In modern application architectures, a management plane sets guardrails for the data plane and control plane.

When deploying cloud-native applications, this management layer enforces common standards, access controls, and policies across distributed environments. The management plane abstracts the complexity of some control plane operations and provides visibility and insight into the application performance. Due to their lack of visibility and gaps in governance, distributed environments expand the threat surface and increase the likelihood of outages.

Data-Control-Management-Three-Planes diagram

Platform Ops teams are incorporating a management plane to enable more agile and developer-centric application development. The management plane is where Platform Ops teams can put transparent guardrails to ensure users don’t hurt themselves or others.

While similar in functionality, the management plane is actually a meta-layer floating above the control plane. This higher layer in the stack is designed to streamline configuration of the control plane for easier scaling, observability, and resilience. It makes it possible to set global policies and necessary configurations that apply across all applications, APIs, and microservices. The management plane can also govern and apply policy by application groups, types, or geolocations. In the era of modern apps, many parties can benefit from a robust management plane – including network operations teams and lines of business (marketing teams, security teams, compliance teams, etc.).

To learn more about benefits of a management plane, read The New Stack article Data, Control, Management: Three Planes, Different Altitudes.

How Can NGINX Help?

In this hybrid and fast-evolving landscape, a cloud-native management solution is needed to effectively connect, operate, and secure a complex portfolio of microservices and applications. At NGINX, we are building a suite of tools to ensure observability, reliability, governance, and security across all three planes.

Contact us today to learn how we can help you deliver modern apps.