Site reliability engineering involves the method of applying software engineering strategies to IT operations, and it is becoming a crucial resource in narrowing the gap between developers and IT operations.
Tasks previously performed manually by IT operation teams are handed over to a dedicated SRE team that uses software and automation to manage production systems and solve problems.
The main goal of SRE is to create scalable and highly reliable software systems. SRE uses software engineering techniques, including algorithms, data structures, performance, and programming languages, to achieve highly reliable web applications.
The concept of site reliability engineering is credited to Ben Treynor Sloss of the Google engineering team.
The founder, Ben Traynor, describes the SRE in the interview as:
"Fundamentally, it's what happens when you ask a software engineer to build an operations function… So SRE is essentially doing work that has traditionally been done by an operations team but using software engineers and banking on the fact that these engineers are both predisposed to and capable of substituting automation for human labor."
Importance of Site Reliability Engineering
Today almost every company is using technology in some way. Even if you're running a local hotel business, you are using technology for call routing, reservation bookings, and menu updates. If your website goes down, you potentially lose reservation bookings to one of your competitors.
In this case, the hotel owner is not only losing a booking but is likely paying someone to maintain their website and fix the issue, which may cost the owner even more money. This is just a simple example that shows the importance of providing a reliable online presence.
For major market players, site reliability engineering has become the most crucial component in running their day-to-day operations. Businesses like Google, Amazon, and Flipkart may lose trillions of dollars if their systems go down even for a minute. To curb such situations, organisations are using SRE to ensure redundancy and a seamless customer experience. Solutions such as monitoring, automation for capacity planning and scaling, and disaster response planning can be added to the SRE playbook.
Many businesses are still not aware of the advantages of site reliability engineering in terms of IT performance metrics and revenue generation.
Benefits of Site Reliability Engineering
Creates Observability into Service Health
Out of any team within the organisation, site reliability engineers have a better understanding of how everything in the system is connected and how they work. They know how to track metrics, logs, and traces across many different services in the organisation to generate a holistic picture of system health, providing them the perspective they need when an incident occurs.
If an incident occurs, the observability is already in place, so the on-call responders can find the context, enabling them to resolve issues more quickly.
Modernization of the Network Operations Centers
Network operations centers have relied heavily on repetitive human labor to identify problems and alerts coming into the system and determine how to route them to the right person. Site reliability engineers streamline these processes with automation and machine learning, creating a process where specific alerts are automatically sent to the person responsible for fixing the problem. Any flaws are found and fixed quickly and efficiently.
Bridges the Gap Between Developers and Operations
Site reliability engineers bridge the gap between developers and IT operations by introducing automation and improving communication that benefits both teams.
Site reliability engineers also give developers more freedom to create innovative software solutions and help teams find a balance between releasing new features and ensuring that they are reliable for users.
More Time For Creating Value
Site reliability engineers can provide a more efficient system for finding and resolving errors, saving a great deal of time for development staff and giving them the freedom to focus on creating new features and upgrades.
At the same time, operations teams will have more time to drive configuration, testing, and upkeep. In other words, site reliability engineers can ensure that skilled IT staff have fewer distractions from creating value and driving productivity.
Better Customer Experience
Site reliability engineers set clear targets for meeting customer expectations by employing metrics like Service Level Agreement (SLA), Service Level Objectives (SLO), and Service Level Indicator (SLI). This will result in more dependable products and considerable ROI gains.
In recent years site reliability engineering has grown in importance and become one of the most popular software programs to regulate systems, troubleshoot issues, and automate the operational process.
IDC Technologies, with its team of professionals, has been helping organisations elevate their development and maintenance processes by successfully implementing SRE principles and other best practices.
Adopting site reliability engineering in your business will give you the upper hand in today's competitive industry.