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Establishing SRE foundations : a step-by-step guide to introducing site reliability engineering in software delivery organizations
Ukis V., Pearson, Hoboken, NJ, 2023. 560 pp. Type: Book (0137424604)
Date Reviewed: Apr 6 2023

In a product-oriented organization, how do you get product operations, product development, and product owners to work together? Traditional methodologies like the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) or Control Objectives for Information and Related Technologies (COBIT) fail to address this problem; however, it can be solved with site reliability engineering (SRE).

SRE, a specific method from the DevOps approach, aims to align the incentives of product operations, product development, and product owners by getting everyone involved through common ownership. This is achieved through specific measures, like getting developers involved in product operations, including being on-call. The operations of a service are measured with service-level indicators (SLIs), and specific targets are set as service-level objectives (SLOs). An important aspect is that SLOs should not aim for 100 percent, which would suppress all innovation and make reliability the absolute goal, but should allow a tolerable amount of errors--an error budget is used to prioritize the development of new features against improvements of reliability, depending on how the application is performing against its SLOs.

Transforming an organization from traditional methods to SRE is not an easy task, and it is important to get all stakeholders and participants to buy-in. It is also a long journey, often multiple years, and the organization will need SRE coaches who, given the timespan, should be internal.

This book starts with explaining the SRE basics, but what sets it apart from other SRE books is its focus on the organizational transformation and its detailed guide for implementing organizational change. This is also underlined by “From the Trenches” and “Key Insights” nuggets sprinkled throughout the book.

This book will be most valuable to people aiming to start and drive a transformation to SRE in their organization, including those looking to become SRE coaches. It is also a good choice for readers who want a basic understanding of SRE, one illustrated by realistic examples of SLIs and SLOs.

Reviewer:  Vladimir Mencl Review #: CR147572 (2306-0066)
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