SRE Weekly Issue #125


Now is the time to start investing in DevOps. We sat down with Forrester’s Chris Condo to get an industry expert’s opinions on this exact topic:


Go’s HTTP client defaults to no timeout. Making HTTP requests with no timeout is rarely a good idea and has been at the heart of many incidents I’ve been involved in.

Nathan Smith

A few times now, I’ve made offhand comments about how Spanner promises a lot and I’d like to know what the catches are. Here they are! In all fairness, they’re pretty reasonable constraints to work with.

Niel Markwick and Robert Saxby — Google

I’d refer to this as more of a retrospective template, but in any case, it’s pretty nifty!

Michael Kehoe

This is a news report rather than a technical deep-dive. It’s got some pretty interesting (and amusing) stories from various MMOs.

Alex Wiltshire — PC Gamer

Here’s how Netflix does observability.

Kevin Lew and Sangeeta Narayanan — Netflix

Looks like I’ve missed a few incident followup posts from Heroku in the past couple months:

#1548: Increased errors in starting dynos
#1535: Post-incident Dyno Restarts
#1459: Scheduled API Maintenance on Monday March 26 at 23:00 UTC (4:00 PM PT)’
#1413: Dyno Availability
#1414: Heroku Connect Sync Delays
#1395: Heroku Connect Availability
#1393: Heroku Connect unavailable
#1379: Dyno boot issues


SRE Weekly Issue #124

Today’s my birthday!  Bit of a short issue this week as a result, but lots of interesting outages.


Support your DevOps and SRE efforts by implementing on-call tools that make people happy. With the right on-call tools, you can continuously deliver while maintaining system resiliency. Read more to learn about identifying good on-call tools:


These terms are not interchangeable. Learn about the ins and outs of fault tolerance to highlight the differences between the two concepts.

Fernando Doglio

What caught my eye in this article: AIIMS, the Australasian InterService Incident Management System. It’s the equivalent of the Incident Management System (IMS) in the US.

Ian Jones


SRE Weekly Issue #123

I hope you all had a happy GDPR day!  SRE Weekly’s privacy policy has not changed.  Folks that subscribed by email would have seen a message that I only share your email address with MailChimp, and that’s the way it will stay.

You can unsubscribe at any time by following the link at the bottom of the email, but if you have any trouble at all with unsubscribing, please don’t hesitate to email me and I’ll take care of it for you.


Maintaining reliability through cloud migration can be difficult. Learn how implementing an incident management solution can make migration faster, reduce costs, and make SRE-life easier:


The system is highly configurable, allowing fine-grained A/B testing of failures at all levels of the microservice call tree.

Ephemeral port exhaustion can really ruin your day. Read this to learn how to deal with it, how to detect it before you have problems, and why you might run out of ports sooner than you expect.

Will Sewell — Pusher

This incident report from 2013 is a great read. It’s really two inches in one, including an analysis of why a remediation task from the first wasn’t completed in time to prevent the second.

David Poblador i Garcia — Spotify

There are a few nice tidbits in this interview, including this one:

[…] the health of the system no longer matters.  We’ve entered an era where what matters is the health of each individual event, or each individual user’s experience […]

Daniel Bryant – InfoQ

This article has introduction to implementing canary deployment and also includes a discussion of the potential downsides.

Erik [surname not given] —

Lots of great detail in this announcement, including an analysis of how (and why) they designed their load balancer to function entirely in userspace without a kernel bypass mechanism.

Nikita Shirokov and Ranjeeth Dasineni — Facebook

Metrics are great, right? Except sometimes they’re not, when the metric collection itself adds enough load to impair the system.

Jonathan Brown — Wallaroo


  • Google BigQuery
    • Click through for the full incident report.

      Configuration changes being rolled out on the evening of the incident were not applied in the intended order.

  • GCP Networking in us-east4
    • Here’s some detail on the BGP issue that took down us-east4 last week.
  • Google StackDriver
    • It’s a hat trick of three GCP incident followup reports. Happy reading!
  • Slack
  • Bank of New Zealand
  • Twitter
  • National Australia Bank
    • This outage is particularly notable because the bank has stated their intention to compensate customers for their losses, such as estimated lost revenues from inability to complete sales transactions.

SRE Weekly Issue #122


Determining the right tools for your SRE team(s) can get confusing. So, VictorOps, InfluxData, and Grafana are putting on a webinar—May 16th, 1 pm ET—to help you build your SRE toolchain:


After adopting a “full ownership” philosophy, this company faced burnout, with five or more separate developers on call simultaneously. Read about their awesome solution involving a shared on-call rotation staffed entirely by volunteers, spurred by the incentive of extra compensation.

Brian Scanlan — Intercom

What exactly is SRE and how does it relate to DevOps? Earlier this year, we (Liz Fong-Jones and Seth Vargo) launched a video series to help answer some of these questions and reduce the friction between the communities. This blog post summarizes the themes and lessons of each video in the series to offer actionable steps toward better, more reliable systems.

Liz Fong-Jones and Seth Vargo — Google

After a load test uncovered a scaling issue, they dug deep, finding issues with garbage collection settings, cascading failures, and an overeager retry strategy.

Val Markovic — LinkedIn

These tips cover the basics and will be especially useful for teams onboarding engineers that have never been on-call before.

This article examines a case study of an EMS company attempting to adopt a just culture policy. There’s a great discussion of why it’s not a good idea to lay blame on individuals when systemic problems may be far more important.

Larry Boxman and Paul LeSage — JEMS (Journal of Emergency Medical Services)

In this third and final article in a series, Xero lays out their process for analyzing incidents after the fact. Thanks to the Xero folks for being so open about your processes and for taking the time to write these articles!

Karthik Nilakant — Xero

I like the nifty heat maps with example distributed traces. Neat idea!

JBD — Google


SRE Weekly Issue #121


Determining the right tools for your SRE team(s) can get confusing. So, VictorOps, InfluxData, and Grafana are putting on a webinar—May 16th, 1 pm ET—to help you build your SRE toolchain:


This latest in the CRE Life Lessons series takes on dependencies and how they impact a service’s SLO in obvious and subtle ways.

Robert van Gent — Google

This company discovered that the benefits of microservices came with some significant downsides. Here’s how they turned to chaos testing to improve reliability.

Meredith Courtemanche — TechTaret

Keeping in mind that this is written by the CTO of Gremlin, it contains some good points about buying versus building your chaos engineering system. It would apply to other chaos engineering services too — if there were any.

Matt Fornaciari — Gremlin, Inc.

Even as an experienced Terraform user, I learned about some Terraform features I hadn’t been aware of.

Nic Jackson — Hashicorp

In issue #98, I linked to a recording of John Allspaw’s DOES17 talk. In case you didn’t have time to listen, here’s a transcript. If you didn’t have time to read the Stella Report, I highly recommend reading this as an intro to the major concepts therein.

John Allspaw


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