Chaos Eng 
 
 

Creating resilient systems through chaos engineering

As modern systems evolve to push every limit imaginable, so are hackers and other security threats. Now, more than ever, the need to test systems thoroughly and ensure their resiliency is critical.

System administrators spend a lot of time in developing systems, yet, despite investing their greatest efforts, IT incidents are all but parts and parcels of the job. These IT incidents are not only trickier to handle but can also cause costly impacts to the organization ranging from security breach, production loss and significant downtime.

Anticipating for the Failure

Some organizations turn to microservices which provide a specialized and fine-tuned cooperation between the combined services of applications that make up the system to boost their system’s flexibility. While they can offer potential alternative solutions, sometimes they can be riskier than beneficial for the organization. Overall, this approach will deem fruitless unless they are initially designed to be resilient through chaos engineering.

We must address these issues before they take over the system as a whole.  We need to manage the chaos inherent in these systems, take advantage of the flexibility and velocity, and should exude confidence in our production deployments despite the complexity that they represent. Anticipating failures should be, and should always be an important aspect every IT administrator must bear in mind when developing a system.

Carving the Path to Resiliency

Modern systems are always subject to the inherent topsy-turvy nature of systems engineering. With this in mind, anticipating for failure may not be enough. While administrators should make an effort to design their system with resiliency in mind, that shouldn’t stop there.

Administrators must also ensure that the systems are capable of recovering automatically in the event of sometimes inevitable failure. So, how can you ensure that your system will be able to surpass the challenges of failure events?

  1. Instigate failures on a ‘regular’ basis.

Most companies cannot afford downtimes. That said, stimulating failures to your systems can be a great way to ensure that your systems will be capable of handling system failures without disrupting operations and sustaining system availability for the customers. Creating failure scenarios can also help you see through the entire system and expose potential failures and loopholes in the system.

2 Simulate tests in production-like environments.

To boost your systems resiliency, it is important to test them under controlled environments mirroring production-like conditions. Testing resilience before making any changes or deploying your system to production is necessary to make sure that your system would be flexible enough in catering to the needs of the actual work environment. Simulation process can include introducing new application or subjecting your system in chaotic conditions and see how well your system can respond.

  3. Choose the right tools for the job.

It will benefit your organization if you choose automated tools that will help speed up and streamline your simulation and testing processes. Sometimes can be too complicated and tough to handle and you’ll need more sophisticated tools to make the process simpler and more manageable.

    4 .Create a contingency plan for your recovery process.

Once you have taken the steps to refine your testing processes, you should also create an extensive contingency plan in an event of a failure. This contingency plan must include back up systems you can use to allow administrators to debug system problems without halting the normal business operations as well as steps the organization can take to ensure that the organization can get on track as quick as possible after a failure.

Prasobh V Nair Prasobh V Nair on January 5, 2019

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