Separated Application Engineering and Operations (AEO) and Infrastructure Engineering and Operations (IEO) with Centralized Governance - Operational Excellence Pillar

Separated Application Engineering and Operations (AEO) and Infrastructure Engineering and Operations (IEO) with Centralized Governance

This “Separated AEO and IEO” model follows a “you build it you run it” methodology.

Your application engineers and developers perform both the engineering and the operation of their workloads. Similarly, your infrastructure engineers perform both the engineering and operation of the platforms they use to support application teams.

For this example, we are going to treat governance as centralized. Standards are distributed, provided, or shared to the application teams.

You should use tools or services that enable you to centrally govern your environments across accounts, such as AWS Organizations. Services like AWS Control Tower expand this management capability enabling you to define blueprints (supporting your operating models) for the setup of accounts, apply ongoing governance using AWS Organizations, and automate provisioning of new accounts.

“You build it you run it” does not mean that the application team is responsible for the full stack, tool chain, and platform.

The platform engineering team provides a standardized set of services (for example, development tools, monitoring tools, backup and recovery tools, and network) to the application team. The platform team may also provide the application team access to approved cloud provider services, specific configurations of the same, or both.

Mechanisms that provide a self-service capability for deploying approved services and configurations, such as AWS Service Catalog, can help limit delays associated with fulfillment requests while enforcing governance.

The platform team enables full stack visibility so that application teams can differentiate between issues with their application components and the services and infrastructure components their applications consume. The platform team may also provide assistance configuring these services and guidance on how to improve the applications teams’ operations.

As discussed previously, it’s critical that mechanisms exist for the application team to request additions, changes, and exceptions to standards in support of teams’ activities and innovation of their application.

The Separated AEO IEO model provides strong feedback loops to application teams. Day to day operations of a workload increases contact with customers either through direct interaction or indirectly through support and feature requests. This heightened visibility allows application teams to address issues more quickly. The deeper engagement and closer relationship provides insight to customer needs and enables more rapid innovation.

All of this is also true for the platform team supporting the application teams.

Adopted standards may be pre-approved for use, reducing the amount of review necessary to enter production. Consuming supported and tested standards provided by the platform team may reduce the frequency of issues with those services. Adoption of standards enables application teams to focus on differentiating their workloads.