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Standardize your cloud approach with Infrastructure Lifecycle Management

Build, deploy, and manage all of your infrastructure with a single workflow with Infrastructure Lifecycle Management solutions from HashiCorp.

The cloud provides an environment where developers can create and deploy applications rapidly. However, many organizations that limit their focus to accelerating application delivery end up struggling to find cloud success. Because the cloud dramatically expands their infrastructure footprint across different environments, it gets harder to maintain visibility and control, slowing developer productivity and making it harder to realize the promised business value.

Addressing the challenges of these dynamic environments across people, processes, and tools requires a modern, holistic approach to Infrastructure Lifecycle Management (ILM). ILM is the process by which organizations build, deploy, and manage the infrastructure that underpins cloud applications. The tools and workflows that your organization adopts for ILM should enable effective infrastructure management from Day 1 provisioning to Day N tracking, maintenance, and decommissioning. To work efficiently across different cloud environments and providers, platform teams need an ILM solution that helps them spread golden patterns across all teams to ensure they use approved resources with governance policies already baked in.

This blog looks at how organizations can effectively manage the full lifecycle of their infrastructure to reduce risk, optimize cloud spend, and boost developer velocity to drive business value without creating future maintenance problems.

»Build consistently with infrastructure as code

The first step of effective ILM involves establishing a systematic and repeatable approach to creating infrastructure. Organizations can do so by leveraging infrastructure as code (IaC) to consistently codify, version, and provision infrastructure and the underlying system images across environments. Teams and individuals have varying provisioning skill sets, so establishing a common platform promotes collaboration to enable uniformity across all infrastructure. IaC lets multiple teams work on a common code base, reusing best practices and alleviating the need for development teams to reinvent existing processes. With IaC, organizations gain more visibility into the creation and provisioning of infrastructure across all cloud providers through a single platform.

»Deploy policy-guarded infrastructure

In the next stage of effective ILM, a centralized platform team implements guardrails to enforce organizational requirements before infrastructure is deployed. They establish workflows for testing, validating, and approving standard images and reusable modules of code. Policy as code is used to codify unique organizational requirements regarding security, compliance, and cost and automatically enforce these conditions across all infrastructure. Approved modules can then be published to an internal library where teams throughout the organization can easily discover and reuse them.

»Manage infrastructure health over time

In the third phase, organizations are concerned with making sure their standardized approach to infrastructure management remains persistent after deployment has taken place. To do this, platform teams need to ensure their infrastructure upholds organizational requirements over time by effectively detecting and remediating changes. They use granular visibility and monitoring capabilities to perform regular health assessments of their infrastructure and quickly resolve any changes that require attention. This phase also involves the standardization of end-of-life workflows. Organizations predefine how long some resources will live and ensure that once retired, all related provisioning pipelines are updated and they are no longer available for consumption.

»ILM and The Infrastructure Cloud

Earlier this year we launched The Infrastructure Cloud, an approach powered by the HashiCorp Cloud Platform (HCP) that unifies Infrastructure Lifecycle Management and Security Lifecycle Management (SLM) on one platform. The ILM side of The Infrastructure Cloud gives your platform teams the systems they need to build, deploy, and manage infrastructure throughout its entire lifecycle. HashiCorp offers a portfolio of products managed on HCP that enable a unified workflow to help with the different aspects of infrastructure and application deployment including HCP Terraform, Packer, and Waypoint, as well as HashiCorp Nomad.

»Terraform for infrastructure provisioning

HashiCorp Terraform is the industry standard for infrastructure automation, delivering IaC provisioning and managing resources across multiple cloud providers in a single workflow. Terraform’s extensive ecosystem of more than 4,000 providers lets it work with all types of infrastructure. Terraform enables organizations to establish infrastructure as a shared service to configure, publish, and consume resources. Users can start using infrastructure as code to bake in their specific security and cost requirements, with Terraform’s extensive public registry available to reference common configurations. Infrastructure modules can then be tested, validated, and marked for approval in an internal private registry for reuse throughout the organization. After deployment, Terraform’s Day 2 monitoring and health-assessment capabilities help confirm that infrastructure continues to meet organizational requirements until the day it is retired.

»Packer for image building and management

HashiCorp Packer helps standardize the building and management of images for use in any cloud or on-premises environment. Similar to Terraform’s approach at the infrastructure level, Packer lets organizations centralize image creation and management as a shared service. With Packer, users can codify security and compliance requirements and publish image versions to the HCP Packer artifact registry. This central registry stores metadata granting visibility of image artifacts. It also provides governance capabilities to ensure only approved versions are being used, and it simplifies lifecycle management tasks like health monitoring and revocation. When used with Terraform, Packer enables users to automate image updates across clouds and downstream provisioning pipelines, a pattern known as a golden image pipeline.

»Waypoint for creating an internal development platform

HashiCorp Waypoint is an internal developer platform (IDP) enablement service that empowers platform teams to define golden patterns and workflows for developers. For example, platform teams can define standard workflows for actions such as building an application environment, deploying to production, or performing a rollback, which developers can execute from a simple user interface. Standardized templates with Terraform configurations attached define exactly how these applications are provisioned. Close integration with Terraform lets platform teams use existing modules without having to reinvent configurations from scratch. This approach increases developer speed and alleviates the need for them to deeply understand specific infrastructure and security practices, enabling the management of applications at scale.

»Nomad for multi-tenant compute orchestration

HashiCorp Nomad is a flexible scheduling and orchestration tool that brings modern application scheduling to any type of software. This versatility helps users manage containers, binaries, and virtual machines across cloud, edge, and on-premises environments from a single location. Nomad efficiently schedules work across large clusters, enabling companies to scale applications to any size while minimizing overhead.

»Get started with Infrastructure Lifecycle Management

HashiCorp’s ILM offerings help organizations deliver cloud infrastructure fast while staying secure and cost-efficient from start to finish. To begin implementing ILM in your environment or organization, sign up for a free HCP account today.

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