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Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) – A Path to Achieving a Resilient System

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site reliability engineering, SRE best practices

Every business aims to provide uninterrupted service to its customers.
Is that even possible? Isn’t it normal for a service to break?
With SRE, a system that can quickly recover from issues is achievable!

What is Site Reliability Engineering?

Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) is a discipline that incorporates aspects of software engineering and applies them to infrastructure and operations problems. Initially introduced by Google in 2003, SRE has become essential for organizations aiming for high reliability and performance.

This blog delves into the benefits of implementing SRE in an organization and the challenges that come with it. Let’s explore different aspects of SRE and what it takes to implement it effectively.

What Does an SRE Team Do?

The aim of an SRE team is to ensure that a service is reliable. They focus on solving issues related to reliability by:

  • Continuously monitoring the system
  • Setting up alerts
  • Establishing standards like error budgets
  • Defining and adhering to SLA, SLO, and SLI metrics
  • Automating repetitive tasks (toil automation)

Key Terminologies

  • SLA (Service Level Agreement): A promise to deliver uninterrupted service by meeting SLOs, measured by SLIs.
  • SLO (Service Level Objective): Specific goals set to maintain service reliability.
  • SLI (Service Level Indicator): Metrics used to measure how well the service meets the SLOs.
  • Error Budget: An acceptable level of error, in terms of budget and system downtime.
  • Toil Automation: Identifying and automating repetitive manual tasks.

Business Value Brought by SRE
An SRE team enhances business value by:

  • Increasing revenue
  • Boosting user satisfaction
  • Improving service/application efficiency

By ensuring reliable service maintenance, organizations can focus resources on developing new features, staying competitive in the market.

Determining the Need for SRE

Assessing the need for SRE involves a comprehensive evaluation of the current state and desired improvements:

  1. Current State: Analyze current processes, practices, and technologies to identify impediments and improvement opportunities.
  2. Target State: Collaborate with stakeholders to outline focus areas for reliability enhancement and perform a gap analysis.
  3. Transformational Roadmap: Develop a detailed strategy and prioritized feature list to achieve desired SRE maturity levels.

Assessment Focus Areas

Strategy and Adoption

  • Vision, Charter, and Roadmap
  • Engagement Type
  • Planned and Unplanned Activities
  • Team Strategy and Roadmap
  • Transformation Awareness and Alignment

Workload Management and Predictability

  • Workload Management
  • Team Capacity and SLA

Application and Systems Reliability

  • Resiliency Guidelines
  • Continuous Monitoring
  • Fault-Tolerant Systems and Automatic Failover
  • Chaos Engineering and Validation
  • Scalability and Capacity Management

Observability with Golden Signals

  • Logging and Dashboards
  • Alerting and Runbooks
  • Tooling and Data Accessibility
  • Predictive Analytics

Application and Infrastructure Monitoring

  • Network and Hardware Monitoring
  • System Monitoring

Performance Tuning and Optimization

  • Performance Testing
  • Resource Utilization Metrics
  • Load and Performance Testing
  • Predictive Analysis

Operational Excellence

  • Business Dashboards
  • Disaster Recovery
  • Error Budget

Platforms and Frameworks

  • Monitoring as a Service
  • Toil Detection and Elimination
  • Environment Strategy and Lifecycle Management

Challenges in Adapting SRE
Organizations may face several challenges while adopting SRE, such as:

  • Finding skilled resources
  • Selecting appropriate frameworks and tools
  • Balancing application maintenance with new feature development

How Altimetrik Can Help

At Altimetrik, we follow a standardized maturity framework to assess systems. Our SRE team ensures a smooth transition to this approach, focusing on all the aspects mentioned above, and helping your organization achieve a resilient system.

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Michael Woodall

Chief Growth Officer of Financial Services

Michael Woodall, as the Chief Growth Officer of Financial Services at Altimetrik, spearheads the identification of new growth avenues and revenue streams within the financial services sector. With a robust background and extensive expertise, Michael brings invaluable insights to his role.

Previously, Michael served as the Chief of Operations and President of the Trust Company at Putnam Investments, where he orchestrated strategic developments and continuous operational enhancements. Leveraging strategic partnerships and data analytics, he revolutionized capabilities across investments, retail and institutional distribution, and client services. Under his leadership, Putnam received numerous accolades, including the DALBAR Mutual Fund Service Award for over 30 consecutive years.

