I’ve run across many teams who are in the same place I was a few years ago, people who are using cloud, virtualization, and automation tools, but haven’t got it all running as smoothly as they know they could.

Much of the challenge is time. Day to day life for systems administrators is coping with a never-ending flow of critical work. Fighting fires, fixing problems, and setting up new business critical projects doesn’t leave much time to work on the fundamental improvements that will make the routine work easier.

My hope is that this book provides a practical vision for how to manage IT infrastructure, with techniques and patterns that teams can try and use. I will avoid the details of configuring and using specific tools, so that the content will be useful for working with different tools, including ones that may not exist yet. On the other hand, I will use examples from current tools to illustrate the point I make.

The Infrastructure as Code approach is essential for managing cloud infrastructure of any real scale or complexity, but they’re not exclusive to organizations using public cloud providers. The techniques and practices in this book have proven effective in virtualized environments, and even without any virtualization.