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InfoQ Homepage News Netflix Open Sources Crisis Management Orchestration Tool

Netflix Open Sources Crisis Management Orchestration Tool

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Netflix announced the release of Dispatch, their crisis management orchestration framework. Dispatch integrates with existing tools such as Jira, PagerDuty, and Slack to streamline the crisis management process. Dispatch includes integration endpoints for adding in support for additional tooling.

Netflix originally created Dispatch to integrate their various tools together to simplify the workflows during an incident. According to Kevin Glisson, senior cloud security engineer at Netflix,

We want to make reporting incidents as frictionless as possible, giving users a straightforward path to engage the resources they need in a time of crisis.

One of the main benefits to Dispatch, according to Netflix, is the reduction of manual tasks that the incident commander will need to complete. Within an incident, the incident commander is the individual appointed to drive the incident to resolution. By integrating a number of tools, Dispatch manages access to resources for all participants and helps to correlate data streams.

Flowchart showing how Dispatch is used at Netflix in their incident management workflow

Flowchart showing how Dispatch is used at Netflix in their incident management workflow (credit: Netflix)

 

Dispatch has a number of integrations supported including GSuite (Docs, Drive, Sheets, Calendar, and Groups), Jira, PagerDuty, and Slack. While these are the tools used at Netflix, Dispatch is set up to allow for additional integrations to be added via a plugin framework.

Dispatch provides an entry point for teams to report an incident and engage the appropriate teams. This incident report is located at https://<your-dispatch-domain>/incidents/report. Once created, Dispatch will provide links and access to all the resources that are currently integrated with the system.

 

Dispatch providing all configured resources after creation of an incident

Dispatch providing all configured resources after creation of an incident (credit: Netflix)

 

Once created, Dispatch will pull participants into a dedicated incident Slack channel. It determines who is pulled in based on configuration rules set via the Dispatch Admin UI. These rules can be configured to engage participants based on the type, priority, or description of the incident. All new participants are provided with a brief summary of the incident including who the incident commander is.

Sample incident summary presented to newly add participants

Sample incident summary presented to newly add participants (credit: Netflix)

 

Dispatch also assists with providing notifications to ensure awareness of the incident is broadcasted to the correct individuals in the organization. These notifications can be sent on a cadence, helping remove the need for the incident commander to remember to do so. In addition, the notifications provide a link for a reader to add themselves to the incident.

Dispatch was created using Python 3.8 with FastAPI, VueJS UI, and Postgres. It is recommended to be installed and operated using Docker. