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ADEO Services: Creating an open-source SLO Generator that helps keep businesses compliant

About ADEO Services

ADEO Services helps homeware, DIY, and decoration companies under its parent group, ADEO, to make the most of their data. It does this while respecting privacy and ensuring security, availability, durability, consistency, and performance for its 452 million customers. The company also offers technology services to help other businesses better serve their customers.

Industries: Retail & Consumer Goods
Location: France

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ADEO Services leverages the power of Google Cloud and the SLO Generator to ensure that the brands across its parent company meet availability and reliability commitments.

Google Cloud results

  • Monitors performance across nearly 200 products used internally by Adeo Services and its parent group
  • Provides an external open-source SLO solution that repositions Adeo Services as a ‘go-to’ software provider
  • Adeo Services SRE Team uses data provided by SLO to guide ops decision
  • Adeo Services SRE Team co develop SLO generator to operate at scale

Enables 15,000 SLO computations per minute

Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) is an expanding field that’s generated growing attention over recent years. SRE adoption among global enterprises grew from 10% in 2019 to 15% in 2020, according to the DevOps Institute. That’s a figure that’s likely to increase rapidly in the coming years as SRE becomes a more common component of the tech ecosystem.

Service-Level Objectives (SLO), one tool within the SRE space, provide reassurance to Site Reliability Engineers by enabling them to measure and monitor performance criteria, such as system availability. It also empowers developers to experiment and take risks with their code, knowing that they can measure their impact and tread the line between performance and time-to-market. But automating this process to enable rapid SLO calculations, particularly to meet the obligations of customer-facing Service Level Agreements (SLA), is not easy. This presented a challenge for ADEO services, who realised there were no tools on the market for doing so three years ago.

"We were introduced to SRE and SLOs as part of a digital transformation journey we’ve been undertaking," says Jean-François Marquis, Head Of Ops at ADEO Services. "We partnered with Google Cloud to create the SLO Generator, a tool that collects metrics, calculates SLOs automatically and provides data-driven reports in near-real-time."

"We were introduced to SRE and SLOs as part of a digital transformation journey we’ve been undertaking. We partnered with Google Cloud to create the SLO Generator, a tool that calculates SLOs automatically and provides data-driven reports in near-real-time."

Jean-François Marquis, Head Of Ops, ADEO Services

Managing systems at scale with Google Cloud

ADEO Services began working with Google Cloud in July 2018, as part of a successful digital transformation initiative at its parent company. ADEO Group is the third-largest player worldwide in the home improvement market. It has 500 million customers across 26 interconnected companies, and 900 sales outlets across 13 countries, including Brazil, China, France, Russia, and South Africa. ADEO Services provides IT and infrastructure support to connect these brands, including through its data platforms, which ensure that ADEO teams stay cloud compliant, through serverless, real-time monitoring. But ADEO Services wanted to do more and it turned to Google Cloud Consulting Services to find out about managing systems at scale. The SLO Generator resulted from this collaboration.

"SLO and direct measurement of Service-Level Indicators (SLI) was really new to us," explains Clément Pruvot, Architect at ADEO Services. "The Google Cloud team showed us their vision, and that was really the birth of the SLO Generator. It's a simple, but powerful tool that can retrieve and compute data from multiple backends using the same configuration. That’s its unique power."

Bringing the SLO Generator to life

ADEO Services brought the SLO Generator to life using a combination of its own technical expertise and a range of Google Cloud solutions. The SLO Generator has since become a huge asset to the company.

"What started off on a very small scale has taken off across ADEO Group and its business units," Clément Pruvot adds, "because everyone is seeing the value that gathering SLO through the SLO Generator is providing. We now have a huge data lake and BigQuery table that’s growing every day. One year from now, we’ll be able to look back at all of the improvements we’ve made. It's really useful data and it wouldn't have been possible without the SLO Generator."

SLO Generator has enabled ADEO Services to increase its SLI monitoring from its first app in 2018 to almost 200 products that are used across ADEO Group today. It’s also powering more than 15,000 SLO computations every minute, powered by the SLO Generator. That allows them to interrogate performance data alongside financial data, to measure the impact of each potential decision they could take.

