Towards a holistic market of infrastructure automation tools

The role of software management in operating infrastructures is increasing; automation, cloud, and software-defined networking boost the speed and security of operations. The DevOps philosophy already offers a set of practices and tools that combine software development and IT operations to shorten the development life cycle and provide continuous delivery. However, there is a need for tools to manage the whole life cycle of infrastructure as code (IaC), with a special focus on trustworthiness and security aspects throughout the IaC life cycle. The EU-funded PIACERE project will develop the tools, techniques and methods to allow organisations to develop and operate IaC through DevSecOps practices as they would do with traditional code.

Project Objective

In this era of virtualisation, the abstraction of underlying hardware resources and the prominence of tools for infrastructural automation have been key enablers for the deployment of distributed services at scale. The growing role of software in managing infrastructures and the DevOps movement, focused on the automation of infrastructure management, are targeting the challenges of increasing speed and quality of infrastructure management, thus lowering costs and enhancing security and trustworthiness. However, the market of infrastructure automation tools is fragmented, there is no single one to manage the whole lifecycle of infrastructure as code (IaC) and existing solutions do not address all trustworthiness and security aspects throughout the whole lifecycle. PIACERE will develop tools, techniques and methods enabling organisations to fully embrace the IaC approach through the DevSecOps philosophy. PIACERE will provide the first Integrated Development Environment (IDE) to develop and verify IaC. Exploiting Model-Driven Engineering (MDE), the IDE will enable developers to create infrastructural code at an abstract level. Using the novel DevOps Modelling Language (DOML), the DevOps team will generate IaC for different languages and verify its correctness at model and code level along with the corresponding security components. The IDE is one part of the complete workflow and will be supported with: 1) a canary environment to aid the simulation of the conditions of the production environment allowing the early identification of potential vulnerabilities and 2) an IaC execution Environment to automatically deploy, monitor and ensure that the conditions are met, incorporating self-healing and self-learning features. The integration, security first and IaC polyglotism arm the DevSecOps teams to treat and work with IaC as they do with traditional code, simplifying the design, development and operation of IaC, while increasing their productivity, quality and reliability

We’re proud to feature the PIACERE project as one of our Project Spotlights.

PIACERE Project Spotlight