You might have heard about DevOps in which development teams collaborate with the operations team in order to increase efficiency and shorten the development cycle. This has given rise to collaboration between DevOps and site reliability engineering to broaden your horizon and reach more companies, clients and industries.
Site reliability engineers implement software engineering principles on technology operations in order to improve performance, security and reliability. These engineers are expensive resources and can only be effective in a highly mature environment so you should only use them in that particular situation.
If you are new to site reliability engineering and starting your career as a site reliability engineer then this article is for you. In this article, you will learn about seven best practices every site reliability engineer must follow.
Get Executive Buy-In
The primary objective of a site reliability engineer is to ensure the delivery of reliable services with minimal downtime. You need to strike a perfect balance between business objectives and customer experience especially when rolling out new features. Achieving this will not be possible without executive buy-in. Why? Because you need to get the budget approved.
Let’s say, you want to purchase the cheap dedicated server to manage the additional workload and deliver a smoother user experience but if you don’t get executive buy-in, you can not do that. Top management can play a pivotal role in removing hurdles that can cause service interruption. As a result, you need their support and approval in order to deliver consistent and reliable services.
Put User Experience First
No one can deny the fact that the primary goal of a site reliability engineer is basically to ensure service reliability, scale operations according to the needs and automate repetitive tasks to reduce the burden. Despite this, site reliability engineers should also closely monitor the adoption rate of their services even if they are being used through AVG Secure VPN.
Make a habit of collecting feedback from users and improve your services in the light of their feedback. This will not only help you identify areas that need more improvements but also help you deliver a great user experience. You can also use service level agreement to measure service behavior which will help you make the right business decisions at the right time. By using SLAs, businesses can assess, track and align service health with user needs, which in turn help them achieve business objectives.
Ensure Business Alignment
There is no point in delivering consistently good service especially if it does not align with your business goals. Good site reliability engineers know this very well. That is why they constantly keep track of systems and try to identify problems as soon as they occur. The quicker they can identify the problem, the faster they can resolve them by identifying the root cause of the problem. Moreover, great site reliability engineers always look to reduce the possibility of recurrence of the same issue. They also establish a system that not only monitors but also alerts whenever there is a diversion from business goals.
Here are three factors site reliability engineers can use to evaluate system health or conducting penetration testing and whether it fulfills both stakeholders and customer expectations.
- Service level indicators
- Service level objectives
- Service level agreement
You might already be familiar with service level agreements so let’s define what service level indicators and service level objectives are. Service level indicators is a measure of service level and are used to determine the threshold for reliability while service level objectives make sure that the service reliability expectations align with the expectations of both customers and other stakeholders.
Harness The Power of Automation
There is nothing worse than repetitive tasks especially if you have to complete them manually. That is why it is imperative to automate these tasks Apart from efficiency, there are many other benefits of using automation such as better reliability and precision. Great site reliability engineers leverage automation to the point where they create a self-healing mechanism, which not only helps them identify errors but also resolves them soon in the process.
Set Up A Collaborative Control Center
One of the main hallmarks of site reliability engineering culture is collaboration and communication between team members. This creates an environment where there is transparency, continuous learning opportunities, cross-departmental collaboration. More importantly, it eliminates silos and encourages practical thinking. Due to this, good site reliability engineers always look at the big picture while keeping an eye on ground realities. All this can go a long way in reducing downtime and ensures continuous service delivery. What really makes site reliability engineers truly stand out is their ability to strike the perfect balance between user experience and system reliability while delivering business benefits.
Streamline Process and Tools
To deliver robust and reliable services, it is important to streamline the process and standardize the tools. That is exactly what site reliability engineers put a lot of emphasis on. In fact, it is an important aspect of site reliability engineering culture. Even though, it requires a specialized skill set in order to standardize the process and tools, which most people lack but that is what makes site reliability engineers stand out from the crowd.
As a site reliability engineer, you not only need to have software development skills but also operational experience in deployment, configuration, monitoring, latency, change management, emergency response and capacity management of production environments. In addition to this, you should also have technical system knowledge as well.
Accountability Without Playing The Blame Game
Site reliability engineering believes in teamwork which is why you see cross-functional teams indulging in cross-departmental collaboration. This is only possible if you avoid the blame game. Instead of blaming others for slip-ups, you need to work together to resolve issues. Moreover, site reliability engineering accepts failure and encourages team members to learn from their mistakes and never make the same mistakes repeatedly. It also encourages incremental updates to boost the reliability of service.
Which best practices do you follow as a site reliability engineer? Share it with us in the comments section below.