How to Leverage a Platform Engineering Team to Enable DevOps Culture

How to Leverage a Platform Engineering Team to Enable DevOps Culture

Due to the shift to the cloud, experts predict that the job outlook for platform engineers is likely to grow in the coming years. According to GitLab, companies are looking for platform engineers to boost their DevOps strategy and culture that have familiarity with Kubernetes, infrastructure as code, containers, and container orchestration. 

DevOps environments often require a platform engineering team to support the strategic, technological, and cultural changes within the organization. Platform engineering is the process of constantly innovating and providing best practices for implementation, tools, and automation. Sounds similar to DevOps, right? That’s because platform engineering and DevOps work hand-in-hand to support novel engineering innovations such as microservices and container orchestration to accelerate pipeline releases.

In this article, we’re diving into the benefits of leveraging a platform engineering team to enhance a DevOps culture in your organization.

How a Platform Engineering Team Supports the Adoption of DevOps Technologies

DevOps technologies are great when it comes to platforms that can be deployed as a single application bringing together all disparate technologies. However, someone needs to be in charge and “own” that platform in order for it to be worthwhile. This is where platform engineers come in. A platform engineering team serves as the point of contact between development and operations teams ensuring that all three departments execute the value of DevOps. Consequently, platform engineering teams take ownership of platforms like the ionir Data Services Platform for Kubernetes.

Instead of manually configuring infrastructure, a platform engineering team can speed up DevOps processes and reduce chances of error with infrastructure as code (IaC). Let’s take a look at an example of the ionir Data Services Platform for Kubernetes. Platform engineers helping in the adoption of the ionir Data Services Platform for Kubernetes, use IaC to deliver high-speed persistent data to Kubernetes applications. Essentially, it doesn’t matter where data is stored, platform engineering teams have access to data in 40 seconds or less. 

What’s the Big Difference Between a Platform Engineer and a DevOps Engineer?

As a platform engineer, your job is to make sure the following components work together as a single, integrated whole: 

  • Front end
  • Content delivery and scalability
  • Cloud services
  • Business logic
  • Security and auditing
  • Physical databases

This is a different role than a DevOps engineer. DevOps engineers are responsible for the entire infrastructure of the platform, not just a specific application in that platform. Consider the example of creating a new website. If your goal is to host a new website, you need DevOps engineers to develop the platform’s infrastructure. However, when it comes to building and maintaining the system for hosting a new website, you’ll need a platform engineering team to ensure all functionalities are operational.

Will Your Organization Benefit from a Platform Engineering Team?

One of the main challenges or causes of concern for implementing a platform engineering team is the fear of creating more silos when the purpose of DevOps is to bridge the gap between departments with stellar communication and practices. However, platform engineering teams actually help developers speed up the deployment of releases keeping security top of mind when it comes to operations. For instance, platform engineers oversee, manage, and monitor platforms like ionir and other technologies bridging the gap between technology and the DevOps team. 

In fact, platform engineering teams are most beneficial for companies that have legacy on-prem systems and are looking to switch to cloud services. This is because platform engineers will take data and other infrastructure from a company’s on-prem hardware and move it to the new cloud platform for faster and easier data delivery and access. On the other hand, newer organizations that started on the cloud won’t have as many hardware and software gaps to fill in. Therefore, if your organization doesn’t have legacy hardware systems, you might not need a platform engineering team. 

Final Thoughts

Essentially, platform engineers help organizations with on-prem and cloud systems shift their infrastructure to the cloud. In doing so, the platform engineering team’s primary responsibility is to operate a platform — like ionir — that enables self-service development and operation systems with reduced lead time and complexity. Basically, platform engineering teams set up the self-service infrastructure and supporting tools so that delivery teams are still responsible for what they deploy onto the platform. 

The team at ionir prides itself on its capability to incorporate all of the above into its Data Services Platform for Kubernetes. For an in-depth look into the ways ionir can maximize the DevOps culture in your organization, begin your free trial of the platform today.

We’re going to KubeCon!

KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America 2021 will bring together more than 20,000 technologists from thriving open source communities to further education around cloud native computing. Maintainers and end-users of CNCF’s hosted projects – including graduated projects: containerd, CoreDNS, Envoy, etcd, Fluentd, Harbor, Helm, Jaeger, Kubernetes, Open Policy Agent, Prometheus, Rook, TiKV, TUF, Vitess and incubating projects: Argo, Buildpacks, CloudEvents, CNI, Contour, Cortex, CRI-O, Dragonfly, Falco, Flagger, Flux,  gRPC, KubeEdge, Linkerd, NATS, Notary, OpenTracing, Operator Framework, SPIFFE, SPIRE and Thanos – along with other cloud native technologies will gather in-person in Los Angeles, California, and virtually October 11-15 – sharing insights around and encouraging participation in this fast-growing ecosystem.

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