The Digitalist Team
April 14, 2022

The relationship between DevOps and Site Reliability Engineering

“What is the difference between DevOps and SRE (Site Reliability Engineering) and which one should I opt for?” 

This is one of the main questions that IT organizations ask when considering these two philosophies. While there are considerable differences between the two, are we really bound to choose only one of them?

In this article, we are going to explore the relationship between SRE and DevOps in great depth. We will elaborate on their differences while exploring how they should cooperate with each other within a smooth system, and what is the real question organizations need to ask themselves regarding these approaches.

Let’s start at the beginning…

What is DevOps?

DevOps is the compound of development and operation with the purpose of creating value for the customers. This methodology uses a set of practices that aim to shorten the software development lifecycle by speeding up the delivery and increasing the quality of the software at hand. Software development, IT operation, and quality engineering teams are using automated processes and a set of silos to be able to respond to customer requests in a more flexible, agile, and adaptable way.

What is SRE (Site Reliability Engineering)?

Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) is a software engineering approach aiming to automate IT operations tasks. SRE teams are using different software solutions to solve emerging problems, manage production systems, or automate operational tasks like change management or incident response. In a nutshell, the goal of SRE is to automatically handle those tasks that are otherwise conducted by system administrators. 

DevOps vs. SRE

There are many people who opt for only one of the two solutions. However, today we will argue in favor of using both of them at the same time. As a matter of fact, SRE can be an essential component of DevOps, while a properly implemented DevOps method leads to the necessity of Site Reliability Engineering when it comes to the question of deployment. To tell you the truth, they are actually the two sides of the same coin.

The major difference between SRE and DevOps

In order to understand how SRE and DevOps can work together in a flawless system, first, let’s look at their differences.

DevOps is about core development, which answers the question of “what do we want to do?”. The DevOps team is working together with marketing, sales, and the product team in order to find out how to create a solution that best responds to the demands of the market. 

On the other hand, SRE is working on the implementation, the deployment of the core. In ideal circumstances, the SRE should give back feedback to DevOps regarding the product they’ve designed and developed. The objective of SRE is to help DevOps break down their silos even more.

Therefore, we can say that while DevOps constitutes the theoretical part of software development, SRE is the practical party involved in the equation.

Even though they are working in contrasting ways, SRE and DevOps should always have the same goal. They should never be aligned against one another.

What happens in case of failure?

Failure is part of life. No matter how hard we work, we cannot fully eliminate failure from the process. Every company has a so-called “failure budget” or an “error budget”, which determines how big of a misstep it can handle. What happens within the organization in such a case, determines whether the company is working or not.

Let’s explore how SRE and DevOps should work together in case of a technical mistake.

  1. Ideally, the SRE team can identify a problem before it happens, thanks to their logging, monitoring, and predictive analytics efforts. As a result, SRE is responsible for mitigating some aspects of the emerging failure with the use of logging, monitoring, and preemptive measures. At the same time, they should take on post-failure incident management and lead RCA (Root Cause Analysis).
  1. After this, SRE should send this RCA data back to DevOps to open a ticket because DevOps will be the one to resolve the actual problem. There are some cases when the SRE team can tackle failure management completely, though instances may emerge when they find a problem that only software developers can fix.
  1. As a response, DevOps should create a new feature that answers to the identified failure. After sending this new feature back to SRE, it is the responsibility of the SRE team to incorporate it into their monitoring and logging efforts to make sure the company eliminates the possibility of another RCA situation.

Now you are able to see how DevOps and SRE are actually the part and parcel of the same bunch and how they are able to smoothly work together to fix critical situations.

Differences and similarities in everyday responsibilities

Based on the differences between the two methodologies, it becomes obvious that hiring managers and team leaders should look for distinct skill sets and capabilities when it comes to hiring new SRE or DevOps members.

DevOps and core development team members are the ones who really love writing codes and finding solutions to problems. On the other hand, being an SRE team member requires an investigative mindset and a keen eye for finding where things have gone wrong.

Although, there is a lot they have in common. Every IT team member should write and use automation to get rid of the toil as much as possible. While computers can’t think on their own, yet, they are unbeatable when fulfilling repetitive and monotonous tasks. 

When looking at SRE and DevOps from an automation point of view, we can soon realize that they can use the same technologies to resolve, speed up and raise the effectiveness of distinct duties. DevOps is going to automate features, deployment, and tasks, while SRE is responding to redundancy in the same manner.

Conclusion

When we are talking about DevOps and SRE, choosing one over the other is not the real question. The ultimate questions organizations need to respond to are “how do we build DevOps?”, “how do we build SRE?”, and “how do we get them talking to each other?”.

At the end of the day, if you don’t get your SRE and DevOps team to communicate and work with each other, you are going to have silos on both sides, while getting rid of the silos is the real solution to getting more successful.

