Developers are most effective and add maximum value when they can focus on their core responsibilities, such as problem solving or building software, applications and tools to facilitate the specific aims of the business.
Moreover, development operations derive great benefit when developers are relieved of the burden of mundane, onerous, repetitive tasks that are required in terms of security, infrastructure deployment, monitoring and maintenance. When this happens, developers are able to channel their expertise into building new functionality and driving innovation without compromising standards or security.
In response to challenges faced by developers, the concept of platform engineering has arisen as a compelling solution, and one being adopted more and more by large organisations with great results. It leads to higher standards being consistently achieved. In essence, platform engineering is a way to design and build internal developer platforms (IDPs) to facilitate developer self-service as well as standardisation by design for software engineering entities in today’s cloud-first era.
An IDP is made up of a host of different technologies, tools and processes that support and accelerates software development, while still ensuring the underlying infrastructure is managed properly. This shift in focus also ensures that development teams remain agile, responsive and productive, which in turn, leads to dramatically accelerated time-to-market for new products.
The rise of platform engineering
Platform engineering serves as a cornerstone for efficiency and innovation in the contemporary software development landscape, for several reasons. Firstly, through the adept handling of underlying infrastructure, platform engineering, in tandem with IDPs, assures an optimised, dependable and scalable environment, that can be thought of as a sturdy foundation supporting myriad applications.
In addition, emphasising a “code everything” philosophy, it facilitates swift and error-free deployments and operations, reinforcing the notion of an era where automation is indispensable.
Similarly, at a fundamental level, platform engineers construct a unified environment by integrating diverse tools and services, promoting seamless operations and synergies among various software components. IDPs act as a conduit for this integration, facilitating the harmonious coexistence of tools and services within the ecosystem. Their role is essential when it comes to providing a centralised platform for continuous integration and delivery.
Also, through judicious resource management, platform engineering maintains a balance between elasticity, efficiency and performance, ensuring optimal resource utilisation without compromising industry regulations and policies. IDPs enhance this by offering a standardised, automated platform for deploying and managing applications, thereby ensuring regulatory compliance is maintained.
A host of benefits
One of the most obvious benefits of platform engineering is that these teams take responsibility for managing the underlying cloud infrastructure. This enables developers to focus on core development activities, resulting in heightened productivity and faster delivery of new features and functionalities.
Repetitive tasks such as creating databases, repositories or microservices can be automated, which notably speeds up time to launch for developers.
Platform engineering teams establish standardised processes, workflows and tool chains that streamline the software development lifecycle. By providing pre-configured, reliable environments and tools, developers can work far more efficiently and collaborate seamlessly, reducing friction and bottlenecks.
By empowering developers with a robust platform and freeing them from non-value-added tasks, platform engineering enables faster iteration cycles, reduces time spent on maintenance and improves overall development speed. This sped-up time-to-market enables entities to seize business opportunities as they arise, stay one step ahead of competitors and respond to customer needs with alacrity.
Businesses can ensure that best practices, testing, and security measures are automated across the full development cycle by adopting a platform engineering approach. Conceptual infrastructure with security and quality controls built into the platform enable developers to guarantee that their code meets even the most stringent standards, which in turn boosts the overall reliability and security of the software.
Another plus is that this is delivered via auditable infrastructure as code that can be utilised using APIs, plugins or templates. All of this can be measured by looking at the change failure rate, as well as the mean time to recover.
Although mature and innovative entities have been migrating legacy systems to the cloud for more than ten years by now, a wide range of the early migrations were ill-thought-out lift and shifts to the cloud which ultimately no real benefits. In many cases, it even caused the cost of hosting to soar, and the complexity of managing these old systems to increase dramatically.
Specialist expertise in cloud and container orchestration, Kubernetes and infrastructure as code can significantly improve the outcomes of these legacy migrations. Also, when done well it unlocks massive benefits such as service discovery and scaling.
Newer organisations, or those that were ‘born in the cloud’ from day one, do not have to contend with these hurdles. However, their older counterparts are waking up to the fact that the most efficient and effective way to tap into these benefits is by forming platform engineering teams to manage all the underlying infrastructure, freeing up legacy system developers to continue focusing on their traditional skill sets.
A critical strategy
Whichever way you look at it, platform engineering has emerged as a critical strategy for organisations seeking to enhance their development practices and gain a competitive edge in the market.
Through the creation of IDPs, developers are freed up to use their innovative skills where they matter the most and enhance productivity, optimise workflows and facilitate a more rapid time-to-market.
About LSD Open
LSD Open was founded in 2001 and wants to inspire the world by embracing OPEN philosophy and technology. LSD is your cloud-native acceleration partner that provides managed platforms, leveraging a foundation of containerisation, Kubernetes and open-source technologies. We deliver modern platforms for modern applications.
About Red Hat
As the leading provider of enterprise open source software solutions, Red Hat offers a broad portfolio of IT solutions. The company’s signature products, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform, enable businesses to leverage the power of open-source technology and give them the means to expand their IT capabilities and explore new product and market opportunities. Red Hat is committed to collaborating with open-source communities to develop software that takes industries forward, and is reliable, secure and innovative. For more information, visit www.redhat.com or follow us on LinkedIn, X or Facebook.
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