Software development is a highly competitive environment that requires the developers and the entire IT team to be on their toes. There is zero scope for errors and pitfalls in such a cut-throat scenario. IT infrastructure management is naturally critical to the process of software development.
A crucial step in the lifecycle of software development is infrastructure management. It helps ensure that your development environment is consistent, repeatable, and scalable. However, automating your infrastructure management requirements can be a laborious and time-consuming process. By automating the processes involved with managing your systems, developers can focus on building better applications rather than worrying about maintaining their development environments.
Before the advent of cloud infrastructure, the most burdensome task in the IT industry was managing and maintaining physical servers and hard drives. The human and financial resources consumed in the process were not in favor of the business. However, infrastructure as a service has transformed business as usual and enables leveraging cloud-based environments for effectiveness and efficiency. According to Globe Newswire, the global IaC market is expected to grow at 21.9% CAGR, to reach $2.8 billion by 2028.
In this article, we will run through some of the most appealing features of IT infrastructure automation.
Removing Inconsistencies in Recreating IDEs
Inconsistency is a problem that can easily lead to frustration and confusion. For example, each time you create an IDE, it’s slightly different than the last time you created it. Knowing what software version will run in any particular environment is challenging. It also makes it challenging for developers to troubleshoot issues they encounter during development because they might not be able to duplicate or recreate the exact same conditions from earlier successful tests.
Debilitating development inconsistencies put scalability at the greatest risk because they slow down development cycles and demoralize teams trying to use their environments for testing (i.e., test automation). Manual provisioning processes are highly prone to human error and can lead to inconsistencies like those mentioned above. For the most part, we are all aware of the repercussions of human mistakes in critical roles. Companies tend to pay a significant price for clerical glitches, like in the case of mistaken payments made to Revlon’s lenders by Citigroup to the tune of nearly $1 billion.
Achieving Idempotence for Improving Provisioning
Idempotence is an action that can be repeated numerous times without changing the outcome. In other words, if you apply an operation more than once and get an identical result each time, it is bound to be idempotent.
In infrastructure management, professionals strive to automate provisioning so that all changes are performed precisely once, not more, not less. Any change made can be applied repeatedly without changing, breaking, or causing side effects (such as introducing bugs). You also want your provisioning scripts idempotent so they can run over and over again without causing problems. This makes them maintainable and easy to test since each script only needs testing once. This serves as the cornerstone of a bimodal IT strategy that contrasts and supports innovation on the one hand while emphasizing agility on the other.
You can reduce the time to market with a seamless process. By automating infrastructure management, you can improve your product’s quality and increase your team’s productivity. You will be able to increase your profit while not having to compromise security and compliance. Defining the standard operating environments (SOEs) for the entire network is of the essence. It ensures timely maintenance and consistent results. Infrastructure and operations leaders (companies with over a billion dollar revenues) are increasingly keen on undertaking full automation. As per Gartner’s forecast 70% of organizations will implement infrastructure automation by 2025.
As important as the process seems, it is also one that calls for extreme caution because correcting problems in the development stage retrospectively is a nightmare. IT operations automation’s primary purpose is to avoid this problem. So, identifying the dependencies correctly and setting the parameters right in the first place is crucial. There is smooth sailing subsequently, given the initial step is set straight.
A Structured Way to Workflow Transparency
Workflow transparency is a good thing. On the one hand, it helps you understand the procedural requirement and how to execute it best. On the other hand, workflow transparency also helps avoid future problems through new processes designed to improve your output quality.
Automation can be highly beneficial to organizations looking to improve infrastructure management process, for several reasons:
- The abstraction of the management layer is critical to infrastructure automation. These are based on the principles of the coding layer in DevOps;
- It generates detailed analytics that allows you to better understand how things are working from an operator’s perspective; and
- Due to its excellent data-logging capabilities, it helps debug, avoiding future problems.
Working on a Project is So Much Easier With Automated Infrastructure
Consistency is one of the biggest and most important reasons for automating your development workflow. Developers like to be consistent, so they can focus on getting their work done instead of wasting time-solving problems due to inconsistencies in the development environment.
IDEs are a big part of what makes developing software possible, but there are also many downsides associated with IDE usage:
- IDE bugs (e.g., syntax highlighting not working correctly)
- IDE performance issues (e.g., being slow to load project files)
- IDE compatibility issues (e.g., not supporting all features in your favorite language/framework)
The benefits of automating infrastructure management are pretty straightforward. It is less time-consuming for developers to run their applications, improve consistency in creating environments across applications, and make the process more transparent for all involved.
If you think automating your IT infrastructure is a plausible solution to your Achilles heel, then talk to our team today!