If you think of DevOps as a train, infrastructure is the track that the train runs on. According to David Williams, vice president of product strategy at Quali, when you think of infrastructure, you typically only think of common aspects such as the storage, compute, and network — but it is so much more. 

“It contains the IDE, the development environment, the tools that are used through the whole toolchain, the databases, the testing tools. I mean, the list goes on,” Williams said in a webinar on SD Times. “Each one of these..in itself is an amalgamation of many other subcomponent levels and the options that you have to choose.”  

Being able to effectively understand and manage all the infrastructure components is what can take mature DevOps practices from being solely a product or development tool to a powerful business transaction tool, Williams explained. 

“Infrastructure has always been an underpinning part of IT, but it is becoming massively sophisticated and you need to understand what it is actually you are doing to support the product you are developing,” Williams stated. 

But dealing with infrastructure comes with many problems. For one, it’s assumed that it is just always going to be there. According to Williams, people don’t usually think about the planning or the development of infrastructure; they assume it will just be built, managed and used.  

To understand what is going on, first DevOps teams need to understand all the challenges:

  • Stacks are becoming more complex and diverse with different needs and different requirements
  • Teams have different prioritizations or goals, so infrastructure needs to support multiple people and roles
  • As more changes happen, the amount of resources and risk also increases
  • An application could be geographically spread across different clouds and environments   
  • The more infrastructure management that is required, the less time there will be to do the testing, coding, and managing of operations

Watch the full webinar here and learn how you can get over these challenges and improve your DevOps initiatives with infrastructure lifecycle management.