Technology Infrastructure Managed as Code

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I have been involved in Technology Management for much of my professional life.   I have helped people in many type of organizations (small, medium, large and global) manage their technology improvements, migrations and transformations including PCs, Internet, virtualization, and as of late, cloud-based infrastructures…

I have seen what it takes organizations adopt, transform and shift their existing organizations to take advantage at some of these very significant technologies shifts and the challenges they face.  Some have tried to resist and / or delay but ultimately, the benefits have proven beyond any doubt and the lagers ultimately adapt…

Word like “Infrastructure-as-a-Service” and “Applications -as-a-Service” are no longer just buzz-words but realities that serve as solid directional strategies to follow.

Back in 2009 we ran across a company which offered a service  where you draw your desired infrastructure in a Visio-like diagram and after accepting the estimated monthly price, within a hours you will get back all of your  IP addresses and access codes for the items you requested.

Cloud Computing is the next level…  but it requires a different mind-set…

Infrastructure as SOFTWARE…

Organizations can now treat hardware in the same way in which they treat code (software) where independent dynamic components work together to create the desired outcome (aka service).    Each complete version (hardware, software, and configuration) can be version-ed, and “replicated” or recalled at any time.   And I do not mean just single servers, but entire infrastructures with security, internal network connectivity (vLANS), scale up/out and down depending on workflows and rule-based logic, content / database replication, monitoring traffic /performance and self-adjust.

Literally — code!

Beyond the Obvious… 

The cost savings are clear…

  • No need for organizations to initiate large capital purchase of hardware or software to cover not only the baseline but also the demand spikes.
  • Saving on related setup integration / testing services for the infrastructure.
  • Pay for what you use, not what you “build”.
  • Data center / co-hosting space and associated costs.
  • Technical staff to maintain the base environment.

But what is not usually clear are the intangibles:

  • Security is far better than anything you could define and keep internally.
  • Ability to make changes/adjustments quickly and efficiently (agility & flexibility)
  • Ability to (have) feasible back-out procedure
  • Disaster Recovery handling

Different mind-set

A different mindset is needed… Everyone in the information technology management field needs to look closely at what they do…    From technology consultants to technical architects, from technology managers to CIOs.

The fact that the cost barriers for large complex systems have been shattered, allows to focus on proper component design (with security and independence in mind).

It is very exciting times again for the future of Technology…  We are at a cross-roads similar to when the personal-computer (1981) or later the Internet (1991) were introduced to the masses.  It existed in limited formats, but it “left-the-early-adopters” and became mass-adopted, it revolutionize the world we live in…

Traditional technology infrastructure build-ups (including in-house virtual infrastructures) are as obsolete as mainframes, mini-computers, vacuum tubes, horse-carriages.    Yes they will continue to exist in limited and/or specialized formats, but for the vast majority of enterprises, they will need to change, or forced to change.

 

Recommended follow-up:

Do not look at the traditional hosting service providers…

Look  closely at all of the services being offered by:

Further reading:

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