Home DevOps Platform Engineering vs. DevOps: What’s the Difference?

Platform Engineering vs. DevOps: What’s the Difference?

Platform Engineering vs DevOps

As businesses strive to innovate and deliver software faster and more reliably, new methodologies and roles have emerged. Among these, platform engineering has become crucial. According to Gartner, by 2026, 80% of software engineering organizations will establish platform teams. 

What is all this hype about, and how does platform engineering differ from DevOps? In this article, we’ll define these two closely related concepts, identify their discrepancies, and provide guidance on implementing platform engineering, a potential next step in the DevOps evolution.

What is DevOps?

The key goal of DevOps is to bridge the gap between software development (Dev) and IT operations (Ops) by breaking down silos between these areas, ensuring seamless collaboration. This collaboration facilitates the automation and optimization of software delivery processes.

Traditionally, development and operations teams worked in isolation, leading to communication breakdowns, lengthy deployment cycles, and increased error risks. DevOps addresses these issues by fostering shared responsibility for development and operations tasks.

Key roles of DevOps engineers include:

  • Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD)

DevOps specialists automate build, test, and deployment processes to accelerate software releases.

  • Infrastructure as code (IaC)

Managing infrastructure through code allows for automation and scalability.

  • Monitoring and logging

Implementing robust monitoring and logging tools helps engineers proactively identify and resolve issues.

What is platform engineering?

Platform engineering focuses on designing and building the infrastructure and services that support application development. Platform engineers are the architects and caretakers of this foundational layer, ensuring developers can concentrate on coding without worrying about the underlying infrastructure.

The importance of platform engineering is growing due to modern development’s demands for reliable, automated, and scalable infrastructure. With the rise of cloud computing, containerization, and microservices, the need for platform engineering has become more pronounced. Companies have realized that a robust platform can significantly speed up development and deployment processes.

Responsibilities of platform engineers include:

  • Providing infrastructure

Setting up and managing infrastructure resources, often using IaC tools like Terraform or Ansible.

  • Container orchestration

This includes deploying and managing containerized applications using orchestration tools like Kubernetes or Docker.

  • Network and service mesh

Platform engineers ensure secure and efficient communication between services within the platform.

  • Monitoring and scaling

Implementing monitoring solutions and adjusting infrastructure as needed to meet performance and availability requirements is another crucial part of the work.

What is the difference between DevOps and platform engineering?

From the definitions provided above, one thing is clear: while both DevOps and platform engineering aim to improve the efficiency and reliability of software development and deployment, they focus on different aspects and operate at different levels.

DevOps is about optimizing the entire software delivery pipeline, emphasizing automation, collaboration, and communication. On the other hand, platform engineering is centered on building and maintaining the infrastructure that supports application development. Platform engineers provide tools and services to developers, enabling them to develop, deploy, and operate applications efficiently.

What are the advantages of platform engineering?

In 2009, the world began to talk actively about DevOps, focusing on automating processes between developers and operations and improving communication. DevOps emerged from lean manufacturing principles, aiming to optimize processes at all levels.

DevOps redefined how processes within companies are structured, introducing tools that automate key development and operations processes, such as Kubernetes. However, the increasing cognitive load led to resistance against adopting DevOps practices, paving the way for platform engineering.

Platform engineering accelerates the development process, improves product quality, and reduces costs. The primary goal of platform engineering is to create a robust and versatile platform capable of supporting different development and operational processes. The platform offers developers, operators, and other stakeholders a convenient interface and a set of tools to simplify and accelerate the development, deployment, and maintenance of applications. Transitioning to platform engineering is the next step in the evolution of DevOps. 

6 key stages of platform engineering implementation

Implementing platform engineering requires close collaboration between developers and operations teams. Each company may have its own methodology, so the stages can vary depending on the project’s specifics. Here are the common steps that serve as a guide for building and developing a platform:

  • Requirement analysis

The first step is analyzing requirements and understanding user needs. At this stage, the key functional and non-functional requirements that the platform must support, such as scalability, reliability, and performance, are identified.

  • Architecture design

During this stage, platform engineers define the overall architecture of the platform, including components, modules, and interfaces. It’s important to develop a flexible and scalable architecture that can support the growth and evolution of applications on the platform.

  • Development and testing

After the architecture design, the next step is coding and testing each platform component, including deployment, monitoring, scaling, and resource management. Proper API and interface design is crucial to facilitate the integration of existing applications and simplify the development of new ones.

  • Implementation and deployment

Once development and testing are completed, the platform is ready for implementation and deployment. At this stage, the platform is integrated with existing systems and applications, and is configured to support the required business processes.

  • Support and maintenance

Platform engineering does not end after the platform is implemented and launched. Support and maintenance include identifying and fixing bugs, adding new features, and updating existing features.

  • Monitoring and optimization

Continuous monitoring and optimization are vital parts of platform engineering. By analyzing usage data, issues can be identified, and the platform’s performance, security, reliability, and user satisfaction can be optimized to meet user needs.

To wrap it up

In this article, we’ve outlined the key differences between DevOps and platform engineering, demonstrated why platform engineering is considered the next step in DevOps evolution, and provided an overview of the six key stages of platform engineering implementation.

Understanding and leveraging both DevOps and platform engineering approaches can significantly enhance software development and deployment processes, leading to faster innovation and improved reliability. 

Based on your business goals and objectives, Kanda Software can help your organization with DevOps and platform engineering. 

Contact our team today to be the first adopter of innovative trends and best practices in the industry for streamlining your business processes.

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