Michael’s dedication to industry evolution is evident through his involvement with prestigious organizations such as the DTCC Senior Wealth Advisory Board, ICI Operations Committee, and NICSA, where he served as Chairman and now holds the position of Director Emeritus. Widely recognized as an industry luminary, Michael frequently shares his expertise with various divisions of the SEC, solidifying his reputation as a seasoned presenter.

At Altimetrik, Michael plays a pivotal role in driving expansion within financial services, leveraging his expertise and Altimetrik’s Digital Business Methodology to ensure clients navigate their digital journey seamlessly, achieving tangible outcomes and exponential growth.

Beyond his corporate roles, Michael serves as Chair of the Boston Water & Sewer Commission, appointed by the Mayor of Boston, and is actively involved in various philanthropic endeavors, including serving on the board of the nonprofit Inspire Arts & Music.

Michael holds a distinguished business degree from Northeastern University, graduating with distinction as a member of the Sigma Epsilon Rho Honor Society.

Anguraj Kumar Arumugam

Chief Digital Business Officer for the U.S. West region

Anguraj is an accomplished business executive with an extensive leadership experience in the services industry and strong background across digital transformation, engineering services, data and analytics, cloud and consulting.

Prior to joining Altimetrik, Anguraj has served in various positions and roles at Globant, GlobalLogic, Wipro and TechMahindra. Over his 25 years career, he has led many strategic and large-scale digital engineering and transformation programs for some of world’s best-known brands. His clients represent a range of industry sectors including Automotive, Technology and Software Platforms. Anguraj has built and guided all-star teams throughout his tenure, bringing together the best of the techno-functional capabilities to address critical client challenges and deliver value.

Anguraj holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Anna University and a master’s degree in software systems from Birla Institute of Technology, Pilani.

In his spare time, he enjoys long walks, hiking, gardening, and listening to music.

Vikas Krishan

Chief Digital Business Officer and Head of the EMEA region

Vikas (Vik) Krishan serves as the Chief Digital Business Officer and Head of the EMEA region for Altimetrik. He is responsible for leading and growing the company’s presence across new and existing client relationships within the region.

Vik is a seasoned executive and brings over 25 years of global experience in Financial Services, Digital, Management Consulting, Pre- and Post-deal services and large/ strategic transformational programmes, gained in a variety of senior global leadership roles at firms such as Globant, HCL, Wipro, Logica and EDS and started his career within Investment Banking. He has developed significant cross industry experience across a wide variety of verticals, with a particular focus on working with and advising the C-Suite of Financial Institutions, Private Equity firms and FinTech’s on strategy and growth, operational excellence, performance improvement and digital adoption.

He has served as the engagement lead on multiple global transactions to enable the orchestration of business, technology, and operational change to drive growth and client retention.

Vik, who is based in London, serves as a trustee for the Burma Star Memorial Fund, is a keen photographer and an avid sportsman.

Megan Farrell Herrmanns

Chief Digital Officer, US Central

Megan is a senior business executive with a passion for empowering customers to reach their highest potential. She has depth and breadth of experience working across large enterprise and commercial customers, and across technical and industry domains. With a track record of driving measurable results, she develops trusted relationships with client executives to drive organizational growth, unlock business value, and internalize the use of digital business as a differentiator.

At Altimetrik, Megan is responsible for expanding client relationships and developing new business opportunities in the US Central region. Her focus is on digital business and utilizing her experience to create high growth opportunities for clients. Moreover, she leads the company’s efforts in cultivating and enhancing our partnership with Salesforce, strategically positioning our business to capitalize on new business opportunities.

Prior to Altimetrik, Megan spent 10 years leading Customer Success at Salesforce, helping customers maximize the value of their investments across their technology stack. Prior to Salesforce, Megan spent over 15 years with Accenture, leading large transformational projects for enterprise customers.

Megan earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Marquette University. Beyond work, Megan enjoys playing sand volleyball, traveling, watching her kids soccer games, and is actively involved in a philanthropy (Advisory Council for Cradles to Crayons).

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