University of Twente Student Theses


Infrastructure as code : towards dynamic and programmable IT systems

Naziris, Sotirios (2019) Infrastructure as code : towards dynamic and programmable IT systems.

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Abstract:The manual installation and configuration of IT systems has been a tedious and time consuming process that created several challenges to the engineers during the maintenance and management process of the IT systems. The introduction of cloud computing in combination with the rise of the virtualization technology have managed to address some of these challenges. However, these virtualized cloud systems are followed by a huge portfolio of new tools and platforms that are difficult to learn and maintain. As a result, organizations started investigating the software-defined technology as a new and effective way to meet these new standards and serve the constantly increasing demand of the industry. The software-defined technology describes every part of an IT system that can be performed entirely by software, ranging from the infrastructure to the deployment level of an IT system. The goal of this research project was to investigate the software-defined technology and suggest how it can be used in order to improve the static IT infrastructure of an organization. The literature study of this research focuses on the concepts and the available software-defined tools at each layer of an IT system. Based on the knowledge acquired from the literature study, a reference architecture of the infrastructure and the network layer of a generic software-defined system was proposed that describes the interconnections between the different software-defined concepts. The next step was the design of a software-defined system that uses specific tools and technologies, and is based on a specific list of requirements. The requirements were formed by studying the needs of an actual mission critical organization. The final step was the validation of the design, which was performed by conducting a series of semi-structured interviews with seven industry experts. The validation results showed that the software-defined technology can improve the scalability, upgradability and documentation of an IT system, but the proposed design involves high levels of complexity, which might affect the performance and the required learning curve of the system. Overall, the interviewees acknowledged the potential of this technology and mentioned that its current maturity is inadequate for mission critical systems. Based on these remarks, a list of recommendations and several aspects that require additional future research are included in this thesis.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:54 computer science
Programme:Internet Science and Technology MSc (60032)
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