Build Systems that Drive Business
30–31 Oct 2018: Training
31 Oct–2 Nov 2018: Tutorials & Conference
London, UK

Building evolutionary infrastructure

Kief Morris (ThoughtWorks)
14:0017:30 Wednesday, 31 October 2018
DevOps and SRE
Location: Buckingham Room - Palace Suite
Secondary topics:  Systems Architecture & Infrastructure
Average rating: **...
(2.89, 9 ratings)

Prerequisite knowledge

  • Familiarity with an IaaS platform and infrastructure stack management tools
  • No knowledge of AWS and Terraform required

Materials or downloads needed in advance

  • A laptop with Vagrant and Virtual Box installed (useful but not required)
  • An AWS account

What you'll learn

  • Explore patterns and examples of Terraform projects using pipelines, automated tests, and loosely integrated stacks to enable a continuous flow of changes and improvements


People are adopting dynamic infrastructure technologies like the cloud, containers, and serverless so that they can easily make changes to their systems. Defining infrastructure as code should make systems consistent, reliable, and easy to manage, but an infrastructure codebase can easily become a complicated, fragile mess that is scary to change.

In order to routinely change, extend, and improve infrastructure, teams need to have confidence that changes will work correctly and that the impact of failures is low and easily corrected. This creates a virtuous cycle of continuously improving the quality of the systems. Teams can gain this confidence by applying appropriate design patterns and implementation practices.

Kief Morris shares patterns and examples of Terraform projects using pipelines, automated tests, and loosely integrated stacks to enable a continuous flow of changes and improvements. These patterns—which have been used at clients across the financial services, retail, public sector, and media industries—ensure that any part of the infrastructure can be easily rebuilt, minimize the “blast radius” for a given change, automatically validate changes for correctness, security, compliance, and other operational and architectural requirements, and structure projects to enable multiple people and teams to work on systems while minimizing coordination overhead.

Topics include:

  • The role of different types of tools and technologies in an evolutionary infrastructure
  • Implementing automated infrastructure testing and validation
  • Designing pipelines to deliver changes across environments and into production
  • Handling data and configuration in a system where infrastructure is dynamically rebuilt, expanded, and contracted
  • Advanced patterns for structuring and integrating infrastructure projects and pipelines in larger systems used by multiple teams
Photo of Kief Morris

Kief Morris


Kief Morris (he/him) is cloud practice lead at ThoughtWorks and the author of the upcoming O’Reilly book Infrastructure as Code. Kief works with organizations to understand how to take advantage of the cloud, infrastructure automation, DevOps, and continuous delivery to become more effective at delivering IT services. Originally from Tennessee, Kief moved to London in the dot-com days and has been there ever since.

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Petri Enden | IT OFFICER
9/11/2018 10:09 GMT

Are the slides available anywhere?