Browse Definitions :
Definition

Chaos Monkey

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

Chaos Monkey is a software tool that was developed by Netflix engineers to test the resiliency and recoverability of their Amazon Web Services (AWS). 

The software simulates failures of instances of services running within Auto Scaling Groups (ASG) by shutting down one or more of the virtual machines. According to the developers, Chaos Monkey was named for the way it wreaks havoc like a wild and armed monkey set loose in a data center.

Chaos Monkey works on the principle that the best way to avoid major failures is to fail constantly. However, unlike unexpected failures, which seem to occur at the worst possible times, the software is opt-out by default. It can also be configured for opt-in.

Chaos Monkey has a configurable schedule that allows simulated failures to occur at times when they can be closely monitored.  In this way, it’s possible to prepare for major unexpected errors rather than just waiting for catastrophe to strike and seeing how well you can manage.

Chaos Monkey was the original member of Netflix’s Simian Army, a collection of software tools  designed to test the AWS infrastructure. The software is open source to allow other cloud services users to adapt it for their use. 

Other Simian Army members have been added to create failures and check for abnormal conditions, configurations and security issues.  Chaos Gorilla, another member of the Simian Army, simulates outages for entire regions. 

Netflix engineers plan to add more monkeys to the army, some based on community suggestions.  

This was last updated in August 2013

Continue Reading About Chaos Monkey

Join the conversation

1 comment

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

I'd like to see a chaos horse!!
Cancel

SearchCompliance

  • risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organization's ability to conduct business.

  • PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard)

    The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a widely accepted set of policies and procedures intended to ...

  • risk management

    Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing and controlling threats to an organization's capital and earnings.

SearchSecurity

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • call tree

    A call tree is a layered hierarchical communication model that is used to notify specific individuals of an event and coordinate ...

  • Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

    Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) is the replication and hosting of physical or virtual servers by a third party to provide ...

  • cloud disaster recovery (cloud DR)

    Cloud disaster recovery (cloud DR) is a combination of strategies and services intended to back up data, applications and other ...

SearchStorage

Close