What are SLOs?
Service level objectives (SLOs) are part of a set of measures to increase the quality of service management. This set of instructions helps to understand which behaviors really matter, how to measure them and how to evaluate them so that the service has an acceptable quality. SLOs are key to making data-driven decisions about reliability. They are at the core of SRE practices. This brings greater confidence to the Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) team about what is important for the full functioning of the service, as well as resulting in a positive end-user experience.
Why SREs Need SLOs?
Site Reliability Engineers cannot manage their services correctly if they have not identified the behaviors most important to the service and to customers. Carefully considered SLOs prioritize the work of SRE teams by providing data points that allow leaders to consider the opportunity cost of performing reliability work versus investing in functionality that will gain or retain customers.
Organizations should align SREs’ tasks and priorities as defined by SLOs. They help SREs defend user happiness by clearly defining a target for service performance. They also ensure that SREs, product teams, developer teams, operations teams, and executives understand and measure reliability, as it matters to the customer. SLOs establish thresholds for acceptable levels of reliability that SREs must protect and maintain. SRE teams can easily see when quality of service declines below the SLO threshold so that they can take the required action.
This chapter from the book "SLO Adoption and Usage in Site Reliability Engineering" explains common service-level terminology, how SLOs safeguard the reliability of your service and how organizations can leverage SLOs as powerful business tools.
Read more at SLO Adoption and Usage in SRE