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Azure has its own Chaos Monkey

by Harry Brumleve on Sep 24, 2012 |

Steve Marx, founder of Site44.com, has released WazMonkey, a simple version of Netflix’s Chaos Monkey for Azure.

His product, which can be downloaded from GitHub, allows developers to test their Azure deployments in much the same manner as Chaos Monkey tests Amazon Web Services (AWS). The methodology of testing employed by both WazMonkey and Chaos Monkey randomly injects real life failure scenarios into existing cloud-based software deployments.

Netflix’s engineering team are strong proponents of this methodology. They argue that as developers create stronger, more resilient systems to withstand their own tests, they also create a system which can endure truly catastrophic failures; the more creative and realistic tests that are performed, the higher the likelihood of their system surviving a truly catastrophic event.

In its first public iteration, WazMonkey can reboot or reimage role instances within a given Azure deployment at random. In this aspect, WazMonkey shares the same basic signature as its inspiration. However, Chaos Monkey has grown in maturity over the last few years and has become the standard-bearer for random testing of cloud-based deployments. Teams that use Chaos Monkey are allowed a greater degree of configuration, amongst which is the ability to schedule the times when an outage could occur, as well as its severity. These relatively common scheduling features could conceivably find their way into WazMonkey, putting it closely on par with its AWS counterpart.

The introduction of WazMonkey may signal a rise in parity for .NET’s Azure community with regards to other development languages and cloud providers. Applications that ease the complexity of deployment, maintenance, development, and testing cloud-based solutions have traditionally been the hallmarks of Java or AWS, but they have lacking complementary offerings in the Azure platform. Tools such as WazMonkey may begin to reverse that trend, demonstrating to .NET developers how to create simple and straightforward tools that are useful and accessible to the Azure community at large.

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