Infrastructure-as-Code series - BlackSwan: Defining Infrastructure-from-Code (IfC)

The Computer Weekly Developer Network (CWDN) now starts its Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC) series of technical analysis discussions to uncover what this layer of the global IT fabric really means, how it integrates with the current push to orchestrate increasingly cloud-native systems more efficiently and what it means for software application development professionals now looking to take advantage of its core technology proposition.

This piece is written by Mr. Asher Sterkin, general manager at BST LABS/BlackSwan Technologies – known for Element (branded as ELEMENT), an enterprise AI and digital transformation platform, the company is making available its cloud optimization infrastructure available independently at no cost. CAIOS, the Cloud AI Operating System, reduces development times and specialist knowledge required to deploy to the cloud while improving security and performance. Sterkin has 40+ years of experience with software development frameworks and systems architectures.

Sterkin writes as follows…

Infrastructure-from-Code

Infrastructure-from-Code is an emerging technology that offers substantial advances over Infrastructure-as-Code.

With IfC, your DevOps team doesn’t need to code and maintain extensive configuration specifications, or even learn an IaC language. 

Instead, a ‘cloud compiler’ interprets the logic and references in traditional programming languages and automatically generates the thousands of lines of logic flow, plus resource configuration and permissions specification. This configuration generation is done on-the-spot, whenever the code logic has changed and a new series of tests or production deployment is needed. 

Infrastructure-from-Code is like IaC on steroids in terms of benefits. With automatically-generated cloud specifications, 

IfC users have benchmarked 10x to 20x increases in developer productivity and deployment speed.

Developers can incorporate new cloud services – data sources, APIs, authentication, notifications and more – simply by importing libraries; there’s no need for DevOps to manually configure the added services

Application development and testing are insulated from the intricate details of cloud-specific SDKs (e.g., AWS boto3). With IfC, standard service invocation interfaces are used that isolate the software from cloud platform-specifics, giving the organisation greater deployment flexibility and negotiating power over their cloud platform vendors.

Testing cycles are collapsed as one can test both on a local machine and in the cloud, unit and integration testing, in a rapid-fire sequence.

BlackSwan’s Sterkin: Cloud code pragmatic practitioner.

Best-practice security measures are consistently and appropriately applied across applications and environments. 

More possibilities 

The potential of fast-evolving IfC tools is even broader than the current benefits listed above. The cloud compiler isolates considerations of which cloud platform or which programming language is used in one’s environment from the applications themselves. Organisations are free to switch cloud vendors for technical or financial reasons (or just to improve their negotiating position), or, further yet, flexibly administer a multi-cloud environment.

The intelligence that IfC captures about one’s cloud environment increases the options for automatically optimising the performance and operating cost of applications and services in that environment. We expect the market will see the cloud portability and machine learning-based, performance optimisation capabilities appear in IfC frameworks in 2022.

 

 

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