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How Site Reliability Engineering and Automation Helps Improve Operational Efficiency

What is SRE 

According to Google “SRE is executing work that has traditionally been done by an operations team, but employing engineers with software experience and the assumption that these engineers are innately both predisposed to and capable of, substituting automation for human labor”. Site Reliability Engineers bridge the gap between development and operations by adopting a software engineering perspective to system administration. 

They spend their time between operations and on-call responsibilities, as well as designing systems and software to improve site dependability and performance. 

What is toil and why should it be reduced? 

Toil, according to Google, is “labor associated with running a production service that is manual, repetitive, automatable, tactical, devoid of long-term value and expands linearly as the service develops.” 

Toil tasks are simple to complete, but they don’t add much value. They don’t need the expertise of an engineer or the use of human judgment. Rather, they obstruct the engineer’s progress in the creation of products and services. 

Teams will have less time for high-value work if they spend the bulk of their time on these sorts of activities. As a result, operating costs grow and the emphasis shifts from proactive to reactive. This stifles creativity. 

Reduced toil has the advantage of allowing time to be saved and reinvested. 

This should not be used as a means to get rid of employees. SRE helps engineers become more engineering-oriented, move away from monotonous duties and improve operational efficiency. 

Furthermore, concentrating on minimizing toil can aid in the prevention of future toil. It’s a good spiral in that sense. 

What is the significance of SRE? 

The following concepts guide SRE teams through duties, habits and work patterns to identify and reduce toil 

Embracing risk: SREs look at IT operations from a risk perspective. IT operations cannot be guaranteed to be 100 percent dependable. Enterprises must strike a balance between the costs and hazards associated with the infrastructure reliability they require. SRE is a risk management system that optimizes and controls risk. 

Embracing risk to reduce toil

Service level objectives: SREs are responsible for addressing the difficulties and opportunities connected with service levels in an IT service. They accomplish this by analyzing analytical indicators and assisting companies in aligning service level agreements (SLAs) with service levels established as desirable inside the company. 

EliminatingToil: SREs assist to simplify the SDLC and service delivery pipeline by removing waste processes and automating repetitive jobs. As a result, an IT environment’s operational performance may grow linearly in response to changing business needs. 

Monitoring distributed systems: An SRE’s function is especially important in modern IT-enabled businesses that use broad and dispersed IT environments, such as cloud, on-premises and hybrid architecture. The SRE’s job is to maximize possibilities while minimizing risks in various infrastructure environments. 

Evaluation of Automation: SREs take a deliberate approach to automation, following the automate-everything strategy of typical Agile and DevOps companies, especially since automating defective processes merely exacerbates the negative impact. SREs create a high-level system design that can run on its own. Infrastructure and configuration management, as well as disaster recovery and risk mitigation, are all automated. 

Release engineering: SREs consider the release process to be an essential part of IT operations. They assist with the development of systems and procedures so that all change occurs as anticipated results with the least risk and interruption to IT operations. 

Simplicity: SREs assist to eliminate infrastructure performance-related volatility. Simplicity pervades all aspects of IT operations, including the development process. Traditional ITOps, on the other hand, may develop into complicated, sophisticated and reliable operations that lack a logical strategy to decrease complexity. 

The following is a summary of the link between SRE and ITOps: SRE is a set of principles that teams follow while doing specific IT operations duties. Most SRE jobs are only relevant to mid-sized and big businesses, although most, if not all, businesses may adopt IT operations roles with a hazy and inconsistent description of the underlying tasks. 

Toil-reduction strategies 

So, what can operational teams do to cut down on labor and increase efficiency? 

Here are a few ideas: 

  • Make automation a part of your company’s culture. 
  • The advent of automation is critical to minimizing toil. 
  • Automation is a natural area of concentration for SRE enterprises because toil is by definition automatable. 

“If a computer could execute the activity equally as effectively as a human, or the task’s requirement could be designed away, that task is toil, Google explains. There’s a fair likelihood it’s not toil if a human judgment is required for the activity.” 

Decentralize automation 

Automation does not require centralized control, contrary to popular opinion. 

Rather, each team should have access to automation. 

Get the right tools 

To build fully self-sufficient SRE teams, automation is essential. Business specialists may become self-sufficient using automation technologies that don’t require specialized technological skills. It allows them to improve the efficiency of their operations and procedures. 

A tool inventory may be created to promote optimal tool adoption as well as transparency and oversight. 

This list should describe what each tool is for, why it is used, how it is used, where it is used and when it is used for different forms of toil. Each tool should have a tool evangelist who is in charge of the tool’s messaging. 

Ensure better risk governance 

There is a danger associated with dispersed responsibility. Automation, on the other hand, will only lower risk if there is sufficient governance in place. 

This can be properly controlled by employing a governance team to maintain track of autonomous robots. 

The team’s job should be to go through all of the automated bots, figure out what they do, which apps they talk to and who is accountable for them. 

Automation is necessary for Operational Efficiency

How iVedha’s SRE practice can help 

Working with an SRE can help your company move faster toward a healthier and more efficient IT environment. Furthermore, you may maximize the value of your technology investment by utilizing its full potential. 

Modern IT teams must upgrade their operations model to adapt to technological changes. This helps to give optimum value when firms install the newest and greatest infrastructure technology. To increase operational efficiency and, ultimately, value, consider including site reliability engineering and automation in your plans. iVedha offers excellent SRE services that use the latest and greatest tech. Contact us.