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Infrastructure Pipeline Is A Game Changer For Infrastructure As Code | Rob Hirschfeld

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Guest: Rob Hirschfeld (LinkedIn, Twitter)
Company: RackN (Twitter)
Show: Let’s Talk

According to Rob Hirschfeld, CEO of RackN, Infrastructure Pipeline is a connected set of principles that run to the end, in order to configure infrastructure. Some even consider it to be CI/CD for infrastructure.

Infrastructure Pipeline fits into the Infrastructure as Code (IaC) by making it easier to connect 10, 15, or 20 different systems together and being able to automate that process, or (as Hirshfeld describes) “sort of coupling together or gluing together all of the other infrastructure automation pieces that they had to do from an end-to-end perspective, that is what was game changing.”

Another important thing Infrastructure Pipeline adds is the ability to use the same components and pipelines over and over by simply adding extensions so they can map to a specific environment to easily reuse it.

As to what projects are available to help with IaP, Hirschfeld mentions Digital Rebar, Terraform, and Ansible.  Hirschfeld also addresses the always-important idea of best practices when he says, “This is really about connecting systems together and I think one of the common mistakes people make in looking at an infrastructure pipeline, just like we used to do with CI/CD pipelines, is assume that you have to have an end-to-end process to get started.”

Hirschfeld continues, “Really what we’re talking about doing is connecting together more and more things so that an infrastructure pipeline could start in the middle of your process.” Hirschfeld also has this bit of advice to add, “People really shouldn’t think that they’re not succeeding at an infrastructure pipeline if they only have two components automated; they should look at it as, ‘How do I improve it?'” He then concludes, “And that act in itself is a big lift because you might find that adjacent teams aren’t talking the same language or using the same tools, or if they’re not, they don’t have to use the same tools, but they might not be handing off information to each other in ways that are smooth or designed to be adaptable.”

The summary of the show is written by Jack Wallen

Topics we covered in this show include:

  • Intro to Infrastructure Pipeline
  • So if you look at IaC, where does the pipeline come into the picture?
  • Can you also kind of elaborate the importance of using Infrastructure Pipeline?
  • Is this Infrastructure Pipeline a concept, a process, or is it also a stack of technology?
  • What kind of projects are there to help with the Infrastructure Pipeline?
  • How much discussion are you seeing already going on around in future plant, or is this concept relatively new?
  • If somebody wants to get started with an Infrastructure Pipeline, what resources are there? What is the best place to look at? Can you share some best practices too?
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