SRE vs DevOps! Which one is the best for your project?
The software development industry is getting quicker and quicker every day. As Satya Nadela, CEO of Microsoft said,
“We’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.”
That has made one thing clear. If you want to be ahead of your competitors, you must get your software up and running as soon as possible.
So, what are you planning to rely on? SRE or DevOps?
Wait, don’t answer this without thinking it through.
Let’s compare both and come up with the right choice instead of jumping on one right away.
So, without any further ado, here we begin with SRE first.
What is SRE?
The term SRE stands for Site Reliability Engineering. It was first coined by Ben Treynor Sloss at Google. He formed the first SRE team in 2003. And as it was a successful tactic, it took no time to spread out into the IT industry.
That was the story behind SRE, and now let’s know the definition.
SRE is a set of protocols to ensure the entire cycle of software development and release goes smoothly to make the system more reliable.
Now, what system are we talking about, and what exactly is reliability?
So, by the system we mean any product, be it software, app, website, or even embedded software. And reliability is how much a user can rely on it.
For example, we all have used a bank app that goes under maintenance right when we need it. So, we will call this a system with low reliability. On the other hand, websites like YouTube and Amazon rarely crash. So, these are systems with high reliability.
One might say SRE is the guidebook to streamlining software development and service management to make it more reliable.
It is quite similar to DevOps. So similar that it is also explained as the execution of DevOps.
You might be thinking, what is so good about it?
Why is it so popular and effective?
Top Organizers that Use SRE
Google, Apple, Microsoft, Netflix, Facebook, Alibaba, Dropbox, IBM, Tencent, Baidu, GitHub, and Oracle.
To understand that, let’s talk about what exactly SRE does.
What Does SRE Do?
It will be easy for you to understand what SRE does by knowing why was it needed in the first place.
So, as we mentioned earlier, the reliability of every system is quite crucial for the business. Thus, to ensure reliability there must be a complete symphony between the developing team and operation team.
Only if this was as easy as said.
It was the issue Ben faced at Google, so he came up with this process.
Thus, to answer the question briefly, SRE makes a system more reliable.
Now, you might ask that none of the systems is 100% reliable. So is SRE even worth it?
Every system might not be 100% reliable because it does not need to be. Understand this, the devices on which the users use the system e.g. smartphones, laptops, etc, are not 100% reliable. So, even if the system is perfect, the user might not be able to access the system every single time.
Additionally, making a system 100% reliable demands excruciating effort. So, there is a concept of the error budget.
The error budget is the inaccuracy a system can afford without losing users. This error budget is specific to every business and system.
So, now coming back to the question, SRE helps systems achieve the required reliability.
Benefits of SRE
Now we know what SRE is and what it does, but do you know how SRE benefits the business?
If not, don’t worry! That’s what we are going to discuss next.
So, here are a few benefits of SRE.
As SRE records and measures everything, you get data for everything. This data brings clarity and insights about bugs, productivity, efficiency, and overall project success. Based on this data, you can make better decisions than you make based on assumptions.
As a result of precision backed by data, site reliability engineers can predict upcoming bugs and fix the issue during production. It helps in avoiding downtime and delay in the project lifecycle.
Automation is the best thing SRE brings. Automating mundane tasks saves time and energy. Other than that, it helps to achieve maximum accuracy as it eliminates human errors. Which again saves the correction time. Moreover, it also helps the team with multitasking. They do not have to wait for a task to be completed to start with a new one.
Room for Creativity
With the saved time, the team can think of new and creative ways of solving the problem. The development team gets more time to spend on R&D.
The exchange of ideas and teamwork helps build a culture of innovation. Working together helps developers to work efficiently.
Enhanced Customer Experience
The SRE also optimizes the process for the best customer experience. The site reliability engineer understands the customer’s requirements and expectations. Matching them satisfies customers and increases the customer retention ratio.
We hope now you know all about SRE, right?
But what about DevOps? And how is it different than SRE?
Yea, let’s jump right into DevOps to quench your curiosity.
What is DevOps?
All you need to do to understand DevOps is, split the name.
Correct, DevOps is an approach to reduce the friction between the development team and the operation team. Therefore the right DevOps consulting services can harmonize both teams to make the process look effortless.
Let’s eliminate the most common misconception, DevOps is not a technology, but a method to manage the technologies.
Now that we have learned what DevOps is not, let’s talk about what it is in depth.
