Infrastructure is on the up. Software application development is driven by many trends on a year-on-year basis, but key among the current major drivers is a push to create and enable more powerful, more manageable and more flexible controls that work at the infrastructure level.
Given that infrastructure is now, in so many cases, cloud-native and massively influenced by open source technologies, we can see where many application deployment efforts are now focused.
This is an era of cloud where we don’t just talk about deploying software and pushing it to live production and subsequent user usage use cases, this is a moment when we can start to talk about so-called Deployments-as-a-Service technologies.
Not yet shortened to an acronym or initialism like DaaS (probably because it’s so close to DataBase-as-a-Service, or DBaaS), the industry typically refers to Deployments-as-a-Service as an integral part of Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC) i.e. automated controls to handle the provisioning that apps and data services need for deployment, more closely aligned to final requirements at the point of inception, creation and release.
But making this technology work throws up a hurdle.
As explained before here on Forbes, the first generation of DevOps tools built for Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC) were created before the time of containers and Kubernetes (a highly popular cloud container orchestration service) and new kernel-level controls like Cilium.
We need a new era of cloud infrastructure technologies aligned to enabling developers and operations teams use infrastructure as a competitive advantage, not just as a lower substrate utility layer that’s somehow ‘just there’ – like electricity, water, or perhaps even sliced white bread.
Striving to be part of that new era of infrastructure players is Seatlle-based Pulumi. The company’s recently launched Pulumi Deployments service works to enable software engineers to use infrastructure controls to ‘spin up’ (a term used to denote the creation of a cloud instance due to a cloud server’s hard disk rotation when it is brought to life) or update existing cloud applications and components instantly with a Git commit (a smaller piece of software code designed to enact functions), a click of a button in the Pulumi user interface (UI), or a ‘call’ to the new Pulumi Deployments REST Application Programming Interface (API).
Built using Pulumi’s universal multi-language and multi-cloud Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC) platform, Pulumi Deployments provides extensible building blocks that let users build any cloud infrastructure. This is a Deployments-as-a-Service technology to manage IaC tasks and here it is powered by Pulumi Automation API – a programmable IaC technology.
IaC Needs Library-Level Richness
The company explains Automation API as a technology that answers the question, “What if IaC was a [whole] library [of software code functions and services], not just a Command Line Interface CLI [single software command],” which enables the development of custom Platforms-as-a-Service and multi-step workflows including drift detection.
“[Our] new services announced take Infrastructure-as-Code (Iac) automation to the next level,” said Joe Duffy, founder and CEO of Pulumi. “We’ve followed the standard Pulumi approach of shipping great out-of-the-box experiences, layered atop a foundation of highly-programmable API building blocks, to unlock innovation for our community of builders.”
Duffy points to Pulumi usage data, which he claims shows his firm’s Automation API (which also powers the Pulumi Kubernetes Operator and Pulumi GitHub Actions) lets organizations manage more than ten times the cloud infrastructure resources per engineer when compared to other infrastructure as code tools.
Developers can now select from a library of Pulumi architecture templates that serve as the baseline blueprints for the industry’s most common cloud architectures across AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and Kubernetes. These templates set up infrastructure as code projects that include best practices out-of-the-box, for architectures including containerized microservices, serverless applications, static websites, virtual machines and Kubernetes clusters.
Automatic Cloud Delivery
Developers can select these templates directly in the Pulumi CLI or Pulumi Service console. These templates work with Pulumi Deployments at launch, enabling automatic cloud delivery.
“Legacy older Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC0 tools were not sufficient for us because they lacked the programmability needed to orchestrate complex multi-cloud deployments and workflows,” said Curtis Bray, director of engineering, Fauna, a distributed document-relational database company that delivers its services as a cloud API.
Bray says that his firm’s other pain points include the fact that, “In addition, domain specific languages (DSLs) like Terraform were cumbersome, difficult to use and incompatible with modern software engineering. With Pulumi’s universal infrastructure-as-code approach, we were able to ship a critical new feature faster than before because Pulumi’s programmable model is designed to handle complex, multi-cloud scenarios like ours.”
The takeaway here is clearly underlined by the fact that the technology indusrty is altready talking about cloud computing having ‘legacy’ older Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC) tools i.e. while many organizations may not have deployed cloud to a deeply penetrative level of their business, or indeed embarced a cloud-first approach to cloud-native technologies, we’re already talking about internal component mechanics that are becoming obsolete.
Cloud computing moves fast, cloud infrastructure is currently moving even faster than the upper tier user layer. Watch your step.
originally posted on forbes.com by Adrian Bridgwater
Author’s Statement: I am a technology journalist with over two decades of press experience. Primarily I work as a news analysis writer dedicated to a software application development ‘beat’; but, in a fluid media world, I am also an analyst, technology evangelist and content consultant. As the previously narrow discipline of programming now extends across a wider transept of the enterprise IT landscape, my own editorial purview has also broadened. I have spent much of the last ten years also focusing on open source, data analytics and intelligence, cloud computing, mobile devices and data management. I have an extensive background in communications starting in print media, newspapers and also television. If anything, this gives me enough man-hours of cynical world-weary experience to separate the spin from the substance, even when the products are shiny and new.