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5 Best Chaos Engineering Tools

Are you looking for a new chaos engineering tool? We evaluated our top 5 favorites that your organization should consider using.

As the world becomes progressively more sophisticated due to advancements in technology, organizations must take ownership of how internal systems operate and function. With nearly every industry using distributed computing systems, identifying potential areas of weakness and deficiencies is of the utmost concern. Chaos Engineering was created as a tool to identify failures before they become widespread problems.

Today’s highly intricate software systems must be tested for potential weaknesses and faults. Chaos Engineering, like the name implies, is a process that involves testing a software’s ability to handle failures without affecting systematic functionality. By testing a software’s resiliency, Chaos Engineering can identify failures and correct them as needed.

Chaos tests can be performed as a means of proactively experimenting on a software’s infrastructure. Inducing failures can help improve organizational confidence if systems are able to overcome and mitigate turbulent conditions and outages.

Do your systems have the real world capabilities needed to overcome latency and performance issues?

Testing your system’s capability is imperative for ensuring your software can withstand any issues that come your way. With these principles in mind, we’ve reviewed some of the top Chaos Engineering tools on the market today. In this blog, we’ll help you figure out the best Chaos Engineering tool for your use case.

Why Use Chaos Engineering Tools?

Chaos Engineering tools are a relatively new approach to software testing used to establish confidence in systems. Software platforms will inevitably fail, therefore it’s critical to pinpoint weaknesses and fix them before they substantially impact business operations.

Top tech organizations such as Amazon, Netflix, and Microsoft utilize chaos engineering to achieve a better understanding of internal systematic behavior and flaws. The principles of Chaos Engineering are predicated on the idea of testing system architectures through various hypotheses and performance-based metrics. Through the deployment of assumptions and experiments, Chaos Engineering can provide a roadmap for uncovering infrastructural failures or unresponsive systems.

Chaos Engineering follows a general set of guidelines that includes each of these steps:

  • Creating a steady-state hypothesis: Think of potential system issues that could occur. Set up failure injection testing protocols and predict various potential outcomes.
  • Simulate real-world scenarios: Create a set of tests that will determine how systems react to different variables. Use an experimental group to test various conditions and factors.
  • Review system metrics: Review system outcomes related to system performance and metrics. Determine failure rates against hypothesis and figure out a path forward to correct and fix reoccurring issues.
  • Implement changes as needed: Upon conclusion of experiments, you should be able to ascertain what the best course of action is. Attempt to fix any issues and repeat the process until systems are operating with little to no errors.

Creating an effective and well-rounded chaos toolkit can help your organization test resiliency and discover potential fault tolerances. Let’s take a look at some of the tools that can be utilized to optimize your systems.

Chaos Mesh

Chaos Mesh is an open-source cloud-native tool specifically designed for Chaos Engineering. Using various fault simulations, Chaos Mesh helps organizations determine system abnormalities that may occur during various portions of the development, testing, and production stages.

As an open-source tool that’s created with a web user interface known as the Chaos Dashboard, Chaos Mesh can be added to DevOps workflows to spot potential areas of weakness and timeouts. To ensure resiliency, Chaos Mesh utilizes chaos experiments within Kubernetes environments. It’s able to use various types of scenarios related to fault simulations within a distributed system.

Chaos Mesh is able to deploy attacks that test network latency, system time manipulation, resource utilization, and more. The Chaos Dashboard can be used to modify and manage various forms of experiments within set timeframes.

Key Features:

Chaos Mesh is widely regarded as one of the industry’s premiere Chaos testing platforms with a number of key features, including:

  • Easy-to-use system: Chaos Mesh uses a Kubernetes-based interface that’s supported with full automation and graphical capabilities.
  • Fully authenticated technology: Used in the testing of high visibility distribution systems such as Apache APSIX and RabbitMQ.
  • Fault simulation detection: Chaos Mesh technology is able to test various scenarios using event-driven fault simulations.
  • Customizable experiments: Chaos Mesh provides the ability to design experiments on the platform using different variables and status checks.
  • Scalable technology: Chaos Mesh is an open source technology that’s easily scalable to enterprise-level needs.

Cost:

As an open-source software, Chaos Mesh is free to use without a commercial license.

Should I Use Chaos Mesh?

Predicting failures can be a cumbersome task due to complexities in cloud operations. Unreliable functions and outages can result in a downgraded reputation and a loss of consumer trust. Chaos Mesh offers a convenient open-source technology that can be used in Kubernetes to design and manage automated experiments. However, be wary of certain limitations to the technology.

Pros:

  • Easy-to-use functionality and automation
  • The user interface supports many different configurations
  • Experiments can be paused and resumed at will

Cons:

  • Experiments run indefinitely as there is no ability to schedule attacks
  • Node-level attacks cannot be run
  • Cannot control user access within the dashboard; as a result, there are increased security risks

Chaos Monkey

Chaos Monkey is an open-source chaos tool originally created by Netflix developers. It was developed to help test their system reliability and resiliency after moving to the AWS cloud. The software functions by implementing continuous unpredictable attacks. Chaos Monkey uses the basic fundamental approach of terminating one or more virtual machine instances.

The configurability of Chaos Monkey allows for easy scheduling and close monitoring. The technology is easily replicable, but can cause headaches if users are unprepared for the aftermath of attacks. Users can check for outages prior to deployment, but must be able to write and edit custom Go code.

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