What is a Platform?
A platform is a system that includes software and hardware to provide a specific service for business applications such as logging, runtime, messaging, integration, and deployment. A platform supports the lifecycle of an application from testing, configuring, deployment, and automation.
Platforms can be grouped based on the workload and type of service they provide for your resources; for example, automation platforms provide you with the tools to run and deploy your application, and a messaging platform provides the means for your applications to communicate internally or externally, a runtime platform provides you with the environment and sandbox for running and testing your business applications, and monitoring platforms provides you with the means for collecting and visualizing application logs and metrics.
What is Platform Engineering?
Platform engineering is a developing discipline that enables software engineering teams to build, design, run, and manage workflows to boost developer productivity and accelerate the deployment and delivery of applications.
What Platform Engineering Teams Do?
Platform engineering teams provision, plan, and manage platforms. They plan, text, run and execute new platform technologies for business needs. Provisioning a platform depends on deploying infrastructure resources like servers, instances, and clusters. Once a platform is provisioned, platform engineering teams will manage the platform based on availability, security, and cost.
The process of building and managing a platform consists of deploying and automating infrastructure resources and enabling developers to self-service their delivery process using reliable tools and workflows.
Provisioning, Building, and Managing Platforms
In provisioning and managing platforms, there are some key factors platform engineers take into consideration when building and managing platforms :
In platform engineering, they make sure that every system and application is secure and protected from vulnerabilities. They use tools like RBAC, Firewall, and NAC(Network access control), which help to prevent unauthorized operations and restrict network access based on a person's role within an organization and have become one of the primary methods for advanced access control.
Platform teams are responsible for ensuring all the services, applications, and resources on the infrastructure are running smoothly as they should be. They make sure that the capacity and performance of the infrastructure are monitored and that the right and adequate resources are always available to the applications.
Redundancy and Disaster Recovery
Platform engineers ensure fast and reliable recovery for your cloud-based workloads and applications. With redundancy and disaster recovery, this helps prevent events like application errors, sudden failures, and ransomware.
Cost Control and Saving
Platform engineers plan, analyze, and optimize application consumption costs by identifying the core services and areas that need to be scaled, rearchitected, implementing serverless, shutting down during off-peak hours, and adopting other best practices.
Platform engineering with Automated Workflows
Tooling and automation are one of the essential things for improving productivity and efficiency because automation promotes self-service and autonomy by limiting reliance on other teams. Platform teams provide CI/CD tooling and automation that supports developers throughout the entire lifecycle of the application.
At the early stages of the feature or product lifecycle, platform tooling and automation facilitate the running, building, and publishing of artifacts such as docker containers or libraries. With the help of platform engineering, the tools and automated workflows will handle the setup and process of building, deploying, and publishing your applications, images, and artifacts. Automated workflows enable teams to perform checks before provisioning a resource.
Platform engineering benefits software teams and organizations by removing bottlenecks from the development and deployment process. With this, teams can respond to incidents much faster when resources are up and running on developer platforms.
Internal Developer Platforms (IDPs)
Platform Engineering is about creating internal developer platforms for internal usage enabling developers to self-service their workflows. IDP is a self-service platform and a collection of tools, development stacks, services, and automated workflows that make it faster to debug and deliver products across the organization. IDP enables developers to be self-sufficient by preventing blockers on application needs. Self-service workflows through IDP also increase productivity, increase deployment frequency and converge the actuarial state into the desired state.
Platform teams play a key role in ensuring that application features and bug fixes are delivered faster to customers. Platform engineering makes the system much more reliable by constantly improving and managing infrastructure through monitoring and automation.
With the increasing rise in building internal developer tools and scaling software delivery processes among platform-implemented companies, more organizations are attracted to it as it enables developers to optimize their business needs, ship products faster, and improve customer satisfaction. Organizations can use platform engineering to increase collaboration, deploy code faster, more quickly, and reliably. If you are ready to improve your organization's speed and stability with platform engineering, start by signing up for a free CTO.ai account to see how our Developer Control Plane can help you enhance efficiency with automation and achieve faster throughput in front of your customers.