I've come to the point where I am starting to adopt principles from Site Reliability Engineering to operate Cloud Native applications in a modern way.

From my reading to date, I have established that one of the core practices is monitoring. The way that SRE approaches monitoring is by defining Service Level Indicators (SLI) which measure an aspect of the end-user experience, then identifying a threshold around the SLI which is called a Service Level Objective (SLO).

is there a standard or common approach to defining Service Level Indicators?

  • be aware Richard: this question smells like "primarily opinion-based" ... Consider rephrasing ... – Pierre.Vriens Oct 24 '19 at 16:00
  • Given that SRE as a practice seems to be quite rigorous, I would be surprised if there wasn’t a definitive answer out there. I suspect I just haven’t encountered it, if it doesn’t exist then so be it. – Richard Slater Oct 24 '19 at 19:59
  • Looks like we have a different opinion (oeps) ... oh well, that's fine with me. Let's wait and see if more opinion related flags / close votes / answers come up. Good luck! – Pierre.Vriens Oct 24 '19 at 20:05
  • 1
    I think this type of question can go either way, sometimes there is a commonly agreed upon answer, sometimes the answer is ‘everyone does it differently’ in which case it is opinion based, at which point I would likely delete my own question. – Richard Slater Oct 24 '19 at 20:10
  • ok, except for the "...delete my own question ...": depending on the type of answers (ie if there are upvoted ones), you may not be allowed to do that (as per the rules of any SE site, which "I" did not invent ...). – Pierre.Vriens Oct 24 '19 at 20:47

Whilst not strictly a standard approach, Google has published an SLI Menu and a process for developing SLIs for user journies:

  1. For each User Journey/Data Flow identify from the SLI Menu suitable types of SLI:

    The SLI Menu

  2. Make a decision about how to measure good and valid events,

  3. Decide where to measure the SLI From out of the following: End User, Client-side Instrumentation, Synthetic Clients, Front-end Metrics, Application Metrics or Server-side Logging.

The document then goes on to describe, how you collate all of your SLIs for all of your user journies then walk the journey to look for coverage gaps. Then finally set SLOs based upon the SLIs either based upon business need or past performance.

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