The development and operation departments must be in line for any IT project to be successful. If the development team keeps on developing new features at a rate that the operation department can not keep up with, it will break the entire cycle.
And, if the operation team starts to roll out new features and updates without giving adequate time in the testing, it is the recipe for project failure.
Did you get the point?
Coordination between both teams is crucial. But only if it was that simple.
Generally, the development tasks take comparatively less time than the operational tasks. Thus, the imbalance is quite inevitable. Therefore you need a process that keeps both the departments synchronized. And that is exactly what DevOps is.
It has a bunch of principles that it works on. So, let’s discuss those principles and know what DevOps do.
Know How DevOps Can Help Your Business.
What Does DevOps Do?
As mentioned earlier, DevOps has a few principles that it follows and streamlines the software development process.
And here are the Principles.
Reduce Organizational Silos
When people are divided into multiple groups in an organization, it is called an organizational silo. DevOps methodology helps your employees to work together and not as an individual. It promotes team interactions and the exchange of knowledge.
Implement Gradual Change
Regular small changes are any day better than a huge change in a single go. Gradual changes help you keep a close eye on implementation and effects. It helps in predicting the effects of the next small change as well.
And in case of any failure, you can detect the fault and recover instantly.
Accept Failure as Normal
Failure is a part of the process. Thus, DevOps prefer to have a budget for failing and solving the issue. Analyzing failure help in not repeating the same mistakes again and again.
Leverage Tools & Automation
doing repetitive tasks manually and wasting time on them. It is better to utilize the tools and automate mundane tasks. It helps in reducing human errors and saves time by making the project live quicker.
Measuring is the most important aspect of smoothing any process. This is how you know if the process is going smoothly or not. If you do not measure things, you can not know if you are following the above principles or not.
Measuring and analyzing things can get you the most efficient approaches.
So these were the principles of DevOps. It brings a lot of direct and indirect benefits to your organization.
Wondering what benefits?
Here are a few
Benefits of DevOps
Quick developing and operating cycles
As DevOps helps in bridging the gap between the development team and the operation team, the entire cycle can be completed quicker.
Reduced recovery time
DevOps helps in reducing the mean time to recover whenever the system goes down.
Possibility for frequent feature updates
Rolling a new feature with updates frequently is possible only by practicing DevOps.
Enhanced productivity of the team
DevOps helps in increasing the productivity of the entire software engineering team by coordinating things efficiently.
Automation of repetitive tasks
If you can not skip a mundane task, DevOps helps you to automate it.
Effective and efficient testing
Testing is one of the most time taking activities in the software development cycle. Thus, DevOps helps you to automate the testing and bring you quick and accurate results.
Quicker problem shooting
DevOps allows the team to detect and solve the issue at any stage of the cycle.
Cutting down on the production and maintenance cost of the system
With fewer errors, less time, and less effort, DevOps brings the overall cost of making a system down.
DevOps helps to note and share the experiences in terms of test results and efficient workflows with the entire team so that they can avoid mistakes and choose the best possible approach to work.
SRE vs DevOps: Differences
Still not clear between the two?
Well, let’s compare both sides by side ad understand the differences.
|Fundamentals||Set of protocols||Set of Principles|
|Created by||Ben Treynor in 2003||Patric Debois in 2009|
|Objective||SRE focuses on making the system more reliable. It manages the different aspects of software development and synchronizes for the best results.||DevOps creates a balance between the developer team and operation team to make the software development lifecycle as fast as possible.|
|Area of work||SRE works to enhance the entire IT functions of an organization. It includes all the departments and focuses on delivering the best products for the customer.||DevOps is more specific to the development process of the IT project.|
|Team members||Site reliability engineers have developmental and operational skills.||Developers, business owners, site reliability engineers, and QA engineers.|
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SRE & DevOps: Similarities
Despite of differences SRE and DevOps have many similarities too, which are mainly the reason for confusion. And without discussing the similarities we can end this blog.
So here are the major similarities.
SRE and DevOps may sound similar, but if you look closely, they are way apart from each other. To know which one is the one for you, you might have to understand both in detail.
And this blog was out to try to help you with the same. We hope the SRE vs DevOps comparison has cleared your confusion. However, if you still have questions unanswered, check the FAQs below.
Moreover, if you want to pace up your software development process, efour is the place you are looking for. We have helped clients from all over the world with deploying DevOps.
So, what are you waiting for? Consult us now!