Google’s customer reliability engineering team is a specialized group of SREs who go into the world and teach enterprise customers of public cloud infrastructure—via their actual production systems—how to “do SRE” in their orgs. In the team’s two years of existence, its members have found that some things they thought would be hard weren’t, while others were nigh on impossible. The team has written many postmortems and learned a bunch of lessons you can only learn the hard way. Liz Fong-Jones and Dave Rensin share eight of these key lessons.
Liz is a developer advocate, labor and ethics organizer, and Site Reliability Engineer (SRE) with 15+ years of experience. She is an advocate at Honeycomb.io for the SRE and Observability communities, and previously was an SRE working on products ranging from the Google Cloud Load Balancer to Google Flights.
She lives in Brooklyn with her wife, metamours, and a Samoyed/Golden Retriever mix, and in San Francisco and Seattle with her other partners. She plays classical piano, leads an EVE Online alliance, and advocates for transgender rights as a board member of the National Center for Transgender Equality.
Dave Rensin is the director of customer reliability engineering (CRE) at Google. His team takes Google SREs focused on the reliability and availability of internal Google systems and focuses them on the reliability and availability of customer production systems running on Google Cloud. His mission is to teach Google customers how to design, build, and run highly available systems using Google SRE practices and tools. Dave is the author of several books, including two for O’Reilly, and holds more than a dozen patents in distributed systems, data acquisition, access control, and pattern matching.
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