Applying Platform Engineering Principles to Networking

Platform engineeriing

By: R. Scott Raynovich

We’ve arrived at a crossroads in IT and networking operations. The arrival of cloud programming and service deployment models has changed the way applications are built and delivered to end users. Cloud-based infrastructure has proven to be more agile, scalable, and automated than traditional enterprise infrastructure.

In the cloud world, engineers have demonstrated how to connect continuous development and continuous deployment (CI/CD) to automated infrastructure scaling using techniques such as Infrastructure as Code (IaC). In the world of complex enterprise infrastructure, it’s not that simple. New technology and business processes are needed to drive automation into heterogenous and enterprise infrastructure. Most organizations still have a large installed base of traditional infrastructure, and the “lift and shift” approach has proven untenable. Most organizations are looking for ways to leverage the operational model of the cloud and marry that to existing installed infrastructure, yielding a hybrid infrastructure.

Enter platform engineering for networking.

What is Platform Engineering?

Platform engineering has entered the discussion as a potential solution to managing complex, heterogeneous environments and migrating them to modern, cloud-based architectures. At its highest level, think of platform engineering as an abstraction that can help standardize business processes and automation, connecting applications and services to infrastructure.

Platform engineering means helping IT and DevOps teams build a standardized set of products and services that can be consumed in an organization. If the platform contains a standard set of tools, services, and a place to manage them, it not only speeds up adoption by teams, but it provides centralized compliance and security as well.

But what About Networking?

Platform engineering holds the promise of delivering on this goal — but it won’t work if it doesn’t include networking, which is key to the entire infrastructure. Without more automated networking operations, the platform engineering won’t deliver the agility of the cloud operations model.

Networking must be used to connect any domain, whether it’s traditional enterprise, cloud, or hybrid. Multi-cloud, automated networking will be needed to deliver the connectivity needed to deliver modern, cloud-native applications along with traditional enterprise apps — but unfortunately networking is often left out of the discussion in the infrastructure planning stages.

In this research brief, we’ll outline the key steps that are needed to deliver networking components to platform engineering, as well as practical ways to get started.

Download the Leadership Brief now !

This Leadership Brief will cover:

  • How platform engineering for networking can facilitate and automate the delivering of networking services for any application, on any platform.
  • How platform engineering can be used to improve the overall developer experience with networking.
  • How more automated networking capabilities, married to platform engineering, can speed delivery of scalable, reliable and secure products & services.
  • Key capabilities of networking for platform engineering, including 1. API-driven networks; 2. programmability; 3. modular design.

Download the Leadership Brief now !