Putting a service in production is among the most important things SREs do and should always involve careful planning and preparation. (Otherwise it probably isn’t that important which begs the question: why are we even putting this into production in the first place?)

Operating complex, distributed systems in production is a topic I’m especially interested in these days, and on occasion, I collect notes about it.


  • Does your new service come with a health dashboard?
    • Link please !
    • Some things to show: host, application metrics + any metrics extracted from log events
  • Have notifications been setup around key metrics that impact customer experience when performance thresholds are crossed? (Alerts, 3 levels: observed, important (24hr resolution SLO), emergency fix now (Broken SLA))

Documenting a service

Who owns it and who knows the most about it if these aren’t one and the same person. Include contact info – email, phone, etc – and any alternate contacts.

  • Include an Architecture diagram, and
  • Any dependent services (eg If service A fails, and my service depends on A my service fails.), as well as
  • Instructions, details how we might stop and start it, and finally
  • Is there any special performance related config? (eg load shedding, function disabling, …)

Documenting a service – Logs

  • Where are they?
  • Are they being rotated?
  • Are they being collected centrally?

Documenting a service – Runbooks

  • List of standard operational tasks (daily, weekly, monthly)
  • How to recover from failures we can predict
  • A process to document ones we didn’t


  • Unit, Integration, UAT
  • Load, performance, stress

What do you do if…

  • You get 10x more traffic than expected day 1 <- think about a scaling strategy

The 12 Factor Criteria

JA Micro (Sixt)

Services …

  • Are delivered to prod in containers (Or fat jars for Java)
  • Get configuration values from the process environment
  • Log using a standard log format (json, structured, machine readable)
  • Report application state, computation progress as metrics (counters, timers, gauges)
  • Provide an external endpoint for health checks (Am I healthy right now?, http)
  • Provide test components