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SD Times: What developers should know about IT Ops

In this article from SD Times, WWT Application Services IT Ops Director Matthew Perry discusses how developers can look at infrastructure as code.

Posted by SD Times on January 3, 2018:

Operations is going through a fundamental shift as infrastructure itself shifts from hardware to software. The “software-defined” future has arrived and it’s something enterprises must embrace if they want to deliver Internet-scale applications and pivot as quickly as today’s business environment requires.

Software-defined architecture uses a virtualization layer to optimize the use of resources. It also speeds provisioning and the ability to adapt to changes. The resulting flexibility is necessary in light of some of today’s biggest trends, including Big Data analytics, IoT, mobile, and social.

Infrastructure as Code Helps

The virtualization of computers, storage, and networks has given rise to the infrastructure as code movement, which is becoming increasingly necessary. Almost every organization wants to deliver software faster because it’s necessary from a competitive standpoint. Infrastructure as code helps expedite software delivery, because developers no longer have to wait weeks or months to get access to physical equipment. Virtual resources can be provisioned almost instantaneously, except in organizations that still require ticket filing and a string of approvals.

Another reason infrastructure as code is important is because it helps bridge the gap between development and operations. Historically, developers have not understood infrastructure. Conversely, operations has not understood programming. They understand configuration scripts, which differs from creating applications.

When WWT started doing infrastructure as code, the operations team was using Chef. It didn’t take long before Ops realized it needed help with the code part of infrastructure as code.

“The tech lead came to us and told us the code wasn’t very good. He said, ‘Do you want me to refactor this?’ so I said sure,” said Matthew Perry, WWT Application Services director, IT Ops. “Developers can look at infrastructure as code and understand it.”

Now, the WWT operations team is able to provide self-service environments so developers can configure their own environments without filing a ticket.

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