What is SRE?

The origins of Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) lie in the global corporation Google, which has used it to address pressing issues facing today's IT organizations. These are increasingly confronted with the fact that the complexity and speed of necessary changes in modern, large-scale systems (both technically and organizationally) continue to increase. Older operating models are reaching their limits in the face of these daunting challenges. New best practices, methods, technologies, tools and organizational structures are required.

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ITIL, DevOps and SRE: What are the differences?

Approaches such as ITIL 4 emphasize the importance of rapid value creation and flow, but do not provide a complete operating model. Especially not in the holistic view of development and operational tasks.

This is where DevOps shows its strength: Here, the separation of development and operations work is eliminated, multidisciplinary teams of Dev and Ops professionals use common, efficient practices and tools. However, the implementation of DevOps is often tough in practice: Management and employees often find it difficult to cope with the changes in organizational structures, processes and habits.

This brings us back to SRE, which pursues a different, promising concept: Without completely abandoning the classic separation of development and operation, SRE as a new service management operation model brings both sides closer together with the following question: How closely should software development and operations be dovetailed, and what control processes are needed?

Strong together - the team and its rules

Where complex systems have to be mastered day after day and diverse challenges have to be overcome, a single person quickly reaches his or her limits. SRE therefore relies on teamwork. On the one hand, to ensure the daily operation of IT systems. On the other hand, in order to specifically reflect on occurring disruptions and to draw the right conclusions from them.

Clarity and structure are provided by a set of rules that define the framework for the central components of the SRE within the company:

  • Dealing with risks
  • Parameters for quality in everyday operations
  • Daily business and optimization of tasks (including automation)
  • System monitoring and relevant faults
  • Release Management

SRE skillfully combines competencies of software development and operations in teams that are subject to value creation orientation. The continuous optimization of control processes and automation reduce the human error factor to a minimum. With all their measures, the teams mentally pursue a clear goal: maximum service quality from the end customer's point of view.

SRE Best Practices: The mix makes the difference!

Finally, the question remains as to whether SRE is in direct competition with ITIL 4 and DevOps or can possibly even replace the two frameworks. The answer may come as a surprise: ITIL 4, DevOps and SRE offer different approaches and individual strengths that complement rather than exclude each other. Only when used wisely alongside and with each other can they develop their full potential: As pioneers for future-oriented value creation that focuses on ecological as well as economic sustainability.

Want to learn more about SRE? In our hands-on SRE trainings, we show you how to successfully bring Google's successful operating model into your organization. Find out now!

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