Infrastructure As Code

Nightjar is dedicated to delivering efficient, repeatable, and reliable cloud solutions. To this end, we have embraced the Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC) model, a method that enables us to manage and provision our cloud resources systematically and effectively. Our IaC approach leverages powerful tools such as AWS CloudFormation, AWS Cloud Development Kit (CDK), and Terraform to ensure best practices in our cloud solutions.

2023.07.20 - Technology - Brent McDowell
Infrastructure as code

Understanding Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC)

IaC is the process of managing and provisioning computing infrastructure through machine-readable definition files, rather than manual hardware configurations or interactive configuration tools. This approach allows us to automate the deployment and configuration of our infrastructure, reducing the risk of human error, improving efficiency, and ensuring consistency across deployments.

Our Approach to IaC

Our approach to IaC involves creating code templates that represent our desired cloud resources and configuration states. These templates are version-controlled and tested rigorously to ensure accuracy and repeatability.

Here's how we utilise AWS CloudFormation, AWS CDK, and Terraform:

AWS CloudFormation
As an AWS-native tool, CloudFormation allows us to create, manage, and update AWS resources in a controlled and predictable manner. We use JSON or YAML to write CloudFormation templates that describe our desired resources and their dependencies. This approach allows us to standardise our infrastructure components, making our AWS-based deployments predictable, reusable, and consistent.

AWS Cloud Development Kit (CDK)
AWS CDK is an open-source software development framework that allows us to model and provision AWS resources using familiar programming languages. This provides us with the flexibility to define our infrastructure in the language that best suits the problem domain. It complements CloudFormation by providing higher-level, reusable abstractions of AWS resources.

For multi-cloud or hybrid cloud deployments, we leverage Terraform. This open-source IaC tool is cloud-agnostic and enables us to create a unified workflow for provisioning resources across different cloud providers. Terraform uses its proprietary language, HashiCorp Configuration Language (HCL), to define infrastructure in code, though JSON can also be used. With its robust ecosystem and strong community support, Terraform offers flexibility and compatibility for complex cloud solutions.

Our Standards for IaC

We abide by stringent standards in our IaC practices to ensure the best outcomes:

Version Control
All our IaC templates and scripts are version-controlled using Git, providing us with a complete history of changes, facilitating rollbacks, and supporting collaboration among teams.

Continuous Testing
We employ continuous testing methods to ensure our IaC scripts are error-free. This includes syntax checks, integration testing, and security scans.

Our IaC code is well-documented, ensuring readability and maintainability. This allows any team member to understand the code's purpose, making troubleshooting and updates easier.

Modular Design
We use modular design principles, writing reusable and standalone pieces of code, promoting reusability and enhancing scalability.

We ensure our IaC practices align with the best security practices, including least privilege access, encryption, and regular audits.

Our commitment to the IaC approach, guided by industry-leading tools like AWS CloudFormation, AWS CDK, and Terraform, ensures that our clients' cloud infrastructure is robust, efficient, and consistent. By following stringent standards for version control, continuous testing, documentation, modular design, and security, we not only streamline the deployment and management of infrastructure but also enhance its reliability and security. Through our embrace of IaC, we continue to propel our clients' digital transformation journeys, helping them reap the full benefits of the cloud.

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