Written by Murtaza Laghari
Devops Sales Development
Have you ever thought of the "what if" scenarios that can happen to your organization? Let us suppose you are a successful retailer, and on Black Friday, the busiest and most important sale day - your website goes down. You probably think this cannot happen to you, right? Well, you are mistaken because it has happened. It happened to J. Crew, Ulta, and even Lululemon as well.
Nobody ever expects traffic issues, server issues, or network issues to happen within the organization. But this does happen, leading to retailers missing out on customers and profits as a proactive approach is not in place. This proactive approach is called Chaos Engineering.
Chaos Engineering is a principle where planned and systematic experiments are conducted to reveal weaknesses of a system. As mentioned earlier, these weaknesses include "what if" – what if the system fails? No one likes chaos, and in Bert Lance's words, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." But times have changed, and advancement in technology is at a tremendous pace. Nowadays, one must have a backup data center, neither have failover data centers nor failover apps – and this kind of availability is improved only through chaos engineering.
Netflix has worked with Chaos Engineering as they know the importance of it. Most organizations aim to reach the maturity levels of Netflix and Amazon but fail to adopt and follow the same practices. Blockbuster 2.0, aka Netflix, has benefitted tremendously from chaos engineering, and they did so by perfectly tackling the course. They created what is known as the Simian Army which, includes some of these famous tools:
Chaos Gorilla targets availability zones which, are essentially data centers within a region. AWS currently has 18 areas, and Chaos Gorilla took out an entire availability zone to evaluate what the reaction was. Was there a backup? Was the system still running? Were there any changes to the network? These are the questions chaos gorilla aims to solve.
Chaos Monkey was the first Chaos Engineering tool created by Netflix. It is designed to kill random services to see how the rest of the system reacts. Will the system still work? Will the speed change? Netflix now has answers to so many of these questions through Chaos Monkey.
Chaos Kong is named after King Kong. This means a significant issue has occurred and questions what would happen if an entire region experienced outage. What really would happen then?
Even though Netflix has led the way in chaos engineering, Facebook and Amazon followed soon. Facebook started Facebook Storm which, answered queries such as what would happen if its data centers went down. In contrast, Amazon began to Amazon Gamedays that killed random servers to see the system's reaction.
If model companies like Netflix, Facebook, and Amazon are practicing it, there must be some return. The return is a proactive approach - which means always being ready! Here are some of the benefits of chaos engineering:
The future is clear. Chaos Engineering needs to be practiced by organizations to know the faults in their systems and to use a proactive approach. This is of utmost importance as most of the customers and revenue depend on the systems' availability, reliability, and scalability.
Now, let us discuss Gremlin. Gremlin is a platform used for running chaos engineering practices. With Gremlin, you can inject attacks into hosts or containers to see how the system would react. This can range from DNS attacks to traffic changes. In short, Gremlin can be called a Chaos Engineering Service.
Chaos Engineering has tremendous benefits, and since it is being adopted by some of the world's leading companies, one must ponder why "Why Chaos Is Sometimes Good". You may also question why you should choose Royal Cyber for your organization - the answer is, we have been in the IT industry since 2002 and have constantly delivered for clients like Capital One, Caesars Ent, AAA, and Toyota. We have certified experts who provide projects based on a customer solution-focused approach and have a complimentary assessment that will cost you $0. Be proactive and let us help you reach your business goals.