During the last 8 10 years cloud computing/ hosting has become the norm and more and more organisations are migrating from their on-premise data centres (which are generally expensive to run/ maintain real estate in key cities used for on-premise data centres is expensive) to the cloud.
Migration to the cloud offers some important benefits such as cost savings (decrease capex and opex), rapid deployment or in some cases even security improvements.
Whether you choose cloud such as AWS/ MS Azure or private off-premise DC services providers like Rackspace / IBM etc. the challenges in executing Infrastructure changes manually were enormous managing the changes remotely of production/ development / staging environments was like turning the thumbscrews at change time.
The teams spend extra hours just checking plans, rollbacks because of the similarities between the environments and sometimes you have shared infrastructure causing chaos at change time and change windows.
Using Infrastructure as Code – IaC – (sometimes referred to as Programmable Infrastructure) a somewhat agile based methodology we can build/ deploy the infrastructure in a repeatable way and rapidly, to avoid the issues faced by the deployment / change / operations teams once and for all.
Using IaC the deployment team has the ability to manage and provision data centres or infrastructure either on-premise or in to the cloud using machine readable definition files / parameters rather than the somewhat traditional physical hardware configuration or interactive tools for configuration.