Takeaways from Google's Site Reliability Engineering Book

This popular book was on my list for a while until I recently have the time to read it. The book is about how the software systems are managed throughout their lifecycle in Google at its massive scale. Here I will jot down some key takeaways.

  • SRE enables a better balance between innovation and reliability of products. (Chapter 3)

  • Introducing planned outage may help identify parts that have false assumptions about reliability. (Chapter 4)

  • Toil exhausts engineers and hampers the speed of innovation, and therefore should be eliminated. (Chapter 5)

  • A healthy monitoring system and alerting pipeline should give proper alerts without introducing noise, and should ease debugging and root cause analysis. (Chapter 6)

  • Automation enables success and failure at scale. (Chapter 7)

  • Trust but verify. Perfect algorithms may not have perfect implementations. Hope is not a strategy. Backups are useful only when recovery works. Recovery won’t work without practice. (Chapter 26)

  • Best practices for production services: fail sanely, progressive rollouts, define SLOs like a user, error budgets, monitoring, postmortems, capacity planning, overloads and failure, SRE teams. (Appendix B)

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