The Future of...

The Future of Digital Infrastructure Will Be Written in Code

Developers play a leading role in driving digital transformation, but the teams that support them have also adopted a code-first approach

Josh Atwell
The Future of Digital Infrastructure Will Be Written in Code

In this era of digital transformation, there are many trends shaping how enterprises deploy and manage their IT infrastructure. Among the most impactful of these trends is the growing role that code and software play in infrastructure management.

In the Equinix vision paper “The future of digital leadership,” we identified three top technology trends that are accelerating the pace and scope of infrastructure change. Among these trends is the idea that the future of IT infrastructure will be developer-led and software-defined. We highlighted this trend because it shows the growing influence developers have in guiding digital transformation within their organizations.

However, it’s equally important to note that modern infrastructure has gone digital, which means that more IT professionals are acting like developers. Even though their job titles might not reflect it, they’re writing code to help manage software-defined infrastructure. Enterprises that can offer this new class of coders the tools and resources they need will be able to accelerate their digital transformations and maximize agility and flexibility across their global business operations.

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What is code, and how does it support workload automation?

If code is no longer the exclusive domain of software developers, then what is it? For our purposes, we’ll use a simple definition: if you’re writing anything where a simple typo could end up breaking business processes, then you are writing code. Today, all types of IT infrastructure professionals—everyone from network engineers to site reliability engineers—must write code in order to do their jobs well.

The main reason people in these roles are using code to manage infrastructure is that it would be impractical, if not impossible, for them to consistently meet today’s demands using manual processes. Today’s infrastructure requirements are more complex, change regularly, and serve a more diverse set of needs. As a result, modern digital infrastructure is frequently paired with a software overlay that makes the infrastructure as quick and easy to manage as the software itself. This is what we at Equinix mean when we refer to “infrastructure at software speed.”

With code, infrastructure management professionals can automate just about any task they may be called on to perform as part of their day-to-day responsibilities. This helps them do their jobs better and faster, while ensuring that key business processes happen when they need to happen and at the speed they need to happen.

How the new class of coders supports infrastructure optimization and agility

Infrastructure APIs, SDKs and integrations with common tools allow IT professionals to automate infrastructure management, rather than performing manual management tasks via the infrastructure console. This helps remove bottlenecks and other constraints, and therefore speeds up the flow of work.

In addition to helping IT professionals do their jobs better, coding redefines what enterprises can accomplish with their digital infrastructure. For instance, enterprises are now able to easily stand up new compute, network and storage capabilities as needed.

...modern digital infrastructure is frequently paired with a software overlay that makes the infrastructure as quick and easy to manage as the software itself."

With a few hours of coding, enterprises can adapt their infrastructure to respond to changing market conditions and customer demands with agility, rather than relying on laborious ticketing systems and long implementation maintenance windows. As enterprises adapt to an increasingly global economy, managing their digital infrastructure via code helps them expand geographically to wherever customer demand may arise.

Empowering coders with the right development tools

Coders are in a position to help their organizations maximize infrastructure agility and thrive in the era of digital transformation. It stands to reason that enterprises should be enabling them with access to the right APIs and other development tools, right when they need them. Since software developers are no longer the only ones writing code, enterprises must make APIs available to a much wider base of employees than they ever have before.

The good news is that the APIs enterprises need are now widely available; they just need to know where to look. Like so many other aspects of the modern digital world, success with APIs depends on being able to effectively step outside the borders of the enterprise. The API economy is defined by sharing across open-source communities and partner ecosystems. By participating in those ecosystems, enterprises can easily find the tools they need to empower coding professionals.

Equinix supports software-defined infrastructure management

Equinix recognizes that software and code will play a vital role in enabling the future of digital infrastructure. As such, we’ve made it our goal to support our customers as they prepare to use this trend to their advantage. By making all our products API-enabled, we’re empowering anyone who writes code to drive digital transformation within their organizations.

With a few hours of coding, enterprises can adapt their infrastructure to respond to changing market conditions and customer demands with agility..."

Since all our industry-leading digital services can be consumed via software, infrastructure management professionals can take full advantage of those services simply by writing code. In turn, they’ll be able to remove any bottlenecks that may stand in the way of them performing their jobs successfully, and manage the underlying infrastructure with the level of agility that today’s enterprises require.

The Equinix API strategy is based entirely on accelerating digital transformation. The graphic below shows how our APIs support transformation across six different components.

In addition, Equinix digital services include support for Terraform, a vendor-neutral infrastructure-as-code engine. With Terraform, infrastructure management professionals can store known good architectures as code, allowing them to deploy infrastructure quickly to enable geographic expansion or redeploy to support disaster recovery efforts. Either way, the infrastructure environment stored in the code is completely consistent from one deployment to another, so there’s no potential for human error.

To learn more about how Equinix APIs can help you access new revenue streams, connect faster, and drive operational efficiency gains, read the Platform Equinix APIs data sheet.

Visit the Equinix Developer Portal for a closer look at everything coders and software developers can accomplish using Equinix APIs.

 

By making all our products API-enabled, we’re empowering anyone who writes code to drive digital transformation within their organizations."
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