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Reliability Engineering Jobs – For more than a decade, two similar concepts—DevOps and Site Reliability Engineering (SRE)—have existed in the world of software development. At first glance, they may seem like competitors. However, a closer look reveals that the supposed adversaries are complementary pieces of a puzzle that fit together well.

This article explains how DevOps and SRE facilitate the creation of reliable software, where they overlap, how they differ, and when they can work effectively side by side. We hope this information is useful for DevOps professionals, product managers, CTOs, and other executives looking for ways to increase the reliability of their systems without compromising the speed of innovation.

Reliability Engineering Jobs

Reliability Engineering Jobs

In essence, both methodologies do the same thing: they try to bridge the gap between development and operations teams. Both are aimed at improving the production cycle and achieving product reliability. But before we dive deeper into the differences and similarities between the two, let’s think about when and why SRE and DevOps came about.

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Site Reliability Engineering, or SRE, is a unique software approach to IT operations supported by a set of relevant practices. It appeared at Google at the beginning of the 21st century to ensure the operation of a large and complex system serving more than 100 billion queries per day. In the words of Ben Traynor Sloss, VP of Engineering at Google, he coined the term SRE.

Reliability Engineering Jobs

The main focus of SRE is system reliability, which is considered the most important feature of any product. The pyramid below shows the elements that contribute to reliability, from the simplest (control) to the most advanced (producing a reliable product).

Once the system is “trusted enough”. SRE strives to add new features or create new products. It also focuses heavily on tracking results, improving measurable performance, and automating operational tasks.

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Reliability And Maintenance Engineering (emea)

The term DevOps (short for development and operations) was introduced in 2009 by the Belgian IT consultant and agile practitioner Patrick Debois. Its underlying principles are similar to those of SRE: applying engineering expertise to operational tasks, measuring results, and relying on automation instead of manual labor. However, its focus is much broader.

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While SRE focuses on keeping services up and available to users, DevOps aims to cover the entire product lifecycle, creating all processes, from design to operation.

Reliability Engineering Jobs

Another difference from SRE is that DevOps first emerged as a culture and way of thinking that did not specify how to implement its ideas. It is often considered a generalization of basic SRE techniques so that they can be used by a wider range of organizations. Similarly, SRE can be seen as an embodiment of DevOps visions. In the next section, the interaction of these two methodologies is described in more detail.

Sre, Devops And Cloud Studio

In general, DevOps describes what needs to be done to integrate software development and operations. And SRE sets out how to do that. DevOps culture is built on several pillars, which are covered by corresponding SRE practices.

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SRE uses software to solve operational problems. In other words, software solutions are designed to command a computer to perform IT operations automatically without human intervention. SRE professionals use tools commonly used by developers and share responsibility for product success with the software development team.

From the point of view of SRE, work is manual, repetitive work that has no long-term value and is associated with the operation of a production activity. Examples of work

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Site Reliability Engineer Job Description

The SRE principle is to keep work below 50 percent of engineers’ working time. After the limit is exceeded, the team must identify the main source of work. Engineers then develop a software solution to automate some tasks and achieve a healthy work balance. A good practice is to work a little harder each week.

According to SRE, accessibility is a key prerequisite for the success of the system. If your service is unavailable for a period of time, it will not be able to perform its functions. SRE provides three metrics to measure availability and thereby ensure that everything is right.

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1. Service Level Indicator (SLI) is a quantitative measure of system performance. SLI is primary for most services

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. These metrics are typically collected over a period of time and then converted to rates, averages, or percentages.

Reliability Engineering Jobs

2. A service level objective (SLO) is a target range of values ​​set by stakeholders (for example, average request latency should be less than 100 milliseconds). A system must be reliable if its SLI meets continuous SLO.

3. A Service Level Agreement (SLA) is a promise to customers that your service will meet certain SLOs within a certain period of time. Otherwise, the provider will pay a fine. SRE is not directly involved in creating the SLA. However, it can help you avoid missed SLOs and the financial costs that come with them.

