How the eCommerce giant aligned their teams to achieve 100% autonomy to manage their infrastructure with Facets.
The framework and collaboration aspect made us take the plunge. We could see the complexity going up 10X, and the solution still working for us. The team at Facets has been extremely competent and proactive - It didn’t feel like we implemented a tool. It’s more like Facets is working alongside us to really help us achieve our targets.
Founded in 2012, Purplle.com is one of India’s largest e-beauty destinations with more than 7 million monthly active users. The company houses 1000+ brands and nearly 50,000 products, available on its website and app. Purplle recently closed a $45M round from Verlinvest, Sequoia Capital India, Blume Ventures & JSW Ventures.
"In 2019, we pivoted from a beauty eCommerce company to a beauty tech company. We have a very scaled D2C Beauty platform. Additionally, we now have a house of D2C beauty brands where we use a lot of data generated for demand sensing and to figure out what products will work. We also have acquired a few scaled-up brands like Faces Canada.” -
In the initial years at Purplle, the architecture was a monolith. They moved to micro-services, containers, and Kubernetes for agility and scale. however, the team couldn't realize this agility due to blockers in DevOps.
Rising complexity and tribal knowledge with the increasing number of devs and micro-services. They scaled from 20 engineers to 120 during the Covid-19 period, alone.
People-dependent DevOps rather than process-dependent DevOps. Speeding up DevOps meant hiring more DevOps engineers
"We had a great development team rolling out features but those features were not seeing the light of the day because of DevOps-related problems. A lot of things were tribal knowledge, where there was a particular guy who knew how to do certain things. It meant that our DevOps was people dependent rather than being process dependent." -
Purplle took steps to break free from this problem :
First, they implemented a checklist manifesto. However, it didn't scale beyond a point.
They searched for vendors- who promised enhancements, but only fractional and non-scalable.
The obvious next step was infrastructure automation on which Purplle started its journey. Suyash reached out to peer companies with past infrastructure automation experience. His observation was as follows.
"What I see is a bunch of scripts written in Ansible or Terraform. But how to use those scripts was still tribal knowledge." -
In one such conversation, one of the CTO community members recommended Facets. During the evaluation period, Facets showed how Purplle's Dev and Ops teams can manage their infrastructure better, created a solid collaborative ecosystem between multiple teams, and aligned with Purplle's tools and security requirements.
Post the evaluation period, Purplle migrated their complete storefront within a month to Facets - from development to sandbox and production environments. In subsequent weeks, additional features like out-of-the-box Alerts, Dashboards, and RBAC were adopted organically within the teams.
Single-click environment deployment with collaborative workflows
Multiple sets of sandboxes through which Purplle could test and qualify features
Out-of-the-box automation to optimize cloud spend
“There is a great video from Spotify, that talks about aligned autonomy in an ideal engineering team. This means giving power to the teams to manage their entire software lifecycle from the get-go, where they control the development, deployment, performance, and infrastructure. But with this, alignment is still very important, which means, as a company, you need to be aligned to the guardrails.” said “One thing that really struck me about Facets was how beautiful it was fitting into this particular vision."
Increased agility - 25X faster time to go-live
70% reduction in non-production cloud cost.
All non-production environments are Spot optimized out-of-the-box.
100% ownership of architecture for developers. DevOps team owns the central guardrails.
Purplle has overcome the DevOps problem they had set out to solve. Now, they are transforming their DevOps team into a Platform Engineering Team.
I don't want any DevOps team, I want a platform engineering team who can solve complex problems and help dev teams to scale their apps. Like how do you increase the throughput of your machines? Facets will allow us for sure to spend time on high-value activities and not mundane Ops, which is a big unlock for me.
faster time to go live
reduction in non-production cloud cost
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