With the evolution of IT industry, we witness trade-off between the two desirable models- monolithic and microservices. On the contrary, we also see that there is an evident transition taking place from monolithic model to microservices model that emphasize the separation of work into modules. This enables the developers to concentrate on a single function at once ensuring better scalability and agility. However, it requires individual infrastructure service instead of cumulative infrastructure provisioning. We can untangle this chaotic challenge by practicing infrastructure as code (IaC) with containers.

The convergence of Iac and Containers:

As DevOps continue to evolve, developers find way to strengthen the integration of IaC and containers as they complement each other. Containers incorporates infrastructure as code into development cycle as a core component. For instance, we use a Docker file to create a Docker image which we use as a template to create container and application. These will be available on the machine that we initiate it on. We can acquire the image from the Docker Hub managed by a Docker team. This indicates that if there is a technical disruption, there are chances that the team will fix it. we just need to update the Docker file, rebuild the image, test and deploy the container once again. We can add the source of application and use the CMD command to run and open for requests. That’s the role of infrastructure as code. After the deployment, it is uncertain for a third party to access or run the application as they will have to recreate the entire infrastructure around the image. Thus, we can describe the image as a combination of IaC template and container image with complete configuration.

Infrastructure as code: The Role Play

Apart from sharing these applications, we can also use IaC to release them.  While the containers consist of all features required to run an application, we would expect it to have linear behavior in multiple environments like the Dev and Prod environments. But, it may not act as expected in different production environment. It requires the same infrastructure configuration across all environments for a uniform application behavior.

Furthermore, when we deploy infrastructure as code in CI/CD pipeline, we no longer have to manually run the templates deployment instead we could use just commands.  We can deploy both changes in microservices infrastructure and containers in the CI/CD release pipeline. This enables complete visibility of both the application code and infrastructure code in the pipeline deployed currently in the production environment.

Conclusion

As DevOps development continues at the forefront of business agility, it is evident that containerization is here to stay. Containers’ interaction with infrastructure as code produces significant results like eradicating chaos during deployment in multiple environments. This improves scalability, flexibility and agility in software businesses. Thus, infrastructure as code becomes a better framework with containers.

 

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Dhanwandhi Panneerselvam

Executive Research Analyst at Aspire Systems
She holds a Master degree in Electrical & Electronics Engineering with specialization in Power Electronics and Drives. She is a passionate and an ardent writer who has earlier worked on write ups and several copies related to media. She spends her leisure time reading philosophical books and loves exploring new places & cuisines.