Go for Development Operations & Site Reliability Engineering (SRE)

Go helps enterprises automate and scale

Development Operations (DevOps) teams help engineering organizations automate tasks and improve their continuous integration and continuous delivery and deployment (CI/CD) process. DevOps can topple developmental silos and implement tooling and automation to enhance software development, deployment, and support.

Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) was born at Google to make the company’s “large-scale sites more reliable, efficient, and scalable,” writes Silvia Fressard, an independent DevOps consultant. “And the practices they developed responded so well to Google’s needs that other big tech companies, such as Amazon and Netflix, also adopted them.” SRE requires a mix of development and operations skills, and “empowers software developers to own the ongoing daily operation of their applications in production.”

Go serves both siblings, DevOps and SRE, from its fast build times and lean syntax to its security and reliability support. Go’s concurrency and networking features also make it ideal for tools that manage cloud deployment—readily supporting automation while scaling for speed and code maintainability as development infrastructure grows over time.

How to use Go for DevOps & SRE

Go has been enthusiastically adopted by the DevOps and SRE communities. As previously noted, many underpinnings of the modern cloud environment are themselves written in Go—including Docker, Etcd, Istio, Kubernetes, Prometheus, Terraform, and many others.

DevOps/SRE teams write software ranging from small scripts, to command-line interfaces (CLI), to complex automation and services, and Go’s feature set has benefits for every situation.

For small scripts: Go’s fast build and startup times. Go’s extensive standard library—including packages for common needs like HTTP, file I/O, time, regular expressions, exec, and JSON/CSV formats—lets DevOps/SREs get right into their business logic. Plus, Go’s static type system and explicit error handling make even small scripts more robust.

For CLIs: every site reliability engineer has written “one-time use” scripts that turned into CLIs used by dozens of other engineers every day. And small deployment automation scripts turn into rollout management services. With Go, DevOps/SREs are in a great position to be successful when software scope inevitably creeps. Starting with Go puts you in a great position to be successful when that happens.

For larger applications: Go’s garbage collector means DevOps/SRE teams don’t have to worry about memory management. And Go’s automatic documentation generator (godoc) makes code self-documenting.

Key solutions

Go books on DevOps & SRE