The Kubernetes Current Blog

Self-Service Infrastructure Provisioning for Platform Engineering Maturity 

In April 2023, in time for Kubecon Amsterdam, CNCF Platforms WG (working group) released a Platforms Definition white paper, defining cloud-native computing platforms and their value to enterprises. Now the same group has released a Platform Engineering Maturity Model to help enterprises evaluate their current state and make the most of their platforms. Rafay’s Saim Safdar, Head of Open Source and Developer Relations was closely involved in this exercise providing key insights to the working group around how customers are thinking about and operationalizing Platform Engineering.   This model is a great way to understand best practices around building and running Platform Engineering teams.

What is Platform Engineering?

Platform in this case refers to an Internal Developer Platform (IDP), a developer self-service portal, a developer-experience tool or simply a developer onboarding tool. A platform engineering team’s main goal is to make foundational services that are available as either open source or commercial tooling easily discoverable, readily available in a self-serve manner and more usable using standard interfaces such as API, UI, self-serve portals, Terraform, etc. For more details, refer to Design Considerations for Platform Engineering Teams.

Treat the Platform as a Product

When embarking on the journey of building a platform, it is essential to treat the platform as a product and follow a systematic approach similar to any other product development. The first step is to invest time in thoroughly discovering and understanding the organization’s technological landscape, identifying current pain points and gathering requirements from internal users. Based on these findings, a roadmap for the platform should be defined, setting clear milestones and establishing success criteria for each milestone. Learn more about the “Platform as Product” mindset here.

Rafay Environment Manager

Team Rafay announced Environment Manager during KubeCon Amsterdam earlier this year.

Environment Manager empowers enterprise platform teams to improve the developer experience by delivering self-service capabilities for provisioning full-stack environments. Environment Manager drives seamless collaboration between platform teams and developers by enabling developers to provision modern application stacks from environment blueprints that are curated, tested and continuously managed by platform teams. Environment Manager enhances the developer experience by abstracting the complexity and reducing the time required to provision and access Kubernetes-based environments, while enabling platform teams to operate the same Kubernetes practice that runs in their organization today. Meet us at Kubecon NA at Booth C31.

Rafay’s Contribution to Open Source

Team Rafay is a strong advocate for community engagement and open source.  We donated one of our most loved features in our platform, “Access Management” – Paralus, our open source offering was donated to CNCF as a sandbox project.

Paralus offers access management for developers, architects, and CI/CD tools to remote K8s clusters by consolidating zero-trust access principles such as transaction level authentication and authorization into a single open-source tool.

We are also extremely excited to be a part of The TAG App Delivery that has proven to be an effective community that has managed cross-vendor and industry alignment on emergent topics such as Platform Engineering, GitOps and Operators.

The Platform is Not Just an IDP

As you navigate the complexities of platform engineering maturity, consider how a robust model can help align your organization’s goals and practices with the ever-changing technology landscape.

The platform is not just an IDP or a Backstage deployment or a self-serve portal. Developers are not necessarily the only users of the platform. Platform teams must thoroughly understand all of their internal user personas, and their needs, and develop the right kind of backend and user interfaces for the platform that delivers maximum value to all their internal users.

Platform engineering isn’t just about building infrastructure; it’s about crafting the future of your organization’s technology stack. A strong maturity model guides this journey. It helps you understand where you stand, identify your desired state, and map out the path to get there. By addressing these challenges head-on, you can create a more robust, scalable, and efficient platform.


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