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Getting Started with BACK Stack: Revolutionizing Platform Engineering

In the ever-evolving world of software development, agility, efficiency, and collaboration are paramount. The BACK Stack is a robust reference architecture transforming the internal developer platform landscape. This solution unites Backstage, Argo CD, Crossplane, and Kyverno, offering a holistic solution for platform engineering built using proven CNCF open-source projects. But what makes the BACK Stack so essential, and how can organizations leverage its capabilities?

The Rise of Platform Engineering

The concept of platform engineering has gained traction as enterprises increasingly recognize the need for a shared, robust foundation for software development. Platform engineers play a crucial role, juggling design, implementation, and evolution of platforms to meet diverse requirements. The BACK Stack fits perfectly into this scenario, providing a unified and adaptable framework.

The Components of BACK Stack

  • Backstage: An extensible portal that centralizes access to essential tools, enhancing workflows and collaboration.
  • Argo CD: Implements GitOps, automating continuous delivery and ensuring codebase synchronization.
  • Crossplane: A universal control plane that streamlines infrastructure provisioning across multiple cloud providers.
  • Kyverno: Integrates security into development by enforcing policies and automating governance.

The Need for a Reference Architecture

In a world where technology and requirements change rapidly, a reference architecture like BACK Stack is invaluable. It provides a standardized, scalable approach to platform engineering, reducing complexity and eliminating the need for disparate, siloed tools. By harmonizing development practices, BACK Stack empowers organizations to optimize resources, enhance security, and streamline the development lifecycle.

Getting Started with BACK Stack

Step 1: Understanding Your Requirements

Before diving into BACK Stack, assess your organization's specific needs. Understanding the problems you aim to solve helps to tailor the BACK Stack effectively. Consider what level of platform engineering maturity your organization has achieved. The BACK Stack is ideal for those at level 2 or above.

Step 2: Familiarizing with the Components

Get to know each component of the BACK Stack. Explore the functionalities of Backstage, Argo CD, Crossplane, and Kyverno. This knowledge will be crucial in integrating these tools into your workflow.

Step 3: Setting Up the Environment

Prepare your environment by following the instructions here. Ensure you can access the necessary cloud environments and permissions to install and configure these tools.

Step 4: Installation and Configuration

Follow the quickstart documentation available for detailed installation and configuration guidelines. Start by setting up Backstage and integrating Argo CD, Crossplane, and Kyverno.

Step 5: Experimentation and Customization

Experiment with different configurations and integrations once the stack is up and running. You can use various cloud providers, deploy add-ons to your spoke clusters, and configure security policies. Customize the tools to align with your development workflows and requirements.

Step 6: Training and Adoption

Encourage your development teams to familiarize themselves with the BACK Stack. Start with built-in workflows such as clusters-as-a-service or namespace-as-a-service. Offer training sessions and resources to ensure a smooth transition and adoption.

Step 7: Continuous Evolution

Stay updated with the latest advancements in each component of the BACK Stack. BACK Stack project will continuously evolve to leverage new features and improvements.


The BACK Stack represents a significant leap forward in platform engineering, offering a unified, cloud-agnostic solution that simplifies and streamlines the software development lifecycle. By embracing this reference architecture, organizations can foster a more collaborative, efficient, and secure development environment. Begin your journey with BACK Stack today and revolutionize how you build and manage internal developer platforms.

Reach out on the #backstack channel on the CNCF Slack with any feedback or questions!