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7 infrastructure as code books for IT pros to dig into

Need some reading material? Check out these books on infrastructure as code -- and popular IaC tools -- to pick up some new skills on the IT management practice.

IT professionals can build their skills and deepen their knowledge in a variety of ways, such as by watching videos, following tutorials, taking online courses and reading the right book.

Infrastructure as code (IaC), also called software-defined or composable infrastructure, is a fairly new practice in IT, which codifies the underlying architecture of an IT environment. Developers and IT ops teams can then automate infrastructure management, as well as monitoring and resource provisioning. And while infrastructure code looks a lot like normal scripting, it carries its own unique challenges and nuances that encourage some deeper exploration on how it works and the tools IT organizations use for it.

The following seven infrastructure as code books cover the overall concept, as well as popular tools such as Chef, Puppet and Terraform. These titles are a great way to get any prospective IT infrastructure architect or admin well on their way to mastery.

Infrastructure as Code, 2nd edition

The variety of non-IT organizations taking on IaC continues to increase in tandem with the wildfire spread of cloud computing. This book, written by Kief Morris, principal cloud architect at ThoughtWorks, presents an introduction to IaC concepts and principles for a broad audience of IT professionals. Whether you're a system admin, an infrastructure engineer, a software developer or somewhere in between, this IaC book will guide you through the process to codify and automate infrastructure simply, safely and securely.

This book covers IaC foundations, how to work with infrastructure ecosystems, servers and other platforms, as well as workflows and governance.

This book is available from O'Reilly Media in both print and e-book forms; ISBN: 9781098114671.

Infrastructure as Code (IAC) Cookbook

Written by Stephane Jourdon, CTO and founder of CloudSkiff, and Pierre Pomes, DevOps team leader at Reservit, this is another introductory text on infrastructure as code, arranged in a series of practical issue resolution examples. With this book as a guide, readers will use various tools and platforms to perform important tasks, such as:

  • bootstrapping instances;
  • local and remote environment simulation;
  • automation and testing; and
  • system task builds, tests and debugging.

This book is available from Pakt Publishing in e-book format; ISBN: 9781786464910.

Infrastructure as Code: A Comprehensive Guide to Managing Infrastructure as Code

Independently published in 2019, Austin Young's guide to IaC management explores immutable infrastructure and common misconceptions. The book also ventures through tools, approaches and management models. Readers can expect sections on how to provision and update servers, build new server templates and create reproducible objects.

This book is available in print and digital formats from many booksellers, some of which are listed in Google Books; ISBN: 9781688449510.

The Definitive Guide to AWS Infrastructure Automation: Craft Infrastructure-as-Code Solutions

This book by Bradley Campbell, DevOps architect at Plastiq, takes infrastructure as code into a more specialized territory to prepare readers to work on AWS cloud services -- namely, AWS CloudFormation and the Cloud Development Kit. After an introduction to overarching IaC concepts, Campbell addresses surrounding Amazon tools and services that enable organizations to create composable infrastructure. Additionally, this book covers supporting and integrated tools, such as Troposphere, Sceptre, Terraform and Pulumi, for their respective roles in the AWS ecosystem.

This infrastructure as code book is available in both print and digital formats from Apress; ISBN: 9781484253977.

Terraform Cookbook

Dig into Terraform by HashiCorp -- one of the most popular infrastructure as code tools in the space -- with this book by Mikael Krief, DevOps engineer at Talentsoft. Readers will find example setup templates, called recipes, along with instructions on how to set up an architecture that spans multiple environments, including provisioning and configuration. This text also examines the Azure command-line interface and Terragrunt. With these tools, IT professionals can maintain DRY code -- which stands for "don't repeat yourself," designed to reduce code repetition -- to prepare to experiment and practice the key skills they'll need to get started.

Find this IaC book in both print and digital formats from Pakt Publishing; ISBN: 9781800207554.

Customizing Chef

Another major player in the DevOps automation tool space is Chef, the focus of this infrastructure as code book. Author Jon Cowie, senior manager of customer architecture at Chef, walks readers through Chef's native tools, resources and services to dig into the technology's inner workings. Complete with example code snippets and instructions to customize Chef, this intermediate- to advanced-level text builds on the reader's existing knowledge of Chef and composable infrastructure.

This book is available from O'Reilly Media in both print and digital formats; ISBN: 9781491949351.

Managing Infrastructure with Puppet

To close out the list, this IaC book focuses on Puppet, a software configuration management tool used by a plethora of DevOps organizations internationally. Written by James Loope, owner and director of research at Withywindle, Managing Infrastructure with Puppet dives into how to automate servers via various native and integrated tools and templates to work on Linux, Unix and Windows environments. This book also works with code examples and tangible use cases to teach readers how to execute configuration updates and manage access control.

Although this book is introductory-level for Puppet users, some knowledge of systems administration and Ruby code language basics is suggested to yield the most benefit. Readers can expect to learn about Puppet fundamentals and how to build and define configurations and frameworks, as well as how to use Puppet for auditing and accuracy checks.

This book is available from O'Reilly Media in paperback format; ISBN: 9781449307639.

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