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«Terraform: Up & Running»

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Yevgeniy Brikman, «Terraform: Up & Running, 2nd Edition», O'Reilly Media, 2019.

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned in my career is that most large software projects fail. Whereas roughly three out of four of small IT projects (less than $1 million) are completed successfully, only one out of ten large projects (greater than $10 million) are completed on time and on budget, and more than one third of large projects are never completed at all.

This is why I always get worried when I see a team try to not only adopt IaC, but to do so all at once, across a huge amount of infrastructure, across every team, and often as part of an even bigger initiative. I can’t help but shake my head when I see the CEO or CTO of a large company give marching orders that everything must be migrated to the cloud, the old datacenters must be shut down, and that everyone will “do DevOps” (whatever that means), all within six months. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I’ve seen this pattern several dozen times, and without exception, every single one of these initiatives has failed. Inevitably, two to three years later, every one of these companies is still working on the migration, the old datacenter is still running, and no one can tell whether they are really doing DevOps.

If you want to successfully adopt IaC, or if you want to succeed at any other type of migration project, the only sane way to do it is incrementally. The key to incrementalism is not just splitting up the work into a series of small steps, but to split up the work in such a way that every step brings its own value—even if the later steps never happen. – Chapter 8. How to Use Terraform as a Team

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