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Difference Between DevOps and SRE

Both DevOps and SRE are methodologies that address organization’s needs for product operation management. Contrary to the popular belief that both are adversaries, DevOps and SRE are not two competing methods, but rather complement each other by breaking down organizational barriers to deliver better software faster. However, there is quite a bit of overlap between the goals of DevOps and SRE.

What is DevOps?

DevOps is a software engineering culture and practice of collaboration between different teams, such as development and operations, QA and security. DevOps is an ITSM framework that encourages communication and collaboration among software development and IT operations throughout the entire service lifecycle. It integrates developers and operations teams to improve collaboration and productivity by automating infrastructure, automating workflows and continuously measuring application performance. DevOps is not a technology or a tool; it’s more like a concept used in the application lifecycle management and making sure that your development teams and the operation teams are working in sync with each other. The goal is to build trust and reduce the friction in these handoffs between developers and operations teams. Development team will submit the application to the operations team for implementation and the operations team will then monitor the application and provide relevant feedback to the development team.

What is SRE?

SRE, short for Site Reliability Engineering, is a discipline that combines the aspects of software engineering and operations in order to bridge the gap between supply and demand. SRE is a software engineering methodology which is an extension of many past concepts, which include but not exclusive to DevOps, backend engineering, systems engineering, systems administration, operations and so on. SRE is “the field focused on working artfully to bring about a website that performs consistently well.” It is a specialization focused on software reliability. Although the SRE principles were first established by Google in 2003, prior to the DevOps movement, the model is a slightly different take on many existing ideas. Benjamin Treynor, founder of Google’s Site Reliability Team, says in Google’s Site Reliability Engineering book, “SRE is what happens when you ask a software engineer to design an operations team.” Given Google’s success with reliability, the idea has caught up with many companies.

Difference between DevOps and SRE

Definition

 – DevOps is an ITSM framework that encourages communication and collaboration among software development and IT operations throughout the entire service lifecycle. It is a software engineering culture and practice of collaboration between different teams, such as development and operations, QA and security. Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) is an extension of many past concepts which apply to many roles, including but not exclusive to, DevOps, systems engineering, backend engineering, systems administration, operations and so on. SRE is a framework for operating large mission-critical systems reliably.

Role 

– DevOps is a set of practices and an organizational culture designed to bridge the gap between developers, operators, and other parts of the organization in order to improve collaboration and productivity and making sure the teams are in perfect sync with each other. SRE, like DevOps, is often used to describe roles that include a wide diversity of work. So, if you think of DevOps as a philosophy, SRE is a way of accomplishing that philosophy. SRE is a specialization focused on software reliability.

Objective 

– DevOps and SRE are not two competing methods, but rather complement each other by breaking down organizational barriers to deliver better software faster. DevOps is all about breaking down the wall between developers and operators in order to reduce delivery times for the end users. The goal is to build trust and reduce the friction in the handoffs between developers and operators. SRE is a specific implementation of DevOps with some great extensions. The goal is to create scalability and highly reliable software systems in order to make IT reliable, robust and rewarding.

Scope

 – Within the enterprise, DevOps has a limited scope that starts with starts with software development and moves through the source code check-in to automated deployment. The scope of DevOps is minimal beyond deployment within enterprises. SRE is an opportunity to leverage the momentum started by DevOps and continue the efforts throughout to the rest of the post-deployment life cycle. DevOps embraces the fact that no system is 100 percent reliable and failure is something that is bound to happen. SRE encourages on finding ways to make sure there aren’t too many failures.

DevOps vs. SRE: Comparison Chart

Summary

There’s quite a bit of overlap between the goals of DevOps and SRE. One could view SRE as a specific implementation of DevOps with some extensions. DevOps is a set of practices and a culture that reduce the barriers between developers and operators to reduce delivery times. Like DevOps, SRE is often used to describe roles that include a wide diversity of work. If DevOps is a philosophy, SRE is about finding ways to accomplishing that philosophy. SRE is a specialization focused on software reliability.


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References :


[0]Beyer, Betsy et al. Site Reliability Engineering: How Google Runs Production Systems. California, United States: O’Reilly Media, 2016. Print

[1]Beyer, Betsy et al. Site Reliability Engineering: How Google Runs Production Systems. California, United States: O’Reilly Media, 2016. Print

[2]Chelliah, Pethuru Raj et al. Practical Site Reliability Engineering. Birmingham, United Kingdom: Packt Publishing, 2018. Print

[3]Kim, Gene et al. The DevOps Handbook. Portland, Oregon: IT Revolution, 2016. Print

[4]Krief, Michael. Learning DevOps. Birmingham, United Kingdom: Packt Publishing, 2019. Print

[5]Blank-Edelman, David N. Seeking SRE: Conversations About Running Production Systems at Scale. California, United States: O’Reilly Media, 2018. Print

[6]Image credit: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f8/Wm_technical_areas.svg/500px-Wm_technical_areas.svg.png

[7]Image credit: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/05/Devops-toolchain.svg/500px-Devops-toolchain.svg.png

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