Environment as Code – Automating Enterprise Infrastructure Operations for Agile DevOps
Environment-as-Code elevates Infrastructure-as-Code, applying DevOps methods and tools to the entire production environment as opposed to only the infrastructure.
A core capability underpinning the shift to Cloud Native DevOps is treating ‘Infrastructure as Code’ (IaC).
As the term suggests it means applying practices from software development to the activities of managing the underlying IT infrastructure.
Vladimir Fedak provides a comprehensive overview of DevOps and the role IaC plays:
“The practice of describing all software runtime environment and networking settings and parameters in simple textual format, that can be stored in your Version Control System (VCS) and versioned on request.
These text files are called manifests and are used by DevOps tools like Terraform and Kubernetes to automatically provision and configure build servers, testing, staging and production environments.”
These steps are key to addressing the Operations aspects that defines DevOps.
Environment as Code
As they describe in their blog Cloudsoft builds on this further, to suggest the correct scope to address is ‘Environment as Code’.
They highlight that large enterprise organizations are likely to be running 50 year old mainframes as well as Serverless apps, in amongst a vast and complex array of on-prem, legacy, public cloud and containerised deployments, and so then Infrastructure-as-Code may not be enough, and what is needed is Environment-as-Code.
This helps to connect DevOps teams, tasked with product delivery and innovation, with their Infrastructure and Operations counterparts; allowing I&O to deliver, manage and orchestrate environments, platforms and services rapidly, reliably, resiliently and at scale.
In practice, EaC means that I&O teams can establish consistent guardrails and governance for all their environments. They can use EaC to codify best practices, policies, processes, runbooks and more into reusable elements.
Another capability key for the enterprise market is the integration with ServiceNow, a popular provisioning tool for large corporate IT teams.
AWS’s Service Management Connector for ServiceNow enables ServiceNow end users to provision, manage, and operate AWS resources natively from ServiceNow.
This means users have access to pre-approved, secure, and governed AWS resources through AWS Service Catalog as well as execute automation playbooks through AWS Systems Manager, amongst many other capabilities.
Cloudsoft assists AWS with the installation and customisation of its Service Management Connector for ServiceNow – the fourth iteration of the product – and is also working with AWS on a Connector for JIRA environments.
This includes tying in with new and existing workflows as well as assisting with creating custom views and tables. AWS Service Management Connector benefits from high adoption levels, supporting millions of resources per year for global telecoms, aviation, and oil and gas organisations.