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SRE vs DevOps
Updated on 27th Feb, 23 446 Views

Software is a major part of our life and the need for advancement in software development is increasing every year, while working at Google, software developer Benjamin Treynorin in 2003 introduced site reliability engineering (SRE), which began to influence the software production mainstream methods. He delegated some ops responsibilities to his software engineering team, inventing the idea of SRE and assisting in the resolution of conflicts between development and operations.

DevOps can be called the successor of the Agile method as it is based on a similar structure for software delivery. DevOps is a method that ensures synergy between the development team and the operation team. By implementing DevOps the software production time decreases significantly and the frequency of release of updates increases. 

The following topics will be briefly explained in the article:

Principles of SRE & DevOps

Principles of SRE & DevOps

Both SRE and DevOps are guided by a set of principles. Both sets of principles promote convergence towards business goals. Some of their principles are similar between SRE and DevOps. The greatest distinction between SRE and DevOps is that DevOps principles specify outcomes. The SRE principles explain the steps involved in achieving a goal. In this manner, SRE best practices provide a method of putting DevOps ideas into practice.

Principles of SRE

  • Service Level Indicators (SLIs) – SLIs are the parameters that help to gauge customer experience. There are four fundamental parameters of SLI also known as “four golden signals” –
    • Latency
    • Traffic
    • Error rate
    • Saturation

The formula used to calculate SLI is,

SLI = Good Events * 100 / Valid Events
  • Service Level Objectives (SLO)– SLOs are threshold values for every SLI parameter, it helps to evaluate a product’s performance by comparing the SLI values w.r.t a threshold value.
  • Eliminating Toil-Toil reduction entails decreasing the quantity of repeated labor that a team must perform. In any field of employment, SRE advocates for finding ways to decrease toil. A common way to reduce Toil is by automation.
  • Monitoring- Monitoring helps you to get insight into a system, which is essential for assessing the performance and detecting problems within a product.SREs monitor their systems to:
    • alert when a situation demands immediate action
    • Look into and diagnose the problems
    • evaluate the data for long-term planning
    • compare the behavior of the system before and after a modification

Principles of DevOps

  • Incremental Releases- a DevOps lifecycle works on the principle of incremental releases which means a project is divided into small bits of work, this increases the rate of the release cycle.
  • Automation- to make the process efficient, error-free, and fast, automation is implemented at every step of software development. Several tools are linked together to create a pipeline to automatically deliver the product.
  • CI/CD- continuous integration and continuous delivery is a process that automates the pipeline, including code, build, test, and deploy.
  • Continuous monitoring- continuous monitoring is a step that includes monitoring the performance of the software after it is delivered to the customer and this step also collects useful feedback from the customer.
  • Collaboration- The primary goal of DevOps is to build trust between developers and operations. Throughout the development and deployment process, development and operations teams must interact, exchange input, and cooperate.

Watch this video to learn more about DevOps from scratch!

What is SRE?

What is SRE?

SRE stands for site reliability engineering, and it is a software engineering approach to IT operations. To manage systems, address problems, and automate operational activities, SRE teams incorporate software.

The tasks which were earlier performed by the operation team mostly manually are now provided to engineers and ops team to use automation to perform those tasks. SRE is a method in which an individual has complete insight from product development to product delivery to monitoring.

In SRE a team member spends half of his time in resolving issues of the customer and the other half into automating tasks, this process of eliminating toil or reducing manual effort is a key role of an SRE engineer.

Taking risks is a common philosophy that comes along with SRE, an SRE team takes risks and in the process, they learn about potential damages that a particular risk comes with, an SRE is equipped with the knowledge to gauge a problem and categorize it as a nonsignificant problem or a major problem, therefore taking actions accordingly.

Extreme reliability comes at a price: enhancing reliability restricts the speed with which new features can be created and product supplied to customers, as well as substantially increasing their cost, limiting the number of features a team can afford to offer.

Minor issues are usually not recognized by customers, which the SRE team accepts because fixing such issues and making the product more dependable always demands substantial money and time investment.

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What is DevOps?

What is DevOps?

DevOps is a process or method of making the developer team and operation team work together. This ensures high productivity and reduces the time of product development.DevOps methods implement automation at every possible step, this increases the product release cycle and makes the process efficient. DevOps shares similarities with Agile software development, and some features of DevOps are derived from the Agile method.

Developers in DevOps work on small pieces of code, resulting in the rapid iteration of the source code and faster product updates.

DevOps method creates a software development pipeline, DevOps pipeline is a set of processes that are implemented using tools by the development and operation team to build, test and deploy software efficiently.

The structure of the DevOps pipeline may vary in different organizations but the most common components of the pipeline are continuous integration, development, monitoring, and feedback.

  • Continuous development
    In this phase the features and instructions are accepted from the planning team and are converted to code, the developer pushes his code to a central repository that manages commits made by developers.
  • Continuous Integration
    Continuous integration is one of the phases of the DevOps pipeline and is a central process that binds together the components of the lifecycle of software production. Continuous integration is the process of automating the build and deployment phases using tools and best practices. Every time the source code changes the continuous integration automates the building and testing of the code.
  • Continuous Delivery
    Continuous delivery is the next phase of the DevOps pipeline and is an extension of continuous integration, where the updated code is automatically as well as manually tested and on successful completion of testing the software is deployed for production.  The objective of continuous delivery is to deliver faster updates frequently. Releasing the source code with small but significant changes in the code ensures easier troubleshooting and faster software delivery time.
  • Continuous monitoring
    In this phase of the DevOps pipeline, the performance of the software product is examined when being used by customers, feedbacks are collected, and are stored for further planning.
  • Continuous feedback
    The feedbacks collected from the customer are fed back to the planning team which decides the next set of action.

