What is Infrastructure as Code (IaC)?

Brief Overview of DevOps

If you want to learn the basics of cloud-based software development and have been curious about the term, Infrastructure as Code, this blog’s for you. Let’s start with the acronym DevOps. This refers to the combination of “development” and “operations” and it’s an umbrella term for all of the software development practices for efficient delivery of high-quality, cloud-native software. In short, DevOps encompasses tools for every step of the process, from development to application and deployment.

In addition to DevOps, cloud-native systems use microservices, which are services specifically tailored to one application rather than the broad tools of DevOps. Taken together, these tools allow cloud-based services to have improved speed, agility and faster update and release times. This of course saves precious time, which helps those of us who grind it out every day in the name of drug discovery make discoveries faster.

The Basics of Infrastructure as Code

These cloud native systems are developed to work within a very particular cloud-based infrastructure, and thus it is vital to be able to maintain that consistent cloud infrastructure.

To execute this, a key DevOps practice is Infrastructure as Code, or IaC. IaC allows you to create a script of the infrastructure you need for a given system. When deployed, IaC ensures that your cloud environment is consistent every time, improving performance, reproducibility, and ultimately saving your bioinformaticians and computational biologists lots of time.

Advantages of IaC

A main advantage of IaC is saving time. Without IaC, you would have to manually check the cloud environment you are trying to deploy a software or program in and make changes at the time of deployment. With IaC, this is a single seamless step with deployment, and all adjustments can be made to the source code and applied across all of your cloud environments. A widely used IaC tool is Ansible. It allows you to automate many aspects of deploying infrastructure in a version-controlled system.

As mentioned before, IaC is also critical for reproducible deployments. A consistent cloud environment ensures consistent performance and better outcomes.

Outsourcing Bioinformatic Tasks for your Infrastructure Setup

Building a custom cloud infrastructure may seem like a daunting task, but working with service providers like Bridge Informatics is a great option. We can support you in many ways. One is by designing and building your cloud-based infrastructure. If needed we also specialize in writing custom pipelines for genomic data processing and analysis. Our goal is to save you time by making your data infrastructure setup more efficient and cost effective. Book a free discovery call with us if you’re interested in outsourcing your bioinformatic needs with Bridge Informatics.

Dan Ryder, Founder & CEO, Bridge Informatics

Dan is the founder of Bridge Informatics, a greater Boston-based consulting firm that focuses on bioinformatics and software development. Experts at Bridge Informatics can help you build tools for life science with a focus on data mining, machine learning, and various bioinformatic techniques to discover biomarkers, drug targets, and companion diagnostics. If you’re interested in reaching out, he can be contacted at dan.ryder@old.bridgeinformatics.com.





Illustration of computers and servers linked with clouds, hardware and computing tools to depict cloud computing, pipeline development and bioinformatics analysis.

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