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SLO Script


SLO Script has three major constructs in its meta model:

  1. Service Level Objectives
  2. Elasticity Strategies
  3. SLO Mappings

One of the major goals of SLO Script is to decouple SLOs from elasticity strategies, i.e., to allow one SLO to trigger an elasticity strategy that the consumer chooses.

ServiceLevelObjective is one of the central constructs of the SLO Script language. An instance of the ServiceLevelObjective construct defines and implements the business logic of an SLO and is configured by the service consumer using an SloConfiguration. The ServiceLevelObjective uses metrics to determine the current state of the system and compare it to the parameters specified by the service consumer in the SloConfiguration. The metrics are obtained using our strongly typed metrics query API, which abstracts a monitoring system, such as Prometheus. The metrics may be low-level metrics, directly observable on the system or higher-level metrics (which can be packaged into libraries) or a combination of both. Every evaluation of the ServiceLevelObjective produces an SloOutput, which describes how much the SLO is currently fulfilled and is used as a part of the input to an ElasticityStrategy. Both, ServiceLevelObjective and ElasticityStrategy, define the type of SloOutput they produce or require respectively, which is one of the types needed for determining compatibility among them.

The ElasticityStrategy construct represents the implementation of an elasticity strategy. It executes a sequence of elasticity actions to ensure that a workload fulfills an SLO. Elasticity actions may include, e.g., provisioning or deprovisioning of resources, changing the types of resources used, or adapting the configuration of a service. The input to an ElasticityStrategy is a corresponding ElasticityStrategyConfiguration, consisting of the SloOutput produced by the ServiceLevelObjective and static configuration provided by the consumer. There is no direct connection between a ServiceLevelObjective and an ElasticityStrategy, which clearly shows that these two constructs are decoupled from each other. A connection between them can only be established through additional constructs, i.e., SloOutput or SloMapping.

The SloMapping construct is used by the service consumer to establish the relationship between a ServiceLevelObjective, an ElasticityStrategy, and an SloTarget, i.e., the workload to which the SLO applies. The SloMapping contains the SloConfiguration, which are the SLO-specific bounds that the consumer can define, the SloTarget, i.e., the workload to which the SLO is applied, and any static configuration for the chosen ElasticityStrategy.


When defining a ServiceLevelObjective using SLO Script’s StronglyTypedSLO mechanism, the service provider must first create an SloConfiguration data type that will be used by the service consumer to configure the ServiceLevelObjective and an SloOutput data type to describe its output. While each ServiceLevelObjective will likely have its own SloConfiguration type, it is recommended to reuse an SloOutput data type for multiple ServiceLevelObjectives to allow for loose coupling between ServiceLevelObjectives and ElasticityStrategies.

To create the actual SLO, a service provider must create a class that implements the ServiceLevelObjective interface. It takes three generic parameters to enable type safety:

An ElasticityStrategy uses the same mechanism to define the type of SloOutput that it expects as input.

Strongly Typed SLO Mechanism

The above Figure illustrates how the type safety feature of SLO Script works. There are two sets of types: those determined by the ServiceLevelObjective and those determined by the ElasticityStrategy. The ServiceLevelObjective defines that it needs a certain type of SloConfiguration (indicated by the yellow color) as configuration input. The SloConfiguration defines the type of SloTarget (orange), which may be used to scope the SLO to specific types of workloads. The ElasticityStrategy defines its type of ElasticityStrategyConfiguration (purple), which, in turn, specifies the type of SloOutput (blue) that is required by the ElasticityStrategy.

Thus, the bridge between these two sets is the SloOutput type. Once the service consumer has chosen a particular ServiceLevelObjective type, the possible SloTarget types are fixed because of the SloConfiguration. Since the ServiceLevelObjective defines an SloOutput type, the set of compatible elasticity strategies is composed of exactly those ElasticityStrategies that have defined an ElasticityStrategyConfiguration with the same SloOutput type as input.

Type checking is especially useful in enterprise scenarios, where hundreds of SLOs need to be managed. Using YAML or JSON files for this purpose provides no way of verifying that the used SLOs, workloads, and elasticity strategies are compatible, while SLO Script provides this feature. Furthermore, using a type safe language yields significant time savings when a set of SLOs and their mappings need to be refactored.

The SLO Script runtime calls the SLO instance at configurable intervals to check if the SLO is currently fulfilled or if the elasticity strategy needs to take corrective actions. It may simply check if the metrics currently match the requirements of the SLO or it can use predictions and machine learning to determine if the SLO is likely to be violated in the near future and thus take proactive actions through the elasticity strategy. The result of this operation is an instance of the defined SloOutput type, returned asynchronously through an RxJS Observable or a Promise.