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SLOconf 2023 QA: Harness Showcases Reliability Modules (SRM and CE) as Part of Their Software Delivery Platform


SLOconf is the only event dedicated to the practice and application of Service Level Objectives (SLOs). Taking place May 15-18, SLOconf 2023 is a virtual event now in its third year. The agenda will include more than 70 speakers with presentations laser-focused on all aspects of SLOs. 

In this exclusive pre-show Q&A, we're speaking with Jim Hirschauer, Sr. Director of Platform Marketing at Harness. Harness is a modern software delivery platform that allows engineers and DevOps to build, test, deploy, and verify software, on-demand.

VMblog:  To kick things off, give VMblog readers a quick overview of the company.

Jim Hirschauer:  Harness is a powerful software delivery platform that empowers engineering teams to deliver software rapidly, efficiently, and securely. With Harness, developers can streamline the entire software delivery process from code to production, automating critical tasks such as testing, deployment, and verification. Harness is the only software delivery platform that includes reliability and resiliency checks as pipeline steps to encourage proactive reliability for improved customer experience.

VMblog:  What made you sponsor SLOconf 2023? Is this a must-sponsor event for your company?

Hirschauer:  Harness' SLO management module (called Service Reliability Management) was released about one year ago. We've learned a lot in that time by interacting with the SRE community and we want to share our knowledge wherever it can provide benefit. SLOconf is a natural fit for this.

VMblog:  What is your message to attendees of the show?

Hirschauer:  To the attendees of the show; There has never been a more important time to focus on proactive reliability and to automate the process at scale.When you embed reliability and resiliency processes into software delivery pipelines you create a strategic focus across your organization. Reliability is a team sport and process automation is critical to achieve success.

VMblog:  What are the market needs or problems that your company is solving for these attendees?

Hirschauer:  Harness is solving for the following market challenges:

  1. A small number of SREs are tasked with ensuring the reliability of hundreds or thousands of application services. This is unsustainable without a massive reduction in toil and significant investments in process automation.
  2. Customers have higher reliability expectations than ever before. Most expect the software to just work whenever they need it to. They also expect rapid delivery of new features. These expectations are at odds with each other as rapid delivery of new features tends to negatively impact reliability. By introducing reliability and resilience improvements early in the software delivery lifecycle, the ideal balance can be created between velocity and reliability.
  3. It's inevitable that production incidents will occur. In today's world of data overload, SREs have massive data lakes created from multiple monitoring sources. Filtering this data and rapidly restoring service can be difficult. Now factor in the ability for developers to toggle new features with the flip of a switch (Feature Flag Management) and it complicates matters even more. Harness has created a solution that cuts through all the noise and shows SREs the most important metric and change data to restore service as quickly as possible.

VMblog:  What sets you apart from the competition?

Hirschauer:  The Harness Software Delivery Platform is unique in that it enables reliability engineers to embed resilience engineering and reliability guardrails into CI/CD pipelines. This creates a paradigm shift from reactive and siloed to proactive and distributed. Ultimately this paradigm shift benefits the business by achieving cost savings due to efficiency gains, improving customer satisfaction, and creating a competitive advantage by confidently deploying new features rapidly.

VMblog:  Is your company launching anything new at the show? Can you give us a sneak peek?

Hirschauer:  We've recently released our integration between Harness Service Reliability Management (SRM) and Harness Chaos Engineering (CE). This integration provides two key functionalities that are beneficial to reliability engineering. 1 - Engineers can now use SLOs as the measure of pass/fail for chaos experiments. Since SLOs should be configured as accurate measures of customer experience, they make for excellent inputs when determining the outcome of an experiment. 2 - Chaos experiment event notifications are injected into the SRM module which aligns these change events with SLO and error budget charts. It becomes immediately apparent when an SLO violation is caused by a chaos experiment.

VMblog:  What will you be showing off at the show this year?

Hirschauer:  Harness will be showcasing our reliability modules (SRM and CE) as part of our software delivery platform. These modules are available as standalone software but the integrations between these and the rest of the platform show how powerful reliability and resiliency practices can be.

VMblog:  What are the trends your company is seeing that we should be aware of in 2023 and beyond?

Hirschauer:  At Harness we are seeing a trend of industry experts calling for investments in reliability. Reliability is now the 5th major element identified by the DORA State of DevOps report. Additionally, Gartner has released a framework called the "Digital Immune System" that highlights critical capabilities needed to enhance the reliability and security of application services. At the same time, we see many companies investing in building and empowering new SRE teams who are tasked with improving reliability across a significant portion of their application portfolio.

VMblog:  Does your company have a speaking track at the event? If so, can you tell us about the session so people can get them on their schedules?

Hirschauer:  Harness has a speaking session at the event. Surya Bhagvat leads the SRE team at Harness. He and his team are responsible for the reliability and performance of the Harness SaaS platform. Surya will be sharing how he used business objectives to create SLOs that positively impacted customer experience. He will describe how Harness connects business objectives with setting SLIs and SLOs and how this is a constantly evolving process at Harness.


Published Tuesday, May 09, 2023 8:27 AM by David Marshall
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