SRE Weekly Issue #390

Many apologies to my email subscribers, who have seen two accidental re-sends of old issues recently due to a weird glitch in my automation. I think I’ve gotten a handle on it, and I’ll run an internal retrospective of this incident, of course.

A message from our sponsor, Rootly:

When incidents impact your customers, failing to communicate with them effectively can erode trust even further and compound an already difficult situation. Learn the essentials of customer-facing incident communication in Rootly’s latest blog post:


Is it really SRE vs platform engineer? Or is there a way platforms can take site reliability to the next level?

  Jennifer Riggins — The New Stack

A surgeon delves into the key component that allows a group of skilled individuals to work effectively and safely together, using the term “heed” to describe this special interaction.

Sidenote: in a hilarious coincidence this article managed to spoil me on a movie I was in the middle of watching (Arrival) — but it also put me in a really cool mindset to watch the rest of the film.

  Dr. Rob Poston

More details on Square’s outage from a couple weeks ago (it was DNS).


Azure had an interesting outage in its Australia East region involving a power failure and the order cooling units were restored in.

  Microsoft Azure

Asking this question is how you unlock the hidden essence of an incident. This talk compares two public incident reports to show what it looks like when you dig into this question and when you don’t.

  Jacob Scott — InfoQ

In this air accident, the pilots made a seemingly inexplicable mistake.

This sentence really stood out to me, especially after reading the “How Did It Make Sense at the Time?” article:

When we inexplicably grab the wrong utensil when cooking or accidentally start taking our dirty dishes to the bathroom instead of the kitchen, we should be thankful that we aren’t responsible for a plane full of people.

  Admiral Cloudberg

There’s an interesting failure mode in this one that might stand out for the Kafka admins among us:

The Kafka consumer ended up stuck in a loop, unable to stabilize fast enough before timing out and restarting the coordination process.

  Jakub Oleksy — GitHub

After explaining the difference between the ITIL terms “incident management” and “problem management”, this article goes into a discussion of recent trends and whether it still makes sense to draw a distinction between the two.

  Luis Gonzalez —

Updated: September 17, 2023 — 9:10 pm
A production of Tinker Tinker Tinker, LLC Frontier Theme