A Guide to Building a New SLO

Getting Started

Building a brand new SLO occurs via the SLO Wizard, regardless of whether you are a new user or a seasoned SLO user. The SLO Wizard walks you through the steps, showing your progress at the top of the window.

Building a New SLO

To build a brand new SLO, the SLO Wizard guides you through the following:

  1. Create a User Journey
  2. Select an existing SLI or create a new SLI
  3. Configure the SLO (reliability target, relative to the selected SLI type)
  4. Select an Error Budget Policy (optional)

Once these items are complete, you need to save the SLO.

note

The best practice for User Journey analysis is collaboration across teams and groups to collect the journey information (e.g. engineering, product, site reliability engineers, customer success, etc.).

Creating a User Journey

note

You can create a User Journey and leave it blank (no SLOs) as a placeholder for future population.

  1. Click on the “+ New Journey” Button in the upper right corner of the User Journey step (the opening page when you click on the SLO Manager icon on the left nav bar). This launches the SLO Wizard. The SLO Wizard walks you through the process, showing your progress at the top of the window.
New User Journey opening window
  1. Enter a User Journey Name (*=Required) from the SLO Wizard start page.
  2. Enter a User Journey Definition (*=Required).
  3. Click on the Owner “Unassigned” button to assign an owner. a. Start entering the name of the owner you wish to assign. Blameless will provide a list of known, eligible owners. When all of the required fields have been defined, the “Save” button becomes active.
  4. Click the “Save” button.
  5. Click on the “Next” button. The SLO Wizard advances you to the next step, assigning a known SLI or creating a new SLI.

Selecting an SLI

Once you have created a User Journey, the SLO wizard takes you to the SLI step where you are presented with the options to select an existing SLI via a list you can filter by Service, or create a new SLI (button).

All SLIs created via the SLO Wizard are saved under a Service and accessible directly from the “Service Level Indicators” page, which organizes your SLIs by Service. SLIs can also be created directly from the “Service Level Indicators” page. Refer to the “Create an SLI” in the A Guide to Managing Blameless SLOs.

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It would be a Best Practice to check any existing SLIs to see if they reflect your desired outcome before creating a new SLI. This helps keep track of dependencies and relationships.

"Available Services”, “Search SLIs”, and “Loadling SLIs”

At this step of the SLO wizard, the first thing to look for is the message “Loading SLIs” just below the “SLI” title and “Search SLI” search field below that. Blameless is looking for any existing SLIs and will display them once it retrieves any.

“Available Services” is a list of grouped, existing, SLIs that are available. If you click on the drop-down, you could see a list of titles. If the list exists, they are SLIs grouped together. If you explore the options from the drop-down, you will notice that the list of SLIs changes.

“Search Slis” allows, if you know the name of an existing SLI(s), to enter that name in the search field.

Once Blameless has recovered any known SLIs, they will appear below the above mentioned window elements.

New Services window

Pick one of the following two choices:

  1. Select an existing SLI form a list of Services, if you already have added it to SLO Manager.
  2. Create a new SLI, especially if you do not have any in SLO Manager.
Integrating your selected SLI
  1. Select an existing SLI, since we are explaining adding the SLI. from either “Available Services” Group list or selecting a known SLI by name , or finally, from the list built by Blameless. The Next button should go active (change colors).
Existing SLI Details
note

Since this is an existing SLI, there is a chance the SLI will be associated with other SLO(s). When your existing SLI window opens, look for a notification from Blameless that other SLO(s) share this SLI. You should see this notification just above the SLI title.

  1. Confirm the required (*) fields are populated; you can also add optional definition information if desired.
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If you make changes to the existing SLI, you should use caution as this will affect ANY SLO also sharing this SLI.

  1. Click on the “Next” button. The SLO Details window opens.

Creating an SLO

Existing SLI Details
  1. Complete the required (*) fields: a. SLO Name. Apply a unique, but recognizable name. b. Reliability Target. Set a reliability target (percentage of requests meeting your SLI). The corresponding total error budget in terms of time is automatically calculated and displayed as you change the reliability target (entered value must be strictly less than 100% and strictly higher than 0%). c. SLO Status
    • Development Under construction so nothing affected (i.e., Error Budget).
    • Testing Debugging the SLO; however, Error Budget will be affected.
    • Active SLO is live; treat it as Production, including affecting the Error Budget.

Once the Required fields are complete, the “Save” and “Finish” buttons go active.

  1. Select an Error Budget Policy (optional).
  2. Select either “Save” and continue to edit your SLO settings or “Finish” to save and close the SLO wizard.

The new SLO loads the User Journeys page, containing the following:

  • User Journey Summary
    • Title
    • Description
    • Create date / time
    • Updated
    • Team
  • Reliability Target (prescribed value)
  • Service Level (prescribed value)
  • Associated SLI (Active name)
  • Mousing over the anime displays a Details pop-up:
    • SLI Type
    • Datasource
    • Metric value (determined by the data source and type of SLI chosen)
    • Metric value (determined by the data source and type of SLI chosen)
    • Error Budget Policy (unless not selected--in which case the name is blank)
note

You will note that without an EBP, the charts are flat at the prescribed values you supplied.

New Services window

For More Information

For instructions regarding the creation, configuration, and use of User Journeys, Error Budgets, SLOs, and SLIs, refer to the following SLO references:

Blameless SLO Definitions

An Introductory Guide to Blameless SLOs

A Guide to Getting started with Blameless SLOs

A Guide to Building a New SLO (this document)

A Guide to Error Budget Policies

A Guide to Managing Blameless SLOs

A Guide to Understanding your SLOs

Refer to the Google SRE Handbook for more information regarding Site Reliability Engineering.