Infrastructure as Code (IaC) is a technology shift that aims to speed up software deployment, simplify infrastructure management, and bring development and deployment together with infrastructure as part of a DevOps process. IaC is a key element in the burgeoning world of DevOps, and it offers unparalleled flexibility for developers and enterprises looking to create innovative solutions using automation tools, applications, and practices.
Manually typing in commands or even navigating a GUI is frequently an error-prone endeavor, and humans can’t be counted on to be consistent over time. Furthermore, reducing the time spent doing repetitive tasks with a monolithic script requires complex logic and is generally tightly coupled to a specific version and set of conditions.
For these reasons, IaC emerged with the goal of creating code segments with a global set of variables, arguments, and parameters to support re-use and maintainability. These components can be assembled by an orchestrated process to achieve a desired state and to maintain that desired state until it is authorized to change it.
As always with code, these code segments should be checked into a version control system (GitHub, GitLab, and the like) to ensure all committed changes include a description of what changed and why.
The goal of this GigaOm Radar Report is to investigate where vendors in the IaC space are aligning around features, usability, and target user base. IaC addresses two types of technology professionals: developers and infrastructure/operations engineers. Developers who seek to automatically deploy an application may use IaC to build the environment, while infrastructure/operations engineers will more likely use IaC to ensure that cloud and on-premises infrastructures are being built efficiently and with scale in mind. Regardless of who uses the IaC platform, code is employed to automatically deploy the infrastructure and cloud services. For this reason, there must be a use case for both professionals.
The GigaOm Radar Report for Infrastructure as Code analyzes the top IaC platforms currently in the market, weighs the key criteria and evaluation metrics used to assess them, and identifies important technologies to consider for the future. This report provides an overview of the leading platforms and recognizes those that excel in particular categories. It is intended to appeal to organizations looking to extend investments in existing platforms as well as to those yet to dip their toe in the IaC waters.
This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding consider reviewing the following reports:
Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.
GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.
Solution Profile: An in-depth vendor analysis that builds on the framework developed in the Key Criteria and Radar reports to assess a company’s engagement within a technology sector. This analysis includes forward-looking guidance around both strategy and product.
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