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

Monday, March 13, 2017 - 9:55am10:50am

Jonah Horowitz, Netflix, and Blake Bisset


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, Automation, managing your relationship with service developers, 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 traditional Systems Administrator role. The talk also explains why freedom and responsibility are key, trust is required, and when chaos is your friend.

Jonah Horowitz, Netflix

Jonah Horowitz is a Senior Site Reliability Architect with over 20 years of experience keeping servers and sites online. He started with a 2-line, 9600 baud BBS and has worked at both large and small tech companies including Netflix, Walmart.com, Looksmart, and Quantcast.

Blake Bisset[node:field-speakers-institution]

Blake Bisset got his first legal tech job at 16. He won’t say how long ago, except that he’s legitimately entitled to make shakeyfists while shouting “Get off my LAN!” He’s done 3 start-ups (a joint venture of Dupont/ConAgra, a biotech spinoff from the U.W., and this other time a bunch of kids were sitting around New Year’s Eve, wondering why they couldn’t watch movies on the Internet), only to end up spending a half-decade as an SRM at YouTube and Chrome, where his happiest accomplishment was holding the go/bestpostmortem link for two years.

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@conference {201757,
author = {Jonah Horowitz and Blake Bisset},
title = {Ten Persistent {SRE} Antipatterns: Pitfalls on the Road to a Successful {SRE} Program Like Netflix and Google},
year = {2017},
address = {San Francisco, CA},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = mar

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