Site Reliability Engineers (SRE) Job Description: Skills, Roles, and Responsibilities.
What is Site Reliability Engineers (SRE)?
Before we start let’s talk about what is SRE. SRE is the one who works with the software engineers with the collaboration between developers and operation teams.
SRE is a practice that combines both software development skills and mindset to IT operations. The main focus of SRE is to enhance the reliability and performance of applications, with automation and continuous integration and delivery.
SRE has changed the traditional way of working as an operation team by incorporating new technologies, ideas, and methods. SRE was originated at Google.
After originated more than 1000 SRE engineers employed at Google. Even though after spread about SRE, other software companies also started adopting SRE engineers gradually. As per the 2021 report, 22% of organizations in a survey of 2,000 respondents have adopted the SRE model.
SRE accepts failure because they know failure is a part of success and not a single system is perfect. SRE and DevOps both work to bridge the gap between development and operations teams to deliver faster services. SRE has removed the “silos” between development and operation teams to function effectively.
SRE also works with the DevOps team to help them in operational works to give reliable service to the customer.
SRE is a role that requires a software developer with operational experience or as a system admin or engineer for an IT operations role that has software development skills as well.
SRE needs some skillsets to have are-
Deep knowledge of version control.
Sound knowledge of operating Systems (like LINUX).
Should be aware of DevOps concepts and best practices.
CI/CD implementation expertise.
Issue troubleshooting experience.
Communication & Collaboration skills.
Good knowledge of Cloud-native applications.
Good understanding of “Distributed computing”
Should know “coding”
Even though with these skills they should know tools sets as well which will be used by the SRE team.
Some toolsets are –
S.no Problems Tools
1 Operating Systems – Centos/Ubuntu & VirtualBox & Vagrant
2 Cloud – AWS
3 Containers – Docker & Kubernetes – Helm
4 Planning and Designing – – Jira & Confluence
5 Source Code Versioning – – Git using Github
6 Webserver – Apache HTTP & Nginx
7 Configuration & Deployment Management – Ansible
8 Infrastructure Coding – Terraform
9 Services mesh Data planes & Control Planes – Envoy & Istio
10 Network configurations and Service Discovery – Consul
11 Continuous Integration – Jenkins
12 Securing credentials – HashiCorp Vault & SSL & Certificates
13 Infrastructure Monitoring – Datadog, Prometheus with Grafana
14 Log Monitoring – Splunk & ELK stake
15 Performance & RUM Monitoring – NewRelic
16 Emergency Response & Alerting & Chat & Notification – SMTP, SES, SNS, Pagerduty & Slack
SRE Roles and responsibilities.
SRE teams are responsible for how code is deployed, configured, and monitored, as well as the availability, latency, change management, emergency response, and management capacity of services in production.
SRE helps teams to determine what new features can be incorporated and when by using service-level agreements (SLAs) to define the required reliability of the system through service-level indicators (SLI) and service-level objectives (SLO).
SRE takes back the collected data to the development team to fix the issue (means the vulnerabilities which shouldn’t be there while development) and not make it again next time.
Monitoring and logging are keys to SRE roles. In monitoring, they are keeping track of what’s happening in real-time. Logging is an archive of what has happened, so you can examine it later.
Monitoring will give you the ability to anticipate failures and see them coming, so you can proactively solve them.
Logging is like, when you get an unanticipated failure, it makes you get back and see what happened. So you can do RCA (Root cause analysis) and find out how to solve it, not for now but for the future.
So as an SRE expert you are responsible to monitor the product and fixing the issues, bugs, blot wares, etc by the use of automation to eliminate some extent of manual work.
Automation is an essential part of the SRE. With automation, we can reduce the manual work even though fix the issue on which we have to work again n again. This also helps to reduce the toil.
Maintaining the balance between operations and development work is also one of the roles of SRE.
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