DevOps vs Site Reliability Engineering: Concepts, Practices, and Roles

Google SRE vs DevOps basics: two sides of the same coin

SRE vs DevOps comparison.

What is SRE?

The hierarchy of service reliability needs, according to Google’s SRE book. Source: Site Reliability Engineering.

What is DevOps?

A DevOps lifecycle. Source: Medium

Practice vs mindset: how Site Reliability Engineering implements DevOps philosophies

What SRE offers to solve DevOps tasks.
  1. No more silos. The idea stems from the fact that a lack of collaboration and information flow across teams reduces productivity.
  2. Failures are normal. DevOps prescribes learning from mistakes rather than spending resources on an unattainable goal — preventing all failures.
  3. The change should be gradual. Changes are most effective and low-risk when they are small and frequent. This pillar combined with automated testing of small batches of code and rollback of bad ones underlies the concepts of continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD).
  4. The more automation the better. DevOps focuses on automation to deliver updates faster and free up hours of manual effort.
  5. Metrics are crucial. Each change should be measured to understand whether it brings the results you expect.

Treat operations as a software problem

Minimize toil

  • regular password resets,
  • manual releases,
  • reviewing non-critical alerts, and
  • manual scaling of infrastructure.

Measure uptime and availability of the system

Set error budget

Reduce the cost of failure

Create and maintain playbooks

SRE vs DevOps jobs: a team of multitaskers or a cross-functional team

Site Reliability Engineer role and SRE team

DevOps Engineer role and DevOps team

  • a Product Owner who understands how the service should work to bring value to customers,
  • a Team Lead delegating tasks across other members,
  • a Cloud Architect building cloud infrastructure for smooth running of services in production,
  • a Software Developer writing code and unit tests,
  • a QA Engineer implementing quality methods for product development and delivery,
  • a Release Manager scheduling and coordinating releases, and
  • a System Administrator in charge of cloud monitoring.
DevOps vs SRE engineer jobs comparison based on vacancies published by Glassdoor.

SRE vs DevOps tools: the same solutions do for both

When do companies need DevOps and SRE?

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