Platform Engineering: The Future of Infrastructure

Cover image for the content on Platform Engineering, featuring a programming developer sitting at a desk with their hands on the laptop. On the table, there is a cup of coffee.
Explore Platform Engineering's role in shaping agile IT infrastructure. Learn about its key tasks and collaboration with DevOps.

Organizational leaders need to be sure that the technical stack of their business is agile. What does this mean? What this means is that your organization needs a platform that makes it easy to store data, run applications, scale up or down in terms of computing power and networks, etc. Platform engineering allows for a robust, flexible, as well as fully automated IT infrastructure you can rely on for your organizational needs.

What is platform engineering?

Platform engineering is the concept of a team that works to design, develop, implement, as well as manage technical platforms the organization relies on. The services and tools put in place by the platform engineering team allow the organization to do things such as run applications, store data, and more. 

Often, platform engineering works closely with the development and operational (DevOps) teams, but they are distinct in their organizational roles.

What do platform engineering teams do?

Platform engineering teams have a major responsibility for the organization in terms of its technological capabilities, stability, and overall performance. Platform engineering teams have the task of designing, implementing, as well as managing a technical platform that allows all the organization’s applications and services to run.

Specifically, these are some of the tasks of a Platform Engineering Team:

  • Development, as well as the maintenance of the infrastructure of the organization’s overall platform. Anything necessary to support the applications and services of an organization, inclusive of storage solutions, networks, servers, and more falls on the platform engineering team.
  • Design, development, as well as the implementation of a deployment and configuration management suite available to the enterprise, along with tools to monitor the system.
  • Management of overall security of the platform, including identity and access management, and certificate management.
  • Capacity management to ensure utilization is on-point and scalability is possible, when necessary.
  • Support technically to allow for operations and development teams to address platform-related issues.
  • Performance optimization via the establishment of metrics, service level agreement, and incremental performance for efficient utilization of servers, networks, and more.

How does platform engineering work?

Platform engineering is a collaborative effort between the platform engineering team and the DevOps team. The goal for platform engineering teams is to understand the needs of the organization today, as well as the needs in the future. A platform architecture needs designing that is going to meet both needs, where you can perform as necessary now, and then scale up or down over time with ease.

Platform engineering is made up of a set of tools and services that make it easier to develop and deploy for every organization. It also has a focus on cost control to ensure efficient use of IT resources. Security is also a focal point, as the platform engineering key is at the forefront of overall IT infrastructure security.

What are the differences between Platform Engineering and DevOps?

Platform engineering and DevOps are two entirely different groups that do complement one another. DevOps is all about bringing together operational teams and development teams to improve the quality of code, speed up application development, and ensure deployments are fast and value-add. Platform engineering puts a focus on the technical platforms necessary for this collaborative development effort to take place.

What are the differences between platform engineering and SRE?

Site reliability engineering (SRE), like platform engineering, puts a focus on the organization’s IT infrastructure. The big difference between SRE and platform engineering though is the goal of the SRE group. With SRE, the goal is availability, resiliency, as well as the opportunity to scale to meet performance needs. SRE works with both platform engineering and DevOps teams, with a laser focus on availability and service quality.

How do platforms support the developer experience?

Platforms support the development experience by making things easier and allowing the DevOps teams to focus on what they do best, developing applications and building out quality code.

Platform architecture aims to reduce the cognitive load of the team, so it will less stressuful to  for a development team to stand up an application on a server, ensure that it will meet the performance needs of users, have storage solutions at the ready, etc.

Developers should be focusing on the quality of code, collaboration with the operational team, and delivery of value-add features. Platform engineering clears the road to allow this to happen, by taking care of the deployment pipeline, tools to support architectural needs, and so on.

Conclusion

Platform engineering is a key cog in the wheel of any successful organization that wants flexibility and scalability rapidly. Organizations that empower platform engineers to take their platform infrastructure to the next level will reap the rewards both short and long-term. 

If your organization has had success with platform engineering, or if you think it is a path you want to go down, reach out to our sales representatives and get the conversation going. 

Platform engineering is something you want to take seriously and start in your organization today!

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