Managing cloud assets can be a tough job, a fact known by tech leaders all over the world. Even with new tools and methods like GitOps, this problem remains.

Think about this:

your tech team has to follow strict rules that stop any changes to your Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC), unless they match GitOps practices or established change management processes. The result? Unhappy developers.

What we really need is a way to keep a constant check on cloud assets and IaC, much like we keep track of our systems.

As we start using IaC and enjoy its benefits, the concept of everything-as-code helps us to be more flexible and aware. This also allows for automatic fixes without making everything too rigid.

By always comparing real cloud assets with their ideal state – as decided by IaC and GitOps – we can quickly spot and deal with issues.

Managing Cloud issues

But let's be honest:

Problems and incidents are bound to happen. It’s not wise to think that changes at the cloud console during an outage, say at 2:00 A.M., are impossible.

A rigid approach means a developer has to wait for approval to make changes during a serious incident. Often, these happen late at night or over weekends – as if planned by some mischievous force.

The issue of cloud drift is as important as uptime or any other key part of a business. Therefore, we need to keep track of drift in real-time, like we do for CPU and load. This way, we can be alerted when your cloud and IaC start to differ. We can also spot issues that can be fixed in real-time, automate ticket creation, and decide if this is something that needs immediate attention, or if it can be fixed later. The power of decision should be with you, not some distant manager with little knowledge about the systems and their impact on the business.

Some solutions suggest turning your cloud into IaC and then locking it down, claiming you’ll never have to adjust it again. This would mean giving up on adding new cloud assets or changing your cloud configurations. But, the cloud is always changing.

Managing Cloud changing

Given our cloud’s dynamic nature, shouldn’t our tools be just as adaptable? Tools for the fast-paced, cloud-native era must keep checking for new and changed assets, and make sure their cloud infrastructure always follows policies and rules.

By finding the right balance between flexibility and control, we can enjoy the benefits of speed and safety – key features of top teams, as highlighted by the DevOps Research and Assessment (DORA) time and time again. Automating cloud asset management can bring governance, policy following, and control, while still allowing for speed and flexibility that modern tech organizations need.

Some say they aren’t worried by cloud asset configuration drift as they have everything under control. No changes can be made without going through GitOps and strict change management processes. Sounds like a dream for developers, right? Not quite!

The question then is:

The question then is: how can you provide a free infrastructure for your developers while following policies and rules for compliance, risk, and cost? The answer exists.

The solution is in real-time continuous checking of your cloud assets and IaC. This constant comparison can quickly highlight issues. Emergencies will happen. It’s foolish to think you’ll never have to change something at the cloud console during a crisis, or expect a developer to wait for approval when production is down at 3:00 A.M. on a weekend. We must deal with crises.

Enter Finisterra.

Finisterra is a powerful SaaS platform made to make cloud governance easier and better. By connecting your AWS cloud environment and Terraform code repositories and states, Finisterra gives you full control and visibility over your Infrastructure as Code (IaC) deployments.