Engagement models

The SRE engagement model may evolve over time as SREs can be involved earlier in the development lifecycle.

The process of initiating SRE support for a system is called onboarding. Systems might be:

  • Greenfield developments, with no deployments.
  • Already in production:
    • with no monitoring and an unspoken 100% availability goal; or
    • with an SLO without teeth: a < 100% availability goal but no understanding of importance or how to leverage it for continuous improvement; an SLO without teeth.

There are three high-level approaches to onboarding new services:

  1. Engage from the design stage, ensuring readiness out of the gate.
  2. Provide an pre-approved platform for building new services as a base.
  3. Onboard existing services.

Axes of concerns

These axes represent the areas of a service an SRE team will seek to improve:

  • Architecture and inter-service dependencies
  • Instrumentation, metrics and monitoring
  • Emergency response
  • Capacity planning
  • Change management
  • Performance: availability, latency and efficiency


SRE engagement can be seen as a progression as the process becomes embedded and reaches maturity.

  1. Simple PRR
  2. Early engagement
  3. Frameworks

Alternative support

SRE resources are constrained and not all services require SRE engagement due to lower availability/reliability constraints. It's possible to provide support for other means:

  • Documentation for internal systems and best practices, maybe including worked examples or a production guide.
  • Consultation on specific services or problem domains.

  1. Early
  2. Framework
  3. Simple PRR