DevOps vs SRE (Site Reliability Engineer): Rivals or Companions?


For more than a decade, two concepts – Site Reliability Engineering Vs DevOps- have been existing together in the realm of software development. They might look like competitors but a closer view uncovers that they are actually complementary pieces.

This blog clarifies how DevOps and SRE facilitate developing software, where they cross over, DevOps Vs SRE, and when they can effectively work next to each other. We’ll be discussing over following topics related to site reliability engineer Vs DevOps –

DevOps Vs SRE: Are they the Same?

The two methodologies do the same thing: They attempt to overcome any barrier among development and operation groups. Both target further developing the delivery cycle and accomplishing better product reliability. In any case, prior to jumping further into the difference between SRE and DevOps and the similarities they share, we should recall when and why SRE and DevOps were introduced.

Also Read – DevSecOps Vs DevOps – Which Is Better?


Source: evopsschool

What is SRE?

Site Reliability Engineering or SRE is a software-first approach to deal with IT activities upheld by the set of practices. It began in the mid-2000s at Google to guarantee the wellbeing of a huge, complex framework serving more than 100 billion requests each day. In the expressions of Ben Treynor Sloss, Google’s VP of engineering who coined the term SRE, “It’s what happens when you ask a software engineer to design an operation function.”

The primary focus of SRE is system reliability, which is viewed as the most principal element of any product. The pyramid delineates components adding to the reliability, from the most fundamental (monitoring) to the most developed (reliable product launches).

What is DevOps?

The term DevOps (short for development and operations) was coined in 2009 by Patrick Debois, a Belgian IT expert, and Agile specialist. Its core principles are like those of SRE: use of engineering practices to operate tasks, estimating results, and dependence on automation rather than manual work.

While SRE focuses on keeping operations running and accessible to clients, DevOps intends to cover the whole product life cycle, from design to operations, making all processes ceaseless after Agile approaches. Such start to finish coherence is foremost to lessening time to market and rolling out fast improvements.

DevOps Vs SRE: HOW SRE implements DevOps Philosophies

DevOps portrays what needs to be done to bring synchronization between the development and operation teams. While SRE recommends how this should be done successfully. DevOps culture depends on a few support points that are covered by relating SRE practices.

Five key DevOps points are –

  • No more silos – The idea originates from the way that an absence of coordinated effort and data flow across groups lessens efficiency.
  • Disappointments are ordinary – DevOps prescribes learning from mistakes rather than spending assets on an impossible objective – forestalling all disappointments.
  • The change should be steady – Changes are best and generally safe when they are little and continuous. This pillar is joined with automated testing of little bunches of code and rollback of bad ones underlies the ideas of continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD).
  • Automation – DevOps focuses on automation to convey updates quicker and free up long stretches of manual exertion.
  • Metrics are critical – Each change ought to be estimated to comprehend whether it brings the outcomes you anticipate.

Also Read – Top DevOps Trends That Will Dominate in 2022

SRE put these pillars into practice…….

Create and maintain playbooks Corresponds to “no more silos,” “automate everything”

Playbooks or runbooks are documents depicting indicative methods and ways of reacting to automated alerts. They lessen Mean Time to Repair (MTTR), stress, and the threat due to human mistakes.

Data in playbooks are obsolete when the environment changes. Thus, with regards to everyday deliveries, these aides need day-by-day refreshes too. Taking into account that making great documentation is difficult, some SREs advocate making just broad directions that change gradually. Others demand point by point, bit by bit playbooks to wipe out iregularity.

Corresponds to Failure are normal

The later the blunder is identified, the higher the expense of fixing it. SRE perceives this reality and attempts to take care of issues as soon as possible utilizing the following practices.

  • Rollback early, rollback regularly – Whenever a mistake is uncovered or even suspected in a delivery, the group rolls back first and investigates the issue second. This approach decreases the Mean Time to Recovery (MTTR) – or the normal time expected to recuperate your service from a disappointment.
  • Canary all rollouts – Canary delivery is a strategy to make the rollout cycle more secure. An update is acquainted with a little piece of clients first. They test it and give input. After required changes are made, the delivery is made accessible to everyone. Canary deliveries slice the Mean Time to Detect (MTTD) that reflects how long it normally requires for your group to recognize an issue. In addition, the strategy decreases the number of clients impacted by system failures.

Corresponds to Metrics are critical

SRE doesn’t intend to hit 100% reliability as this objective is impossible to achieve “… 100% isn’t the right reliability quality target, Ben Treynor affirms, because no client can differentiate between a framework being 100% accessible and, suppose, 99.999 percent accessible.” Moreover, after accomplishing a specific level, a further expansion in reliability doesn’t help the framework, confining the speed and recurrence of updates.

