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What Is Platform Engineering, And What Makes It Different?

by : OpSourced Support Team
November 20, 2022

You’ve probably heard the term platform engineering mentioned a lot recently. Platform engineering is a relatively new term that has been garnering a lot of attention, and rightfully so.

There are subtle differences between platform engineering and DevOps. These differences mainly come from their primary focus, how the process is presented, and implementation strategies. But as experts in the DevOps space, Platform Engineering is the next clear evolution. If you’re looking for a partner to help with your DevOps needs, understanding the differences can help you decide which provider will be the best fit for your needs.

With over 15 years of DevOps experience, OpSourced’s DevOps engineers are well-versed in all aspects of software development. Our DevOps as a Service package combines platform engineering, SRE, and DevOps and offers custom consulting that can be built around your business’s needs.

What Is Platform Engineering?

Platform engineering is managing and optimizing the software delivery process to enable increased self-service capabilities. This benefits both SRE and DevOps supporting all aspects of software development. The end goal is to create a product that’s easy to use even with limited-to-no knowledge of the underlying infrastructure.

Platform engineering focuses on creating and implementing reliable and reusable tools, self-service capabilities, and automated infrastructure. This can improve developer productivity while also making platforms more usable for non-developers.

Our DevOps consultants at OpSourced are experts in defining and architecting effective tooling and automation that are essential to your business’ success. Creating automated and self-service capabilities helps clients who are unfamiliar with more complex infrastructure and best practices and makes it easier to take ownership of their platform once our contracted work is complete.

How Are Platform Engineering, DevOps, and SRE Different?

Software development terms might leave you wondering what the difference between DevOps, SRE, and platform engineering is. Although the terms are interrelated, they mean slightly different things.

Site reliability engineering (SRE) is a term that was originally used by Google and has become an industry standard for explaining how sites are maintained. SRE typically includes altering and monitoring practices and focuses on service-level objectives that are built into systems and later SRE platforms.

DevOps is a set of practices and methodologies that combines software development and web operations. DevOps practices and methodologies act as the backbone of the infrastructure and workflows, giving more power, flexibility, and visibility to Developers and SRE teams alike. DevOps practices also support quicker developer iterations by making more frequent deploys faster and safer for all members of the team.

Platform Engineering
Platform engineering is typically used to describe a combined approach using all DevOps practices. Platform engineering focuses on building automation and management tooling around every layer of the infrastructure, deployment, and visibility tooling to the degree that it becomes simple to orient and manage for anyone in your organization while limiting the surface area for undesirable or accidental outcomes. Think of the simplicity of installing an application on windows or mac, or looking at the level of resource usage that application has. Platform engineering brings that level of simplicity to your cloud deployed applications.

Although there are similarities between platform engineering, SRE, and DevOps, there are also elements that differentiate them from each other. However, we believe there should be less of a focus on comparing platform engineering vs. DevOps vs. SRE and more of a focus on how the different aspects can work together.

At OpSourced, we use DevOps best practices in all of our projects, combining the best of DevOps, SRE, and platform engineering aspects learned from our long history of building and supporting infrastructures and clients. While the industry is always developing new terms to explain what we do, platform engineering has been part of our services for over 15 years.

Do You Need Platform Engineering?

By using DevOps best practices to build out a solid set of workflows and automation around your business needs, you free up your team to concentrate on the important business of focusing on your customers. At the end of the day, that’s the most impactful thing they can be doing, and any time spent struggling with antiquated systems and processes or bogged down by the friction of navigating complicated cloud management systems is time stolen directly from your customers. Let us help you implement your own Platform Engineering and DevOps practices in your organization.

OpSourced offers all of these services and more through our DevOps as a Service and DevOps Consulting packages. Our services are tailored to fit your specific needs and preferences.

Contact us today to learn how our combined approach can help optimize your infrastructure and set your company up for overall success.

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