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Reliability Engineering Jobs

How To Become A Site Reliability Engineer

The user can distinguish between a system with 100 percent availability and, say, 99.999 percent availability.

Additionally, once a certain level is reached, the system does not benefit from further reliability enhancements, which limit the speed and frequency of updates.

Reliability Engineering Jobs

Thus, the goal of SRE is to provide good enough service without sacrificing the ability to deliver new features frequently and quickly. This approach allows for an acceptable risk of error

Site Reliability Engineer Salary Guide 2023

At Google, the bug budget is determined quarterly based on SLOs. It gives a clear picture of how much risk is tolerated during the quarter. Once the agreed benchmark is exceeded, the team will focus on improving reliability through the development of updates.

Reliability Engineering Jobs

The later in a product’s life cycle a fault appears, the higher the cost of fixing it. SRE is aware of this fact and strives to resolve issues as soon as possible using the following procedures.

Early withdrawals, frequent withdrawals. When a bug is found or even suspected in a release, the team first goes back and investigates the issue a second time. This approach reduces the mean time to recovery (MTTR), or the average time it takes to restore your service after a failure.

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All Canary releases. A Canary release is a way to make the release process more secure. The update will be rolled out to a small number of users first. They will review it and provide feedback. After making all the necessary changes, the release will be available to everyone. Canary releases reduce the mean time to detection (MTTD), which is the time it usually takes your team to discover a problem. In addition, the method reduces the number of customers affected by system failures.

Manuals or manuals are documents that describe diagnostic procedures and ways to respond to automatic alerts. They reduce mean time to repair (MTTR), stress and the risk of human error.

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Entries in manuals are out of date when the environment changes. So when it comes to daily releases, these guides need daily updates. Given that creating good documentation is difficult, some SREs advocate creating only general guidelines that change slowly. Others require detailed step-by-step instructions to eliminate variability.

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Site Reliability Engineer

Google’s SRE workbook recommends implementing automation if the playbook contains a list of commands for engineers to execute under certain alert conditions.

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In recent years, SRE and DevOps roles have become very important in many companies. But that doesn’t mean everyone agrees on exactly what SRE and DevOps teams do. Similarly, there is no one-size-fits-all DevOps and Site Reliability Engineer job description. Below we try to highlight the most important aspects of DevOps and SRE functions.

A typical SRE team consists of software developers with operations experience or IT operations professionals with software development skills. At Google, such teams are usually a fifty-fifty mix of software-backed teams and systems-backed teams. Other companies are building SRE teams by adding software development skills and approaches to existing operations and personnel.

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In addition to operations and software engineering, areas of expertise relevant to the SRE role include monitoring systems, manufacturing automation, and system architecture.

All SRE team members share responsibility for code deployment, system maintenance, automation, and change management. The responsibilities of each individual Site Reliability Engineer may change over time depending on the team’s current direction – developing new features or improving system reliability.

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Unlike an SRE team, where each member is a jack of all trades, a DevOps team has different specialists with specific responsibilities.

Jobs & Career

The structure of the team varies from company to company and usually includes (but not limited to) the following professionals:

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Of course, this is not a complete list of roles in DevOps. Such a cross-functional team will often call in a site reliability engineer to ensure service availability. Typically, when SREs work as part of a DevOps team, they have a narrower scope of responsibilities than full-fledged SRE teams.

Regardless of the number and background of team members, DevOps clearly has less of a role or personality than SRE. However, at the time of writing, there are approximately 25,000 DevOps engineer jobs posted on Glassdoor – compared to 33,000 site reliability engineers who searched on the same website.

Reliability Engineering Jobs

Explore Site Reliability Engineering Careers At Google

A quick check of job vacancies on Glassdoor reveals that the background, responsibilities and skills required for both jobs are very similar. This job seems to be used a lot by employers

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