"Once you’ve decided you want to choose a particular technology in our catalogue," Jean-François Marquis adds, "you have to bear in mind that, while it may be the cheapest, you may not be able to achieve the correct SLA, or perhaps you’ll need to shift from a transactional database to another database to guarantee consistency at scale. So we have to explain to our clients that technology is not a miracle and that you have to take a little time to evaluate each product to balance performance, cost, and availability."

"We now have a huge data lake and BigQuery table that’s growing every day. One year from now, we’ll be able to look back at all of the improvements we’ve made. It's really useful data and it wouldn't have been possible without the SLO Generator."

Clément Pruvot, Enterprise Technical Architect, ADEO Services

Promoting a culture of continuous improvement at ADEO

While the project has been hugely successful, Jean-François Marquis and Clément Pruvot still faced resistance to this new way of working. Among the ambitions at ADEO Group is a desire to build better experiences for its customers throughout the various stages of their lifetime with the company. One idea is to provide travelling salespeople with digital tools to help customers in their homes. That might include a tablet that helps them to choose a product or paint colour, connected to a virtual or augmented device that allows them to envision what the changes will look like once they’re in place. They could then place their order with the salesperson, in-store, or via the website. That’s an idea that appeals to many within the company, but Jean-François Marquis and his team can now explain the technology constraints of such a project, including the costs of meeting an SLA of 99.95%.

"It’s human nature," says Marquis. "There will always be people who are used to doing things a certain way, particularly if they’ve been doing so for 20 or 30 years. Our job was to convince them of the benefits of the new approach. We have to introduce a blameless culture, which explains that these performance metrics are not designed to chide anyone, but to ensure we are able to provide continuous improvements through a platform that achieves better SLO for our customers."

These efforts have not gone unnoticed, with Clément Pruvot adding: "We already have a huge data lake containing two years of SLO data that we can use in dashboards. It's really useful in enabling us to closely monitor the performance of our applications on a daily basis."

Sharing SLO Generator with the wider world

ADEO Services has since published SLO Generator as an open-source tool so that other people and organisations can take advantage of this pioneering piece of technology. The response has been overwhelmingly positive, both from open-source communities and commercial enterprises. In France, where ADEO began life, companies such as Airbus, Decathlon, and Renault have already started using the SLO Generator. This new direction for the company will see it begin to offer more technology solutions aimed at fellow business users.

"The whole thing is really taking off," says Clément Pruvot. "There are a lot of people who are contributing to the SLO generator code repository, so everyone is adding to its features to build a really great tool. And lots of people are developing custom backends to improve the tool even further, including being able to retrieve data from even more monitoring tools."

Looking to the future

ADEO Services is now in the process of consolidating all of the lessons it has learned with Google Cloud, to build on its data platform and improve the SLO Generator. And, one area that the team is keen to expand on is the use of machine learning to further refine its operations through predictive analytics.

"Google Cloud has helped us to deploy at scale, and working with its professional services team has been very useful," Jean-François Marquis adds. "Ultimately, we will master our own evolution and destiny, but we certainly see it playing a key role in helping us to achieve this. When it comes to machine learning, we have all the prerequisites, so it’s time to get to work. This will play a crucial role in our activities throughout 2022."

"Google Cloud has helped us to deploy at scale, and working with its professional services team has been very useful. Ultimately, we will master our own evolution and destiny, but we certainly see it playing a key role in helping us to achieve this."

Jean-François Marquis, Head Of Ops, ADEO Services

Tell us your challenge. We're here to help.

Contact us

About ADEO Services

ADEO Services helps homeware, DIY, and decoration companies under its parent group, ADEO, to make the most of their data. It does this while respecting privacy and ensuring security, availability, durability, consistency, and performance for its 452 million customers. The company also offers technology services to help other businesses better serve their customers.

Industries: Retail & Consumer Goods
Location: France