Site Reliability Engineering – SRE is a software engineering approach in IT system. Well, even a person not from the field of IT can easily guess the aspects of this approach. SRE teams are the modern, advanced operations team with much more knowledge and skills to tackle the ever-changing IT market.
Before the rise of SRE, operations teams used to manage, solve and overlook operations and productions tasks and systems, often manually. With today’s demands breathing down the neck, doing things manually just doesn’t cut it anymore.
“Necessity is the mother of all inventions”
As the world rapidly became dependent on software systems, the demand for highly scalable, efficient and highly reliable software systems was obvious. Ben Treynor Sloss from the Google engineering team is credited for coming up with the concept Site Reliability Engineering.
This separate branch brought forward the vital role of Site Reliability Engineer.
SREs v/s Operations Team
What do SREs (Site Reliability Engineers) do differently than the conservative Operations team?
It’s simple, they have upgraded the systems to rule out the manual grind by turning to Automation while adding other much needed aspects as well.
While Operations teams used to struggle for streamlining the systems while making sure the output stays reliant. This often didn’t work in an efficient way but now the need is for much more.
Site Reliability Engineers have created the pillars of Standardization and Automation in building the SRE Model that helps them enhance and automate operations tasks while balancing the new and old features and ensuring reliability to the end users.
The SRE model supports growth and reliability in the working of whole software system.
What does a SRE do?
SREs are responsible for deployment of code, configuration and monitoring, as well as the availability, latency, change management, emergency response, and capacity management of services in production.
The role of Site Reliability Engineer is special with a background in software development along with some operations experience OR an IT operations role with some development skills.
The SRE model helps to determine what new features can be launched and when by using service-level agreements (SLAs) to define the required reliability of the system through service-level indicators (SLI) and service-level objectives (SLO).
Now comes an important query,
SRE v/s DevOps
To people who have some knowledge about the working of different IT systems, SRE and DevOps might sound similar or even confusing. But it’s pretty straightforward,
DevOps (development + operations) is a special, highly intricate system with various aspects especially created to deliver increased business value and responsiveness through rapid, high-quality service delivery. It combines the two major components of IT – Development and Operations. Both of which need to work in sync to deliver high value to consumers.
The SRE model is the implementation of the core concept of DevOps. Both are not opposite in nature. If DevOps is the boat then SRE is the oar to take it forward.
Site reliability engineers bridge the gap between development and operations in DevOps culture by applying a software engineering mindset to system administration topics.
Both SRE and DevOps have one common goal – to deliver services faster, better and more reliable.
Career as a SRE
Passionate for IT systems and development? Then SRE could be the career of your choice. If you have interests in the field of development as well as IT systems management then SRE combines both of your interests into one job role! Isn’t that great?
However, you must develop the understanding of all components required in the SRE model.
Depending upon on your background there are different types of SREs,
If you have a software engineering background, your focus as an SRE would be to provide internal tooling and create tools to support engineers and the platform. These SREs love building tools keeping the business need in mind. You must develop the knowledge to provide means for holistic solutions that applies at organization level.
If you have system engineering background, you focus is to develop reliability and check and troubleshoot performance issues. Areas of working and expertise, various approach change when it comes to Site Reliability Engineer.
If you are looking to step into this field, sit with yourself and decide and differentiate your core interests.
What are your primary strengths and passions?
What is the secondary field you would opt for as a Site Reliability Engineer?
The answers will lead to clarity and peace of mind as a career path.
But one thing is for sure, there is an increasing need for SREs in the IT market. The present and future demands have turned it into a crucial job role. Just like all companies are opting for DevOps to make their systems better and efficient, more and more companies are being aware for the need of reliability in their platforms. This is where the SREs save the day!
As an SRE you could have a specialized area of expertise and that can be a feather in your hat. Experts in SQL servers, strong networking knowledge or experience in observability area or testing pyramid have a benefit to work with organizations whose core operations depend on these areas.
Benefit of Flexibility and Choice
That’s the coolest thing about SREs, you have the benefit to choose your field and even opt for overlapping areas. It all comes down to how skilled you are. Your skills will showcase your work and the benefits come rolling in. You even have the flexibility to shift, build, automate or manage. Anything that peaks your interests or brings out your true talent can be opted in the field of Site Reliability Engineering.
We hope this has helped you further your career path; DevOps University is committed in helping you develop the skills for a rewarding career path. Visit our website to know more