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Application software development has evolved significantly in recent years. The monoliths have been split into microservices for improved scalability, maintenance, faster versions, and performance. DevOps has bridged the gap between development and operations teams - now development and operations teams are working together to enhance productivity and accelerate releases.
Policy-as-code is one such change - a concept that entails the definition and application of code to the IT policies. It shares ideas with Infrastructure-as-code together with other DevOps practices such as CI/CD. With Policy-as-code in place, you can write programs to govern security, compliance, and different rules throughout your application's lifecycle.
Infrastructure-as-a-code (IAC) is a natural extension of DevOps ideas and practices, capable of expediting the process of deploying servers and other infrastructure components on public and private clouds. Infrastructure-as-code can help manage your operations environment much like you manage your applications or any code changes for a particular release.
However, you’ll need a lot of effort, appropriate planning, and the cooperation of other teams, including safety and compliance, to implement an IaC successfully. The discrepancies that occur throughout your IaC adoption process can lead to uncertainty about how and where your resources are provided, controlled, and protected, leading to lower productivity.
If you make modifications to the infrastructure independent of the code that is responsible for provisioning it, you may experience considerable drift, which may result in major security concerns if appropriate monitoring is not there in place. Constantly evaluating and communicating your adoption of IaC is key to preventing infrastructure drift and ensuring your security tools are not outdated.
Cloud configurations can change and change often. Organizations manage cloud provisioning changes through infrastructure-as-code (IaC). However, no matter how robust your IaC implementation is, drift is inevitable.
When working on developing web applications, you may frequently need configuration changes to allow your application to adapt to new technologies. To stay ahead in the modern world of IT, it is imperative that your application adapts to new technologies, introduces new features, and meets the evolving needs of businesses.
Organizations can easily manage and facilitate cloud provisioning processes by leveraging IaC to control and manage changes. However, it doesn't matter how your IaC implementation is done - and how the needed changes have been implemented; drift might creep in.
Drift is a state in which the actual state of your infrastructure differs from that defined in your configuration. Drift detection is a feature that enables you to detect drift on an entire stack or a single resource and observe the impact of the change.
Although servers are built and configured consistently, configuration drift can creep in over time. When the configuration changes and is not in sync with a previous value, we call it drift. In other words, drift occurs when a real-life configuration is not in sync with pre-determined build-time states.
Configuration drift happens if you modify the production environment without documenting those changes without verifying if there is complete parity between the staging and production environments before deploying the changes. For example, a configuration drift can occur when someone changes servers in the production environment without recording such changes. The parity between the servers in the production and staging environments goes out of sync.
The best way to mitigate potential risks related to drift is by determining the configuration changes programmatically. You have to understand what has changed compared to the original content and then revert those changes.
Here are the steps that you need to follow to detect and fix drifts in your infrastructure:
Drift in declarative frameworks like Terraform and AWS Cloud Formation is straightforward. However, it is challenging to detect drifts in a Kubernetes environment. Kubernetes does not provide a built-in API for drift detection. If you use Kubernetes, the more you use imperative commands, the harder it will be to detect drifts. You can anyway take advantage of tools like driftctl, Kubediff, etc.
You can take advantage of policy-as-code to automatically implement an organization's best practices, guidelines, and security policies. This can help reduce safety and compliance risks. Organizations can take advantage of Policy-as-code to build self-healing infrastructure.
While provisioning and managing cloud-native infrastructure, it is critical to adhere to security best practices and regulatory standards without impeding development. policy-as-code uses code and automated compliance policies to ensure compliance - an approach that applies to Infrastructure-as-code as well. To avoid drift detection becoming a risk you should have an automated drift detection process in place.
Magalix helps organizations implement governance-as-code across their entire Kubernetes infrastructure. It assists organizations in identifying and securing workloads to fulfill the scalability requirements of cloud-native applications while at the same time allowing for constant change. If you'd like to explore and learn more on enforcing Policy-as-code, you should know how Magalix works.
Prevent Kubernetes NetworkPolicy misconfigurations by enforcing policy as code