Behind the scenes with an SRE

January 25, 2017

One goal of the Adobe Marketing Cloud is to help enterprise customers better understand who’s visiting their websites and better target those people with the offers and content they’re looking for. The Marketing Cloud serves up trillions of transactions each month for more than two-thirds of the Fortune 50 companies, and none of it would be possible without an elite team of site reliability engineers (SREs) who make sure every server runs as it should.

On Adobe’s Lehi campus in Utah, Spencer Tuttle has been a senior SRE since June 2013. In that role, he supports Adobe Analytics and helps manage more than 30,000 servers that collect, process, and serve up customer data every minute of every day.

“It’s a privilege to have a server infrastructure that’s so large,” Spencer says.

Adobe’s Marketing Cloud has grown tremendously in the three years since Spencer joined, and he says that rapid growth has made every day a learning opportunity. Fortunately, Adobe is a place where creativity is encouraged and learning is a part of the culture.

The Adobe Lehi office

“Adobe is really open-minded when it comes to hearing individual SREs’ ideas,” Spencer says. “We’ve made system-wide changes that in other companies might be difficult, but we’re encouraged to be creative and we’re given the resources to bring ideas to life. Things are possible at Adobe that I haven’t seen at other companies.”

That means good ideas are celebrated regardless of where they come from, as the team learned when they recently went through an exercise to significantly increase efficiency in the infrastructure.

“We had an intern at the time, and she was instrumental in helping us divide up our server assets, understand their true state, reclaim idle capacity, and deploy them into better roles suited for their capacity,” Spencer says. “She had a vision and could articulate it well enough to get buy-in. Even our interns are making an impact here.”

Spencer says his group of SREs is surrounded by support teams for the network, storage, and data center, so his team can focus strictly on operations, keeping things running smoothly and finding new ways to make them even more efficient—which, in the end, benefits Adobe’s customers.

“As an ops person, there’s something really gratifying about saying, ‘I influenced that change and was empowered to roll it out. And look at the huge impact it has had on all of these companies that we serve.’”

Interested in joining the Adobe team? Check out available career opportunities or read more stories on the blog!

Have something to say?

Comments are closed.


Great ideas don’t always come from those closest to the problem. Kudus to Spencer for allowing great ideas to flourish.