Feb 27, 2024

Feb 27, 2024

Feb 27, 2024

Prodvana Architecture Part 1: Overview

Naphat Sanguansin

Platform Engineering is a force multiplier for velocity, reliability, and efficiency. Platform teams reduce friction between the application and infrastructure and sustainably accelerate the business.

In 2019, Netflix published a blog on Managed Delivery. At the same time, I was the tech lead of a project to decompose the Dropbox monolith into a platform called Atlas, a system that shared all the same properties of Managed Delivery. These initiatives had the same goal: understanding the intent rather than the steps.

What follows is a series of posts that deep dive into the technical architecture of Prodvana’s intent-based deployment system. Each post is structured around a major component.

  • Part 1 (this post) - Overview and Motivations

  • Part 2 - the Prodvana Compiler

  • Part 3 - the Prodvana Convergence Engine

  • Part 4 - the Prodvana Runtime Interface and Conclusion

The Benefits

  • Teams experience a 50% increase in deployment frequency.

  • Teams catch at least 20% of failures automatically and resolve them.

  • Teams can easily stand up new regions and tenants, with the average service needing 5x less configuration.

  • Teams onboard their first service to Prodvana in under 20 minutes.

  • Teams employ a single workflow to handle various workflows, encompassing cloud-native and legacy processes.

Defining the requirements of an intent-based system

Akin to the Managed Delivery approach at Netflix, Prodvana defines “intent” as understanding the unique needs of the application, delivery, and infrastructure.

Requirement 1: Intent Definitions

The system must provide a way to define definitions of intent that cover cases across Infrastructure, Delivery, and Applications.

For Infrastructure

  • Identifying regions where deployments need to occur

  • Determining the appropriate machine types for different regions.

  • Defining the runtime environment (Kubernetes, ECS, VMs, etc.).

  • Defining which components are available for Delivery and Applications to utilize.

For Delivery

  • Establish the order of deployments across various environments.

  • Set environment-specific rules such as maintenance windows and banning deployments when alerts are firing.

  • Overall "health" of the system.

For Applications

  • How to start the service (flags, binary name)?

  • How many replicas to run?

  • How does the application specify its healthiness?

  • Specific configuration for the application, such as backend storage, credentials, and more.

Requirement 2: Adaptive to real-time changes

By using intent, we also have an implied requirement of adapting to real-time changes. For example, an unrelated change may cause an outage that makes deploying unsafe. A delivery system that operates on intent must adjust to real-time changes.

Requirement 3: Brownfield, not Greenfield

Based on our experience in infrastructure, we looked to maximize adoption rates and avoid migration taxes. We did this by taking a brownfield first approach, which drives technical requirements on interfaces and integration points.

For example, the system must be adaptable to various types of infrastructure, including Kubernetes, virtual machines, and proprietary solutions. The system should integrate existing configurations, such as Kubernetes configurations or ECS task specs, minimizing migration costs without requiring a complete system redesign or massive migration.

Key Terminology

These definitions are used for the remainder of this architecture overview.

  • Application: A collection of related Services with the same release requirements that roll up to a single product for a team, including internally facing products.

  • Release Channel: Logical slices and release stages of an Application. In Netflix's Managed Delivery blog post, this is called an environment.

  • Service: The unit of deployment, the entity being released to all Release Channels of an Application.

  • Service Instance: An instantiation of a Service in a Release Channel.

  • Runtime: The backends where Services run, such as Kubernetes clusters, Google Cloud Run regions, and Amazon ECS clusters.

Dynamic Delivery: How We Implemented Intent-Based Delivery

Dynamic Delivery is three primary components designed with unique requirements and interfaces resulting in a meaningful separation of concerns.

Component 1: The Prodvana Compiler

The Prodvana Compiler is responsible for compiling user configurations into a desired state.


  • Delivery and Infrastructure requirements for the Release Channel

  • Service-specific configurations


  • Desired state with one compiled Service configuration per Release Channel

Component 2: The Prodvana Convergence Engine

The Prodvana Convergence Engine uses the desired states from the Prodvana Compiler and the Services’s current state information from the Prodvana Runtime to continuously make decisions about the work needed to get to the desired state.


  • Desired state from the Prodvana Compiler

  • Current state from the Prodvana Runtime Interface


  • Convergence status for Service owners

  • Apply requests for the Prodvana Runtime Interface

Component 3: The Prodvana Runtime Interface

The Prodvana Runtime Interface is the gateway to user environments. The Prodvana Runtime Interface ensures that Prodvana is backend-agnostic and helps minimize migration costs for various Runtime types. It satisfies two interfaces:

  • fetch - return the current state of a Service in the Runtime

  • apply - runs the command(s) to bring the Service to a desired state.

Next Step: Prodvana Compiler Deep Dive

See how the Prodvana Compiler is built to implement intent-based deployments and minimize changes needed to onboard onto Prodvana.

Intelligent Deployments Now.

Intelligent Software Deployment. Eliminate Overhead with Clairvoyance, Self Healing, and Managed Delivery.

© 2023 ✣ All rights reserved.

Prodvana Inc.

Intelligent Deployments Now.

Intelligent Software Deployment. Eliminate Overhead with Clairvoyance, Self Healing, and Managed Delivery.

© 2023 ✣ All rights reserved.

Prodvana Inc.

Intelligent Deployments Now.

Intelligent Software Deployment. Eliminate Overhead with Clairvoyance, Self Healing, and Managed Delivery.

© 2023 ✣ All rights reserved.

Prodvana Inc.