An operational environment is a complex and interconnected mesh of components working in unison to deliver a set of services. In a prior iteration of the teams, we purposely avoided organizing teams along siloed Departments, aligning them instead along the environment's lifecycle, taking into account the two variables that drive change into the environment: time and space.
Our long-term objective is to become a world-class Infrastructure organization. In order to reach that goal, we first adopted a focal arrangement where the organizational formula is derived from the focus and purpose of the groups arranged along the time and space variables, and group the appropriate functional resources necessary to manage the environment, which include systems and database specialties.
The first iteration in this model comprised two groups, Site Availability and Site Reliability. The second iteration added a third group, one specializing on the biggest source of change in the environment, releases, whose purpose is to make CI/CD at GitLab a reality: Delivery.
We are entering our fourth organizational iteration: the department (and the company as a whole) has grown and while our availability improved, it has suffered recently as we face scalability challenges. The Reliability teams have matured, the Delivery team has accomplished the first iteration of Continuous Delivery, and we must now expand our focus to address scalability challenges that surface on GitLab.com.
Infrastructure is now composed of five teams, and three individual contributors(ICs): three Reliability teams comprised of SREs and DBREs, the Delivery team, with continued focus on improving and dogfooding our CI/CD capabilities, and the Scalability team, which is hone in our scalability capabilities. Three IC's in the team are
Distinguished Engineer, Infrastructure,
Engineering Fellow, Infrastructure, and
Note, Product Management support for the Infrastructure Department is provided by the Enablement Stage and is therefore not captured in this organization structure. To engage with the Infrastructure PM, see the Infra PM page.
We are organizing practice runs for service incidents, change issue failures, newly introduced services, and more. As part of the practice, we focus discussions around service visibility, documentation, and troubleshooting. The scenarios we discuss are brought up in our agenda ahead of the meeting time. Persons who are on-call run through a scenario where we identify improvements and have people who worked on the service implementation answer any raised questions. The end goal of these exercises are to make necessary improvements to our monitoring capabilities, to share knowledge and skills to others, and to further improve GitLab.com as a whole. This is supplemental to the DNA meeting to observe what is currently available, discuss failure scenarios, and attempt to prove or disprove we are acheiving our own set guidelines in our readiness reviews.
Scenarios for Fire Drills can be created any time via this issue template.
Videos that are able to be provided publically are posted to the Infrastructure Fire Drills YouTube playlist.