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Chaos Testing

Chaos Testing

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Chaos Testing

Chaos testing is the process of applying unexpected or extreme circumstances to a software system and testing it against the scenarios. Netflix first introduced the concept over a decade ago. It is a disciplined approach for identifying potential failures before they become outages.

Chaos Testing Principles

Chaos testing facilitates experiments to uncover systemic weaknesses, which addresses the uncertainty of distributed systems at scale. The following principles are used in this testing method:

  • Define ‘steady state’ as a measurable output of a system that indicates normal behaviour. This is done by identifying key variables indicating when the network is functioning normally.
     

  • Introduce test stimulus and stress testing that reflect real-world events like server crashes, malfunctioning hard drives, network connections failures, and so on.
     

  • Apply the test to a production environment to see the effects on a “live” system.
     

  • Minimise the blast radius of a chaos test. As these tests happen in a production environment, there is a possibility of it
    affecting end users.

     

  • Automate chaos testing. Continuous chaos allows your team to improve both current and future systems.

Benefits of Chaos Testing

  • Helps stop significant losses in revenue by preventing lengthy outages. Chaos testing can help extend an organisation’s competitive advantage by saving time, money, and resources, thereby producing a better bottom line.
     

  • Complements the organisation’s intelligence about how the software performs under stress and makes it more resilient.
     

  • Findings from chaos testing can be channeled back to developers to implement design changes that make the software more durable and improve quality.
     

  • The insights derived from chaos testing elevate the expertise of the overall technical group, leading to better response times and better collaboration.
     

  • In studying possible failure scenarios, the technical group can speed up troubleshooting, repairs, and incident response.
     

  • Fewer outages mean less disruption for end-users.

Chaos Testing Here to Stay

The validation and momentum of Chaos Testing in the tech community are evident by the companies that rely on it, the tools created for it, and the principles that have been accepted and adhered to.

As the world relies more and more on complex cloud infrastructures, the ability to identify potential issues before they lead to total outages can benefit businesses in all industries. Chaos testing is becoming a strategic necessity of an organisation’s overall testing methodology. Even brainstorming about a system from a Chaos Testing perspective creates the opportunity for significant improvements.