Persistent SRE Antipatterns: Pitfalls on the Road to Creating a Successful SRE Program Like Netflix and Google

Wednesday, November 01, 2017 - 4:45 pm5:30 pm

Blake Bisset; Jonah Horowitz, Stripe


People aren't just wrong on the internet. Sometimes they bring it back to the office. We're here to debunk the biggest traps we've stepped in, spent good drink money learning about from other people who'd stepped in them, or seen someone who hadn't stepped in them yet propose as good practice. Save yourself some pain. Or just laugh at ours. The talk addresses specific anti-patterns we've seen in building teams and systems to manage service delivery for very large scale operations, and more appropriate ways to approach those issues.

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Presentation Audio

@conference {207153,
author = {Blake Bisset and Jonah Horowitz},
title = {Persistent {SRE} Antipatterns: Pitfalls on the Road to Creating a Successful {SRE} Program Like Netflix and Google},
year = {2017},
address = {San Francisco, CA},
publisher = {{USENIX} Association},
Take back to work: 
What isn’t Site Reliability Engineering? Does your NOC escalate outages to your DevOops Engineer, who in turn calls your Packaging and Deployment Team? Did your Chef just sprinkle some Salt on your Ansible Red Hat and call it SRE? Lots of companies claim to have SRE teams, but some don’t quite understand the full value proposition, or what shiny technologies and organizational structures will negatively impact your operations, rather than empowering your team to accomplish your mission. You’ll hear stories about anti-patterns in Monitoring, Incident Response, Configuration Management, and more that we’ve tripped over in our own teams, seen actually proposed as good practice in talks at other conferences, and heard as we speak to peers scattered around the industry. We'll also discuss how Google and Netflix each view the role of the SRE, and how it differs from the most recent incarnations of the Systems Administrator role. The talk also explains why freedom and responsibility are key, trust is required, and when chaos is your friend. The audience will leave with specific principles and directives around avoiding traps in these problem areas that can limit their overall growth or force them into costly retooling and retraining later on.