SRE Classroom, Or, How to Design a Distributed System in 3 Hours

Wednesday, 29 August, 2018 - 14:0017:30

Salim Virji, Fabian Geisberger, and Jean Joswig, Google

Space is limited: add this to your schedule if you plan to attend.


This workshop ties together academic and practical aspects of systems engineering, with an emphasis on applying principles of systems design to a production service. We will analyze the service to quantify its performance, and iteratively improve the design. Participants will work together in small groups to sketch out the design, identify components and their relationships, and to assess the suitability of the design to the system’s Service Level Objective (SLO).

Participants will have a system design and bill of materials at the conclusion of this workshop.

Participants will not need laptops or specific coding experience; participants will need enthusiasm for collaborating in small groups, and for discussion-based problem-solving. Participants will come away with an understanding of the principles of iterative systems engineering, popularly known as “Non-abstract large systems design.”

This workshop covers material critical for SRE, an increasingly-broad field that combines software engineering and systems design.

Fabian Geisberger, Google

Fabian is a Site Reliability Engineer at Google in New York, where he currently works on monitoring systems. He previously worked on the Ganeti SRE team, the Production Monitoring team, and several other Google services. Fabian received a Masters (Diploma) in Computer Science from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany, in 2012.

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@inproceedings {218873,
author = {Salim Virji and Fabian Geisberger and Jean Joswig},
title = {{SRE} Classroom, Or, How to Design a Distributed System in 3 Hours},
booktitle = {SREcon18 Europe/Middle East/Africa (SREcon18 Europe)},
year = {2018},
address = {Dusseldorf},
url = {},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = aug