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What is Chaos Engineering?

Angelo Luciani
Angelo Luciani

Before I explain the term chaos engineering in detail, you should be familiar with some understanding of the significance of testing software during the software development cycle. Today, the need to offer a faultless, seamless and reliable experience to users is the reason behind the agile development, continuous software examination and incremental software releases.

Tech organizations are developing the implementation of advanced and automated techniques for testing their software absolutely and thoroughly. The current tech distributed systems and infrastructure testing are more challenging to analyze from every angle. Tech companies are, therefore, racing to develop some of the smartest ways of testing their systems from a pure software unit to system functionality and the entire infrastructure-testing.

Netflix's chaos engineering concept is one of such outstanding techniques of infrastructure testing.The latest release of Red Hat virtualization (RHV) which runs on Red Hat 8.2, now integrates with Red Hat OpenShift and combines containers with virtual machines. You can now have one standard development and management stack.

Principles of Chaos Engineering - Netflix

The History of Chaos Engineering

Netflix, the leading media service provider with over 100 million paid subscribers, is the inventor of the Chaos engineering concept. Chaos engineering, in simple terms, is a disciplined technique of identifying system vulnerabilities in the production environment. The main objective of implementing it is to counter check the stability, reliability and capacity of a system surviving against or during unexpected or unstable conditions.

For instance, the distribution of large-scale systems often fails, such as network failure, dependency failure, and application failure. Besides, the development of a system in micro components that are then deployed on cloud-based architecture further increases the chances of out-ranges and failure of the system.

Why is Chaos Engineering critical during infrastructure testing?

It enhances the system flexibility; you understand the system weakness in advance; it is a proactive infrastructure testing technique compared to the traditional reactive testing techniques. It helps expose any hidden threats, hence minimizing risks. Chaos engineering will perform a broad, careful and unpredictable experiment that helps generate unknown/new knowledge about your system properties, behaviors, and performance.

Moreover, it enables you to understand the full scope of unplanned combinations that help you to strictly observe the system in a wide range of sturdy formats. Besides, the limitless experiments in chaos engineering make it possible to test your system from every angle.

How to apply the Chaos Engineering concepts in your system?

A growing organization might assume they do not need Chaos engineering because they do not have a huge-scale system and extensive network supporting a large customer base. Although it might be right in the short run, with time, your digital company will be focusing on providing seamless services to your users hence the need to implement chaos engineering like Netflix. Most digital companies from all industries, such as healthcare, financial organizations, and digital marketing platforms, understand the importance of consistent performance, hence the implementation of chaos experiments.

Main steps of performing chaos engineering?

It is essential to note that the chaos in distributed account systems requires at least two groups for effective implementation, monitoring the system activities (an experimental group dealing with conduction experiments) and the control group dealing with experiment results.

Establish a steady state that characterizes your regular system performances. The chaos engineers hypothesize a predetermined outcome that depicts something not functioning right in a system.

Design the various experiments according to variables that reflect/ clone a real-world situation such as a typical server failure, dependency failure, memory malfunction and network issues, among others.

Measure the results of testing and observing the variations in the steady state in the two groups. Several global companies like Google, Microsoft, Twilio, Amazon, and LinkedIn, among others, uses the chaos tools in their regular infrastructure testing.

What are the benefits of chaos engineering testing?

Chaos testing makes it possible to address unknowns in some of the most complex systems directly. Although you can test your product velocity and flexibility using the various DevOps tools, the chaos engineering tools are sure to understand how your system can function during an outrage. Such analysis helps you develop an in-depth solution for your org hence creating a sense of confidence among your engineering team.

Besides, chaos engineering enables your organization to scale instantly without necessarily sacrificing the dependency of the contracted services.

Get started today

Chaos engineering enables you to develop a proactive system for response and incident detection, thus saving time for reacting to production incidents. It is essential to have your engineering team, the processes and technology at a stable state before you think of embracing chaos engineering.

Do you run some kind of chaos engineering in your business? Is this this first time you are hearing about chaos engineering? Let me know on Twitter and thanks for reading.

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Angelo Luciani

Blogger who enjoys exploring current and emerging technologies.