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SRE Vs DevOps: Roles and Area of expertise

Key Roles:
Develop a method for continuous and quick deployment
Manage CI/CD pipeline
Build automation tools
Keep track of metrics and look for methods to enhance them.
Encourage DevOps culture.
Key Roles:
Create and maintain documentation for the system.
The core infrastructure is designed, build, and maintained.
Diagnose and maintain the system’s core infrastructure.
Diagnose the problem and devise a fix.
Automate the existing processes.
Monitor performance.
Areas of Experience:
Agile software development
Cloud computing
Scripting language
Monitoring system
Production automation
Areas of Experience:
Software engineering
IT operation
Cloud computing
Monitoring system
Production an automation
System architecture.

Our DevOps Tutorial will help you learn DevOps from scratch!

SRE vs DevOps

SRE focuses on the system engineer position in core infrastructure and is more appropriate in a production setting. DevOps, on the other hand, is a methodology that helps development teams and their non-production computing environments to be more automated and simple.

Some of the key differences are noted below:

Reduce organization silos
Accept failure as normal
An interactive and frequent addition to the project
Implement tools and automation
Everything is measured
Ownership is shared with developers by using the same tools and techniques across the stack.
A formula evaluating accidents and failure against new releases.
Lowering the cost of failure to encourage rapid movement
Implementing automation and focusing on areas that bring long-term benefits.
Consider operation is a software problem and defines the prospective measure of availability, uptime, outage toils, etc.

Check out our blog to learn about top DevOps Tools to work with!

SRE vs DevOps Tools

Common tools used in DevOps and SRE are listed below:

Containers for Microservices and Orchestration Tools

  • DOCKER – As a full end-to-end platform, it accelerates the process of portable applications development for both the cloud and the desktop.
  • KUBERNETS – K8s are used for automating containerized application deployment, scaling, and delivery lifecycle management.
  • PODMAN – A container engine used across Linux systems for the development, management, and running of OCI containers.

Source Control Tool

  • GIT – Git is a widely used tool for source code management systems. Git uses a distributed version control method to make commits to the central repository.
  • SUBVERSION – Subversion is a version control system that is open source. Subversion keeps track of files and directories, as well as the modifications made to them. This allows you to restore older versions of your data or investigate how your data has evolved.

Continuous Integration / Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) Tools

  • JENKINSJenkins is a tool used for automation across the development, testing, and deployment of any project.
  • CircleCI – A CI/CD tool used to automate a pipeline across project infrastructure.

Data Storage Tools

  • MongoDB – Horizontal scaling, intelligent failover, and the ability to assign specific data to a location are all aspects of the document-oriented database service that supports JSON for modern cloud applications that MongoDB offers.
  • MySQL – A fully managed database service that assists in the deployment of cloud-native projects. It comes with a powerful analytics engine that speeds up database services.

Configuration Management Tools

  • Ansible – Ansible is an open-source software provisioning, configuration management, and application deployment tool that enables infrastructure-as-code.
  • Puppet – puppet is a model-driven configuration management tool used to manage its infrastructure.

Monitoring Tools

  • DataDogs – DataDog is a monitoring platform for cloud-scaled applications. It has visualization, alerting, data consolidation, and analysis features. It serves as a tool to link performance metrics to business impact.
  • Nagios – Nagios is an open-source monitoring tool that offers a highly customizable interface and monitoring system.

Need help in preparing for DevOps job interviews? Head to our DevOps interview questions and start preparing!

Career Transition

SRE vs DevOps: Which one to choose as a career?

SRE vs DevOps: Carrier choices

DevOps Career Track:

A career as a DevOps engineer is sure to bring you along on an exciting journey, you would constantly be working on new projects and continuously upgrading the software development life cycle. With the rapidly changing software industry, a DevOps engineer has to learn the latest tools and processes.

Positives of the job:

  • A DevOps team member is expected to take responsibility and take leads when necessary.
  • Learn and use the latest tools and technologies.
  • A DevOps team comprises of various positions such as developers, software testers, QA, release manager, etc. you can find your best fit.

SRE Career Track:

An SRE team member splits his time between development and operation-related tasks such as on-call duties, the job is exciting by nature and is very popular in the IT industry. Regardless of being a software engineer or system engineer, a person belonging to either domain who has an interest in the other can choose SRE as a courier.

Positives of the job:

  • Compete for knowledge of software delivery cycle.
  • learn latest technologies such as continuous delivery, release engineering, infrastructure automation.

Site Reliability Engineering vs DevOps: Salary

SRE Engineer Salary in India ₹12,00,000 /yrDevOps Engineer Salary in India ₹7,00,000 /yr.
SRE Engineer Salary in USA $1,20,000 /yrDevOps Engineer Salary in USA $1,07,000 /yr.

To gather more information about Salaries, visit the DevOps Engineer Salary blog by Intellipaat.


As the buzzwords of IT, SRE and DevOps bring automation to make the processes efficient and fast. Both methods share common practices, yet deliver a different product methodology.

While a person working in a DevOps team has specific job responsibilities, a software engineer in the SRE team partly works as a system engineer. Both the job roles of DevOps and SRE are popular and have huge demand in the IT industry. Either of the roles can provide you with excellent career growth and ample learning opportunities.

Caught up with doubt? No worries, ask them out in our DevOps community right away!

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