SRE, leveraging operational data and software engineering to automate IT operations tasks, and accelerating software delivery while minimizing IT risk
Site reliability engineering (SRE) uses software engineering to automate IT operations tasks – e.g. production system management, change management, incident response, even emergency response – that would otherwise be performed manually by systems administrators (sysadmins).
The principle behind SRE is that using software code to automate oversight of large software systems is a more scalable and sustainable strategy than manual intervention – especially as those systems extend or migrate to the cloud.
SRE can also reduce or remove much of the natural friction between development teams who want to continually release new or updated software into production, and operations teams who don’t want to release any type of update or new software without being absolutely sure it won’t cause outages or other operations problems. As a result, while not strictly required for DevOps, SRE aligns closely with DevOps principles and can play an important role in DevOps success.
Maintaining 100% availability isn’t the goal of SRE. “Instead, the product team and the SRE team select an appropriate availability target for the service and its user base, and the service is managed to that SLO. Deciding on such a target requires strong collaboration with the business.”
Toil is tedious, manual, work. SRE doesn’t accept toil as the default. “We believe that if a machine can perform a desired operation, then a machine often should. This is a distinction (and a value) not often seen in other organizations, where toil is the job, and that’s what you’re paying a person to do.”
SRE aims to reduce boundaries. “Ideally, both product development and SRE teams should have a holistic view of the stack—the front-end, back-end, libraries, storage, kernels, and physical machine—and no team should jealously own single components.”
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