What are IaC and CM?

Infrastructure as Code (IaC) and Configuration Management (CM) are closely intertwined concepts in the realm of cloud computing. IaC is the practice of managing infrastructure through a descriptive model, encompassing elements such as networks, virtual machines, and load balancers. The IaC model consistently reproduces the same environment each time it is applied.

Configuration Management (CM) is dedicated to preserving the uniformity of an application's performance, encompassing functional and physical inputs, requirements, overall design, and operations throughout the product's lifecycle.

How have IaC and CM influenced the Cloud Computing experience?

Infrastructure as Code

IaC emerged as a solution to address the challenge of unanticipated changes within an environment throughout the release pipeline. In the absence of IaC, teams are tasked with maintaining the settings of distinct deployment environments, leading to each environment acquiring a unique configuration that cannot be automatically duplicated. IaC empowers teams to instruct an environment to replicate the same configuration, streamlining the deployment process.

Configuration Management

Configuration Management is akin to infrastructure as code but focuses on defining the configuration for a specific application. It entails migrating configurations between different environments, supported by a control system, to configure infrastructure for deployment. Configuration Management provides teams with control and transparent visibility of an application, ensuring it performs as intended. Proper utilization of CM enables organizations to enhance performance, implement changes seamlessly, improve reliability and maintainability, extend the application lifecycle, mitigate risk and liability, and address defects.

What products are available in the market?

Here are some popular tools in the market for both Infrastructure as Code and Configuration Management:

Infrastructure as Code

  • Terraform
  • AWS CloudFormation
  • Azure Resource Manager
  • Google Cloud Deployment Manager

Configuration Management

  • Ansible
  • Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager
  • Puppet
  • Chef
  • AWS OpsWorks
  • Saltstack

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