DevOps: An explorative case study on the challenges and opportunities in implementing Infrastructure as code

University essay from Umeå universitet/Institutionen för informatik

Abstract: Over the last few years, DevOps has gained much attention in the IT development field. It is a new way of thinking of how developers and operators work, which aim to integrate the development, testing, and operation work efficiently. DevOps breaks down communication silos, improve collaboration and productivity by automating infrastructure deployment, workflows, continuously improving the integration and delivery process, and measuring the application performance indicators. Automation is crucial in DevOps, and a key aspect of automation is “Infrastructure as code (IaC)”. IaC allows companies to manage and maintain their infrastructure resources such as virtual machines, load balancers, firewalls, and network devices programmatically in codes instead of manual processes and procedures. As a result, companies will be able to provision and deploy these infrastructure resources consistently, increase the rate of software delivery and improve the time to market, which in turns lead to a substantial competitive advantage. Previous research call for an examination of the gained opportunities and the challenges that can be faced in implementing IaC. Understanding these challenges and opportunities and their implications allow the companies to know why IaC can be interesting for them? And what and how changes should be done to adopt IaC. This paper presents a qualitative study that aims to illustrate the opportunities and challenges in implementing Infrastructure as a code. This paper will also present how infrastructure used to be managed in physical datacenter and cloud systems, and how agile, DevOps and IaC affect the infrastructure management. Our findings show considerable benefits in adopting IaC, and some challenges might be encountered when implementing IaC. Furthermore, the study acknowledges the role of agile, cloud systems, and DevOps in facilitating the implementation of Infrastructure as a code. Keywords: DevOps, Infrastructure as a code, Automation, Infrastructure resources, agile, cloud systems

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