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Difference between DevOps and Site Reliability Engineering (SRE)

  • Last Updated : 17 Sep, 2021
Geek Week

The world has seen an advanced software development process, there has been an increasing need to tide over between faster development vs. slower deployment and operational Practices.  

Over ten years, two equivalent ideas DevOps and Site Reliability Engineering (SRE), have been contemporary in the world of software development. At a glance, they may look like competitors. But in reality, they are rivals. And complementary pieces of a puzzle that fit together well.

As DevOps processes grow, there is new increasing demand for professionals with expertise in Key practices and tools. DevOps is not open up new opportunities for Operations personnel but also provides them with a logical career succession. There is a need of Site Reliability Engineering as a particular execution of DevOps.  

In this article we will explain about how SRE and DevOps promote building trusty software, how they are similar and different from each other, and when they can efficiently work together. So, let’s move into the actual topic.

1. Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) :



Site Reliability Engineering or SRE is an exceptional, software-first approach to Information Technology operations supported by a group of analogous practices. The main focus of SRE is system reliability, which is considered the most basic feature of any product.

Once the system is reliable enough then SRE starts to adding new features or producing new products. It also puts efforts for close attention on tracking results, making appreciable performance improvements, and automating operational tasks.

2. DevOps :

The term DevOps is Development and Operations which was invented in 2009 by Patrick Debois. Nothing but a set of practices in between development and operations in the entire service life cycle. Its principles are the same as those of SRE:

  • Application in engineering practices to operations tasks, evaluating results, and belief in automation instead of manual work. But its focus is much larger.
  • It appeared in the first place as a culture and mindset that didn’t specify how particularly to implement its ideas.
  • It’s often seen as an inference of main SRE methods so that they can be used by a larger range of organizations.

Similarities and Differences Between DevOps and SREs :

The primary difference between DevOps and SRE is DevOps is all about What needs to be done, SRE talks about how this can be done.  

Representing similarities and differences between the two:

1. Reduce Organizational Silos : 



Huge enterprises usually have a complex organizational structure, with a lot of teams working in silos. Each team is drawing the product in a different order, not communicating with the rest of the company and as a result, failed to see the big picture as a whole. This can lead to frustration, a setback in deployment, and high costs due to delays.

  • DevOps’ work is to diminish the silos and to clear that there are not any other teams who are not aligned with any other companies.
  • SREs don’t think about how many silos are in the company, but more about how to get everyone into the discussion. This is done by using the same techniques and tools across the company, which helps in sharing ownership across everyone.

2. Accept Failure as Normal : 

DevOps hugs this by consenting to failure as something that is bound to happen, and which can help the teams to learn and grow.

SREs do not want any errors or failures, even if it’s something that we can learn from it.

3. Implement Gradual Change :

Companies want to work rapidly than they did before. They want recurrent releases, continually updating the product, and keeps team members active about new and relevant technology.

DevOps are for changes but in a gradual and handled way.  

Both DevOps and SREs want to move quickly, and research shows that SREs makes lower the cost of failure in comparison to DevOps.

4. Leverage Tooling and Automation :

As we know before, the primary point for both DevOps and SREs is automation. Tooling and Automation encourage including as much automation and tools as feasible, till they provide value to developers and operations by removing tasks manually.

5. Measure Everything :

The primary difference here is that SREs roll around the concept of operations as a software problem, which led them to define prescriptive ways for measuring accessibility, toil, uptime, outages.  

It also ensures that everyone in the company agrees on how to measure dependability and what to do when availability falls out of specification.  

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