The Future Is Platform Engineering

Dave Morrissey Thumbnail
Dave Morrissey
Published February 27, 2023

Modern infrastructure has become so complex that developers and other users are struggling to keep up. They’re being asked to manage more moving parts than they have the knowledge or resources to handle. For some, this challenge slows down the development cycle. For others, it can result in accidental errors with big consequences, such as security issues or infrastructure configuration drift.

As organizations look for ways to accelerate application delivery while mitigating risk, platform engineering is emerging as a better and faster developer experience that can scale. Engineering platforms offer self-serve access to secure, validated, and reusable tools and workflows designed specifically for the development teams who will use them, increasing productivity while providing operational guardrails for security and stability.

Gartner expects that by 2026, 80% of software engineering organizations will establish platform teams as internal providers of reusable services, components, and tools for application delivery. The users of these engineering platforms may be developers, data scientists, or end users. Ideally, the platform will improve cooperation between these users and teams who manage and operate IT infrastructure.

What is Platform Engineering?

An engineering platform provides templates alongside vetted tools, components, images, and services to help developers operate within pre-set guidelines. The platform gives them the autonomy to do their work, but it also removes the need for them to manage delivery pipelines and infrastructure, making it harder to inflict accidental damage. A complete platform also includes security and compliance built into the templates to reduce the burden on developers being asked to “shift left.” Reusable tools and processes backed by automation also increase both the efficiency and consistency of development.

For success, the platform engineering team should:

  • Follow a product development process as they design and engineer the platform for their users.
  • Understand both the development and operations sides of the organization to build a solid interface between developers and back-end systems.
  • Design as a cloud-native platform to better support the cloud-native applications that will be built with it.

Security is Essential to Platform Engineering Success

The growing number of applications, increasingly complex environments, and rapidly changing threat landscape make security challenging. But the right tools can make it easier to deliver apps on-demand that are protected from attackers and always available when needed. Integrating security into your CI/CD pipeline and automation tools, as well as across your cloud services, will ensure the integrity and performance of your applications to provide great customer experiences.

Protecting your cloud environment and expanding application portfolio requires a multi-pronged approach. Solutions must integrate not only with your cloud infrastructure but also with themselves for seamless management and shared intelligence. In addition, effective security that supports your cloud journey requires:

  • Broad security protection for a variety of threats and environments.
  • Declarative interfaces that support automation.
  • Flexible consumption models that align with business priorities.

Secure Your Platform Engineering with F5

F5 supports all of these platform engineering requirements and more, with solutions built for the cloud to block threats without disrupting development or your customers.

Broad security protection

F5 secures enterprise applications wherever they live in a multi-cloud environment, protects against advanced threats, including automated bots and layer 7 attacks, and provides needed visibility into your infrastructure as well as containers. We help you not only block known threats but also identify suspicious behavior that should be blocked—without disrupting workflows or causing user friction.

Declarative interfaces

F5 solutions have been designed with declarative interfaces that let you build intent-based actions and scale platforms with automation and infrastructure as code (IaC). Unlike imperative API calls, a declarative interface lets you specify what you want to do while the system figures out how to accomplish it. This reduces the level of infrastructure expertise required to support self-service and automation, which aligns with the goals of platform engineering.

Flexible models

F5 has also invested in a broad array of flexible commercial models to align its services with your consumption needs. Every organization has its own unique infrastructure and desired outcomes, and F5 can match the platform, automation, and declared interface capabilities needed to support each digital transformation journey, even operating on a per-app basis.

F5 solutions help you secure your cloud infrastructure to support accelerated application delivery and reliable operations. While platform engineering helps your development teams get to market faster, F5 helps operations teams ensure a secure and compliant infrastructure, no matter the complexity.

To learn more about the F5 and AWS technology alliance, related topics such as security and bot defense, and how you can take your business-critical apps to the cloud with confidence, go to: