This level represents a system in which the concepts of Infrastructure as Code are utilized, including the principal of using a declarative approach. We refer to this type of automation as policy-based automation.
Some characteristics of this type of automation are:
- Creates definitions using a high-level descriptive language in machine-readable files
- Maintains machine-readable files under version control.
- Performs deployments and configurations using a Continuous Configuration Automation (CCA) tool.
- Avoids (for the most part) manual deployments and configurations.
- Improves consistency throughout the environment because humans are removed from the deployment and configuration process.
- Improves accountability throughout the environment because changes can be easily tracked.
- Organizational resiliency improves because the human intelligence required to perform deployments and configurations is captured in machine-readable form.
- Reduces the labor requirement for day-to-day operations.
- Requires new skills to create and test definition files.
- In many cases, the organization has embraced new operational patterns (DevOps).
- In many cases, the organization has embraced new design patterns (such as Cloud Native, Microservices).
Take away: This level is best summed up by invoking the Cattle vs. Pets proposition.