More by Krzysztof Konieczny:What reliability target should I choose? Introducing SLI Analyzer
| Author: Krzysztof Konieczny
"Are we reliable?" Your boss wants a yes/no answer or maybe even a simple “number of nines.” They want a simple software quality measurement they can point to so they feel confident that your software and services are working. If only it were that simple.
Measuring Reliability with SLOs
If you are a reliability engineer, you know that service level objectives (SLOs) have revolutionized how organizations measure the performance and availability of their services. As a direct effect, the quality of software has leveled up, and so have consumer's expectations. It makes sense; as SLOs grow in number and complexity, you gain richer information you can use to engineer reliability in your process. However, with this complexity, it becomes seemingly impossible to show the reliability of the whole system in a single metric while letting anyone drill down to the details to understand what’s going on.
Introducing the Reliability Score
To assess the quality of your software and its reliability, you need a comprehensive approach that goes beyond a simple "yes/no" answer. This is where the concept of a Reliability Score becomes invaluable.
The Reliability Score provides a standardized measure of reliability by providing how often you are adhering to your goals, addressing the challenge of managing a multitude of complex SLOs. It offers a straightforward answer to a critical question: "Are you meeting your reliability targets?"
Measuring Software Quality and Reliability
This innovative approach allows you to measure the quality of software and the reliability of software in a more holistic manner. While the question is simple enough, given the different ways of measuring SLOs, there must be other ways of answering the question.
Understanding Reliability Score Metrics
The reliability score quantifies the proportion of time a service remains within its error budget. If a service never depletes the error budget or stays above the specified SLO, the score will be 100%. If you drain your error budget and remain in that depleted state for 10% of the time, your reliability score would be 90% (100-10=90). While this simple ratio works for rolling time-window SLOs, calendar-aligned SLOs need different treatment because they don’t have the same characteristics as the former. In these cases, we focus on the final measurements of how closely the service adhered to its reliability commitment to provide a comprehensive view of reliability.
Simplicity and Precision: The Reliability Score's Clarity
The Reliability Score simplifies the complexity of looking at many SLOs, offering clarity and confidence in your reliability measurements. It provides a unified and clear metric to assess and improve code quality and the reliability of software.
Leveraging the Reliability Score
The report is readily packaged for leadership, allowing them to see if the service is performing within its reliability targets without getting overburdened by looking at specific graphs. It also uncovers your most reliable and least reliable services so that you can easily give kudos to those who own the good and encourage those with room to improve.
Enhancing Program Reliability
The Reliability Score is a valuable tool for organizations seeking to enhance program reliability. It transforms established SLO targets into actionable metrics, eliminating the need for ongoing scrutiny and allowing you to concentrate on delivering exceptional user experiences.
What’s Your Score?
Incorporating a robust reliability measurement tool like the Reliability Score can significantly contribute to maintaining and improving the reliability of software within your organization. It helps you measure software quality and assess your software's performance against defined SLOs, ultimately ensuring that your software and services meet the high standards expected by your customers.
Get Started with Nobl9
So, what’s your score?
Nobl9 Reliability Center can help you quickly benchmark a reliability score that you can use to set your priorities and get everyone on the same page. It might sound complicated, but the first step is easy. If you want to try it yourself, you can get started on Nobl9 Reliability Center Free Edition. Assessing and improving the reliability of software and conducting software reliability analysis has never been more straightforward.