Thus, the objective of SRE is to convey adequately great service without compromising the capacity to convey new elements frequently and quickly. This approach ensures the risk of disappointment called the error budget.

Corresponds to More Automation is better

As far as SRE, work is manual, repetitive work without long haul worth and connected with running a production service. Instances of work are

  • regular password resets,
  • manual releases,
  • manual scaling of infrastructure, and,
  • reviewing non-critical alerts

SRE’s guideline is to keep work under 50% of engineers’ work time. When the threshold is surpassed, the group needs to distinguish the top wellspring of work. Then, at that point, engineers develop a solution to automate a few assignments and accomplish a solid work balance. A decent practice is to eliminate a bit of toil every week.

Corresponds to no more silos

SRE uses software engineering to take care of operation issues. All in all, software solutions are made to instruct computers on how to perform IT activities naturally, without human intercession. SRE experts apply the very instruments that engineers normally use and offer liability regarding product success with a software development group.

DevSecOps VS DevOps

DevOps Vs SRE: a team of multitaskers or a cross-functional team

SRE and DevOps roles have become super-significant in many organizations. However, this doesn’t mean everybody concurs upon what precisely SRE and DevOps groups do. Similarly, there is no general portrayal for DevOps and Site Reliability Engineer jobs. Now, we’ll attempt to feature the most fundamental parts of site reliability engineer vs DevOps functions.

Site Reliability Engineer Vs SRE – Team Structure

A common SRE group is made out of either software developers with aptitude in operations or IT operations experts with software development abilities. At Google, such groups are generally a fifty-fifty blend of individuals who have more of a software background or system background. Different organizations structure SRE groups by adding computer programming skill sets and ways to deal with existing operations practices and personnel.

Other than operations and computer programming, areas of experience relevant to the SRE job incorporate monitoring frameworks, production automation, and framework architecture.

All individuals from an SRE group share liability regarding code deployment, framework support, automation, and change management. Furthermore, functions of every individual Site Reliability Engineer might change after some time, contingent upon the current focus point of the group – the development of a new feature or improvement of the framework’s unwavering quality.

Also Read – Top 10 Challenges of DevOps Adoption in 2022

Site Reliability Engineer vs DevOps – Job Roles

Unlike SRE groups where team members are jack of all trades, a DevOps group contains various experts with explicit obligations.

The group structure differs from one organization to another and normally incorporates (however isn’t restricted to) the accompanying trained professionals:

  • Product Owner who sees how the service should attempt to carry worth to clients,
  • Team Lead assigning undertakings across different individuals,
  • Cloud Architect building cloud framework for the smooth running of services underway,
  • Software Developer writing code and unit tests,
  • QA Engineer executing quality techniques for product development and deliveries,
  • Release Manager scheduling and coordinating releases and
  • System Administrator is accountable for cloud monitoring

Obviously, this is certifiably not a comprehensive list of jobs in DevOps. Frequently such a cross-functional group invites a Site Reliability Engineer to guarantee the accessibility of service. Commonly, when SREs function as a piece of a DevOps group, they have a smaller scope of obligations than in completely dedicated SRE groups.

Regardless of the number and background of team members, clearly, DevOps isn’t a job or individual in contrast to SRE. This is the difference between SRE and DevOps when it comes to team formation.

DevOps Vs SRE: When do Organizations Require DevOps and SRE?

Notwithstanding all the overlaps and difference between site reliability engineer and DevOps, one thing is almost certain: SRE and DevOps are not clashing groups, but rather two family members pursuing a similar objective and with the same tools – yet with marginally unique core interests.

While SRE culture focuses on reliability over the speed of progress, DevOps rather highlights agility across all phases of the product development cycle. These two methodologies attempt to track down a balance between two posts and can complete one another as far as techniques, practices, and solutions.

Depending upon their size and objectives, organizations might execute various situations of DevOps, SRE, or even their mix.

SRE groups demonstrated after Google fit huge tech-driven organizations like Adobe, Twitter, or Amazon that handle billions of day-by-day demands and put the accessibility of their administrations prior to anything else.

DevOps culture and cross-functional groups benefit any business working in an exceptionally cutthroat environment, where even slightly shorter time to showcase gives an enormous upper hand. Also, a DevOps group can be fortified with a Site Reliability Engineer to screen framework execution and guarantee its stability. Therefore, we can say that it’s not DevOps Vs SRE, rather, it would be better to say that they are complementary to each other.

A few associations have two groups – SRE and DevOps. The previous is liable for the help and upkeep of existing assistance while the latter makes and delivers new applications.

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