Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) and the Art of SLOs

Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) is a set of principles, practices, and organizational constructs that seek to balance the reliability of a service with the need to continually deliver new features. An error budget is the primary construct used to help balance these seemingly competing goals.

This workshop introduces error budgets and their components: service level indicators (SLIs) and service level objectives (SLOs). Participants will learn the art of creating and implementing SLOs through a series of guided discussions and group exercises.

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the key concepts, namely, Error Budget, Service Level Indicator (SLIs), and Service Level Objectives (SLOs)
  • Create an error budget for a sample application or service
  • Create an error budget for their own application or service
  • Recommend actions to take when the error budget is over consumed
  • Recommend actions to take when excess error budget remains

In the spirit of DevOps, Error Budgets and SLOs work best when they are agreed to in collaboration with many different constituents across the business. As such, this workshop is appropriate for:

  • Product Owners and Product Managers
  • Business decision makers
  • Developers
  • Operators
  • And anyone else interested in building and operating services that deliver business and customer value.

Bring along your colleagues from other parts of the organization, a high-level architecture of one of your main services, and an appetite for learning and collaboration.



Nathen Harvey

Nathen Harvey, Cloud Developer Advocate at Google, helps the community understand and apply DevOps and SRE practices in the cloud. Nathen is part of the DevOps Days conferences global organizing committee.