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PlatformOps and its Benefits for DevOps | The Advanced Guide

Gursimran Singh | 04 October 2022

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Introduction to Ops in Development and Platform

Let's begin with understanding what Ops represents for Development and Platform. Firstly DevOps is a set of advanced practices that combines software development (the 'Dev') and IT operations (the 'Ops'). It mainly aimed to minimize the systems development life-cycle times and avail acontinuous deliverywith a high Software Quality, a classical complimentary of Agile development.

Next comes the PlatformOps, but to better understand it, we must first understand the concept of a it. So, a it can be described as a collection of various technologies that various teams use to perform functions that, in turn, rely on computing power aspects. In today's world of cloud-native computing / applications, every team relies on it for core computing, storage, networking, and tools to build and deliver applications that are up to the standards and beyond.

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For such a versatile role and requirement sync up, PlatformOps as a team is responsible for designing, architecting, maintaining, interconnecting, and securing the platform to provide DevOps with what they require for achieving their jobs.

Platform Development is more than just development

The platform operation team is a horizontal team. It is responsible for building a DevOps platform that multiple application teams can use to build products. The above situation rarely occurs in a single product. The global trend over the past decade has been to break it down into massive open-source parts. But we've also seen the opposite trend of merging these capabilities - driven by Atlassian, Microsoft, GitLab, JFrog, and more. Forrester principal analyst Chris Condo, who wrote this article last year, expects "the integration of DevOps tools to continue." Whether these capabilities come from three or fifteen elements, its operations team must deliver the developer experience. Teams must integrate the platform and deliver it as a service to the development team.

And don't forget to maintain it over time—someone needs to host and upgrade non-SaaS components (Jenkins, for example, or the various plug-ins that the DevOps community bestows upon us) and ensure that it continuously works as expected. Eventually, the Platform Ops team is measured by how quickly a new development team can be onboarded and add value to developers' experience over time.

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Scale DevOps with PlatformOps

The Term "PlatformOps" was coined by Gartner (if I recall correctly). Its essence as a concept mainly lies in further scaling DevOps capabilities to the services and product side. More and more specialists keep revolving around this concept now and then, but it's important to remember that "Scale is not achievable if the developers have to reinvent the wheel for it again and again."

Team needs to have itself where it can allow other development teams to reach the point of self-serve with the availability of operational services and tools. This goal can be achieved only by separating the business core from the platform that supports its development in the first place. Inclusive Best practices to provide consistency and reliance enable DevOps to be possible at large-scale enterprises.

Benefits of PlatformOps and DevOps

There are several advantages to having PlatformOps along with DevOps. Some of the major plus points include :

  1. Value-stream delivery with CI/CD.
  2. Infrastructure automation.
  3. Artifact repository.
  4. Monitoring/AIOps.
  5. Alerting and emergency response.
  6. Cloud costs and infrastructure optimization.
  7. Infrastructure and application security.
  8. Secret management.
  9. Metrics.

The above points are more like the core responsibilities of the PlatformOps + DevOps mixture and are rare to be found in a single product life cycle.

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How to balance the interoperability?

PlatformOps proves to be a quite promising solution for handling the over-burdening coagulation of tools available to enterprises today. Its collaborative nature among IT consumers and applications in the enterprises helps them understand the actual needs and drops the actual requests to a smaller choice set altogether. It has its core in the effort to strike a balance between numerous choices and the chaos that lies within each choice. Being able to enable organizations to shift goals while keeping security and reliability intact is the on-point value.

Of course, some companies still allow the application or DevOps teams to choose tools that Platform Ops does not necessarily support. Netflix is ​​known for allowing choices on "unpaved roads" outside of its curated portfolio of tech tools. The stipulation is that teams that choose to travel on dirt roads should support their tools without needing support from Platform Ops, IT, or other DevOps teams.

It is important to note that its operations are not the same as IT integration. While IT integration is typically top-down, it is advisory and bottom-up. Its teams must be evangelists and teachers to ensure that all its users understand why decisions are made and how to make the most of the information on it.

Teams typically come from application development and DevOps teams, so they understand the needs of these teams better than anyone. Its teams also typically write code—for internal tooling or configuration and management—and ultimately use it, they curate. This differs from the usual practice of IT teams specifying solutions but not using them in their work.

The Platform Ops team provides critical information and assessment resources for the new and confusing organization of navigating cloud, cloud-native applications, distributed infrastructure, and shifting left application development and security. This helps the CTO, the CFO, procurement, and audit teams understand the required and likely costs. In this regard, Platform Ops is a neutral broker and is becoming an important channel for information exchange and institutional knowledge.

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Conclusion

The meaning and roles of a PlatformOps team may vary for different organizational structures. Ranging from a team of developmental experts to a well-experienced team of solution architects capable of orchestrating a platform from the ground up to deployments in multi-channel environments and providing a base for maintenance of the whole solution architecture. PlatformOps is ultimately a scalable version of DevOps, and other teams put together to have the best of all aspects. It is a team that provides operational services for the development teams in ways that allow them to go on to the next level of self-service. The final question stands, "Is PlatformOps the best way forward for scaling DevOps? It is likely true… to some extent, and this concept will be more evidently proven with time.