is a regular column on five noteworthy items we’ve discovered while researching trending and timeless topics. This week, we explore the concept of Infrastructure as Code.

From server setup and hardware configuration to application deployment, traditional end-to-end IT infrastructure management has high overhead and takes a lot of time and effort. With the advent of cloud computing, IT infrastructure has evolved to address the availability, scalability, and agility problems organizations face. Yet the issue of inconsistent configurations remains, because the manual setup of cloud infrastructure can still lead to discrepancies.

From this problem arose Infrastructure as Code (IaC), a method to create, provision, and manage IT infrastructure through the use of source code rather than through standard operating procedures and manual processes. With IaC, you explicitly codify all your infrastructure specifications into configuration files; these represent the single source of truth (SSOT) of your infrastructure specifications, which are deployed similar to application code.

In deploying and codifying each infrastructure deployment the same way, IaC resolves the problem of configuration inconsistency by establishing a consistent framework for the configuration of everything, from your infrastructure to your applications. There’s no question of incompatibility, as users code their own infrastructure requirements.

Below are five interesting reads that discuss Infrastructure as Code.

1. Infrastructure as Code: Evolution and Practice

The need to keep up with continuous deployment and delivery brought about IaC. We have moved on to treating infrastructure like software, no longer having to rack and stack servers, automate scripts, or wrestle with manual deployment.

2. Infrastructure as Code: Principles and Practices

IaC can provide many benefits such as consistency, faster deployment, and simplicity; if you follow the best practices listed in this article, you’ll get the most out of IaC.

3. Six golden rules of Infrastructure as Code (IaC)

IaC is now pervasive across public cloud providers. However, implementing and practicing IaC could become difficult, unless you follow a few golden rules.  

4. Infrastructure as code: The engine at the heart of DevOps

With IaC, infrastructure is treated the same as any application code, irrespective of environment. Both development and operations teams can leverage IaC, which is a step towards breaking the silos between both teams and unifying them.

5. Infrastructure-as-code to reinforce IT security

Software projects and applications are getting more complex, as is the infrastructure they run on. It’s vital to enforce secure coding standards throughout all aspects of a project’s code base. IaC models could benefit standardization efforts.

With IaC, you hold the power of an SSOT; it only takes one click to create, configure, and deploy hundreds of properly configured devices. As organizations strive to become more agile, and practices like DevOps become more prominent, provisioning infrastructure is also becoming more simple, fast, and efficient—and less risky. Automating infrastructure deployment saves time that can instead be spent performing high-value tasks, all while consuming fewer resources.