No items found.
April 14, 2022

The relationship between DevOps and Site Reliability Engineering

“What is the difference between DevOps and SRE (Site Reliability Engineering) and which one should I opt for?” 

This is one of the main questions that IT organizations ask when considering these two philosophies. While there are considerable differences between the two, are we really bound to choose only one of them?

In this article, we are going to explore the relationship between SRE and DevOps in great depth. We will elaborate on their differences while exploring how they should cooperate with each other within a smooth system, and what is the real question organizations need to ask themselves regarding these approaches.

Let’s start at the beginning…

What is DevOps?

DevOps is the compound of development and operation with the purpose of creating value for the customers. This methodology uses a set of practices that aim to shorten the software development lifecycle by speeding up the delivery and increasing the quality of the software at hand. Software development, IT operation, and quality engineering teams are using automated processes and a set of silos to be able to respond to customer requests in a more flexible, agile, and adaptable way.

What is SRE (Site Reliability Engineering)?

Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) is a software engineering approach aiming to automate IT operations tasks. SRE teams are using different software solutions to solve emerging problems, manage production systems, or automate operational tasks like change management or incident response. In a nutshell, the goal of SRE is to automatically handle those tasks that are otherwise conducted by system administrators. 

DevOps vs. SRE

There are many people who opt for only one of the two solutions. However, today we will argue in favor of using both of them at the same time. As a matter of fact, SRE can be an essential component of DevOps, while a properly implemented DevOps method leads to the necessity of Site Reliability Engineering when it comes to the question of deployment. To tell you the truth, they are actually the two sides of the same coin.

The major difference between SRE and DevOps

In order to understand how SRE and DevOps can work together in a flawless system, first, let’s look at their differences.

DevOps is about core development, which answers the question of “what do we want to do?”. The DevOps team is working together with marketing, sales, and the product team in order to find out how to create a solution that best responds to the demands of the market. 

On the other hand, SRE is working on the implementation, the deployment of the core. In ideal circumstances, the SRE should give back feedback to DevOps regarding the product they’ve designed and developed. The objective of SRE is to help DevOps break down their silos even more.

Therefore, we can say that while DevOps constitutes the theoretical part of software development, SRE is the practical party involved in the equation.

Even though they are working in contrasting ways, SRE and DevOps should always have the same goal. They should never be aligned against one another.

What happens in case of failure?

Failure is part of life. No matter how hard we work, we cannot fully eliminate failure from the process. Every company has a so-called “failure budget” or an “error budget”, which determines how big of a misstep it can handle. What happens within the organization in such a case, determines whether the company is working or not.

Let’s explore how SRE and DevOps should work together in case of a technical mistake.

  1. Ideally, the SRE team can identify a problem before it happens, thanks to their logging, monitoring, and predictive analytics efforts. As a result, SRE is responsible for mitigating some aspects of the emerging failure with the use of logging, monitoring, and preemptive measures. At the same time, they should take on post-failure incident management and lead RCA (Root Cause Analysis).
  1. After this, SRE should send this RCA data back to DevOps to open a ticket because DevOps will be the one to resolve the actual problem. There are some cases when the SRE team can tackle failure management completely, though instances may emerge when they find a problem that only software developers can fix.
  1. As a response, DevOps should create a new feature that answers to the identified failure. After sending this new feature back to SRE, it is the responsibility of the SRE team to incorporate it into their monitoring and logging efforts to make sure the company eliminates the possibility of another RCA situation.

Now you are able to see how DevOps and SRE are actually the part and parcel of the same bunch and how they are able to smoothly work together to fix critical situations.

Differences and similarities in everyday responsibilities

Based on the differences between the two methodologies, it becomes obvious that hiring managers and team leaders should look for distinct skill sets and capabilities when it comes to hiring new SRE or DevOps members.

DevOps and core development team members are the ones who really love writing codes and finding solutions to problems. On the other hand, being an SRE team member requires an investigative mindset and a keen eye for finding where things have gone wrong.

Although, there is a lot they have in common. Every IT team member should write and use automation to get rid of the toil as much as possible. While computers can’t think on their own, yet, they are unbeatable when fulfilling repetitive and monotonous tasks. 

When looking at SRE and DevOps from an automation point of view, we can soon realize that they can use the same technologies to resolve, speed up and raise the effectiveness of distinct duties. DevOps is going to automate features, deployment, and tasks, while SRE is responding to redundancy in the same manner.

Conclusion

When we are talking about DevOps and SRE, choosing one over the other is not the real question. The ultimate questions organizations need to respond to are “how do we build DevOps?”, “how do we build SRE?”, and “how do we get them talking to each other?”.

At the end of the day, if you don’t get your SRE and DevOps team to communicate and work with each other, you are going to have silos on both sides, while getting rid of the silos is the real solution to getting more successful.

No items found.

Related Services

DevOps & Cloud

Cloud native and CI/CD as services
Learn more

Tags

No items found.

get in touch.

Tell us about your project!
Contact Sales