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Monitoring & Observability

What does SRE do? Does your organisation need SRE team?

Rohith Reddy Gopu
Principal Architect @ TYNYBAY
Jan 27th, 2022
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What is SRE? You may have heard this term floating around recently, but what does it mean? Site Reliability Engineer, or SRE, is a role that has been gaining in popularity over the past few years. Many organizations are beginning to see the value in having an SRE team and are implementing them into their operations. But what is SRE and why do you need it? In this blog post, we will discuss what SRE is and whether or not your organization needs an SRE team.

Even though SRE is increasingly common in IT companies, most of us are unaware of what an SRE does or what their responsibilities are; they're mostly associated with major corporations/businesses, but small businesses need it as well.

An SRE is a software developer who has operational experience and is in charge of availability, resilience, latency, emergency response, and capacity management. This can only be achieved if the SRE understands how code gets deployed, configured, and uses monitoring tools. In layman's terms, an SRE serves as a link between development and operations.

It's important to note that SRE is not a replacement for DevOps; it is an evolution of the role. As we move further into the age of automation and self-service, the need for someone who can bridge the gap between development and operations becomes more apparent. And that's where SRE comes in.

So, do you need an SRE team? The answer to this question is yes and no. It depends on the size of your organization and what type of business you are in. If you are a small organization with limited resources, then it may be difficult for you to implement an SRE team.

However, if your organization is in a heavily technical industry, such as online media or e-commerce, then it would be beneficial to have an SRE team to maintain the reliability and uptime of your site.

SRE is not only for big businesses; small businesses can reap the benefits of having an SRE team too.

Benefits of having an SRE team?

  1. SRE helps the team in determining what new features can be added and when by using SLA’s, SLI’s and SLO’s.
  2. SRE plays an important role in error budgeting as SRE is equally responsible for measuring and mitigating other than maintaining availability. Error budgeting helps the team to accept errors/failures. This also helps in the early discovery of the problem which helps reduce the cost of failure w.r.t money, time, etc.
  3. As mentioned earlier SRE aims to automate things, focus on monitoring tools, etc. and minimize human intervention. This helps reduce the burden on the team as they also code for 50% of the time apart from automating/monitoring.
  4. SRE keeps the incident response time low and helps understand the pain points or the bottlenecks across the systems which can be fixed before moving into production. These are achieved as SRE proactively uses monitoring, logging tools, and analyzing the data.

Should your organization/start-up adopt SRE?

Well, it depends on the organization; here I do not mean the size of the organization but does the company have the time, budget, resources, etc?. Miracles won’t happen overnight, so do not expect agility, 100% availability, use of SLA, SLO & SLI’s, etc the very next day after you have an SRE/SRE team. It takes time to adapt and implement.

One of the main benefits of having an SRE team is that they can help you to identify and prioritize which new features can be added to your site and when. They also play an important role in error budgeting, which allows your organization to accept errors/failures as part of doing business. Having an SRE team can also help to minimize human intervention, reduce the burden on your team, and keep your incident response time low. However, as with anything else, it takes time and effort to adopt and implement an SRE team into your organization.

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