Historically, managing IT workloads and infrastructure was a manual and challenging process. Organizations and developers had to physically install and configure servers, machines, and hardware, which was expensive, time-consuming, and inconsistent. In traditional infra provisioning, the developer will have to go through a series of manual steps like setting up a virtual machine, Installing the packages and operating system on the VM, and configuring storage and network.

Automating your infrastructure is critical as applications, workloads, and resources can be deployed into production up to hundreds of times per day. Infrastructure can be provisioned or de-provisioned in response to load, metrics, and memory usage. For example, if you are deploying a resource on a public cloud using ECS or Kubernetes, after three weeks of testing and fixing issues, you deploy an additional VM and databases and connect the services using a VPC. Automating these deployments and configuration makes it easier to keep track of any changes made in your environment.

Imperative Approach

An imperative approach lets you define how to get your infrastructure into a specific state step-by-step. The IAC imperative technique involves provisioning infrastructure configurations using software scripts. In an imperative approach workflow, you would always use a tool like a CLI with a bash script. The CLI lets you create resources like Kubernetes, security groups, virtual machines, route tables, etc.

The imperative approach lets you have a step-by-step roadmap on how your infrastructure is provisioned, especially when using cloud tools.

In the long run, this approach can be complex because you still have to write custom scripts, especially when you want to remove or delete resources like virtual machines, node groups, want to scale your resources up or down. Many tools use an imperative approach that requires you to define the steps to create and configure resources.

Declarative Approach

In a declarative approach, we’re declaring and defining the final state of your infrastructure while allowing the provider to handle the rest. Unlike the imperative approach, where we define every step, here in the declarative approach, we will only define the final state. You can specify the final state of your Kubernetes resource, VPC resources, using a ConfigMap. The declarative approach is easier when automating your infrastructure and managing configurations.

When you deploy the scripts used in the imperative approach, you end up having duplicate environments, and if one of the steps fails during the process, you have to add error routine conditions in each script to remove the steps that weren’t successful. In a declarative approach, no matter how often you run the template or manifest script, you will end up with the same infrastructure configurations. A declarative approach allows you to specify the configuration and let the system figure out the exact steps to take to get there.

Infrastructure as Code using the declarative approach allows you to treat your infrastructure with the same quality as your code. It enables you to automate all your tasks end to end instead of doing them manually.

This technique develops and manages the underlying infrastructure as software rather than through physical hardware components.

Benefits of IAC

With IAC, you can achieve a lot like:

  • Speed: IAC lets you perform many more functions and tasks quickly. The IAC provisioning process increases deployment velocity and reduces human errors because most workflows are consistent and repeatable.
  • Automation: IAC increases productivity by automating your core resources and the entire deployment process. Automation enables developers to kick off their deployments whenever necessary, reducing costs.
  • Define Workflows: Using an IAC tool like CTO.ai enables you to provision your environments with dynamic workflows without human intervention seamlessly. CTO.ai workflows allow you to deploy all of the infrastructures multiple times using reusable workflows, thus, saving time and effort while keeping complete control.

Why choose CTO.ai for Automation

CTO.ai is a modern open-source Infrastructure as Code platform that supports multiple cloud integrations and architectures. High-performing teams use CTO.ai for speed, consistency, and accountability. They also automate their infrastructure resources like compute, network, and storage resources, deploy them at once, and update them with a single command. Our Opensource stack templates allow you to specify all the resources needed for your application in a declarative format using yaml.

With CTO.ai automation, you can deploy new resources and applications faster, manage your infrastructure more efficiently, get a holistic view of your infrastructure, and boost developer productivity.

And that’s a wrap!

There’s always more! There are so many things that you can do with IAC on CTO.ai.

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