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Communications of the ACM


Metrics That Matter

man with giant ruler measuring the word 'Reliability,' illustration

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Site reliability engineering, or SRE, is a software-engineering specialization that focuses on the reliability and maintainability of large systems. In its experience in the field, Google has found some critical but oft-neglected metrics that are important for running reliable services.

This article, based on Ben Treynor's talk at the Google Cloud Next 2017 conference,7 addresses those metrics, specifically for product development and SRE teams, managers of such teams, and anyone else who cares about the reliability of Web products or infrastructure. To further explain its approach to product reliability, Google has published Site Reliability Engineering: How Google Runs Production Systems1 (hereafter referred to as the SRE book) and The Site Reliability Workbook: Practical Ways to Implement SRE2 (hereafter referred to as the SRE workbook).


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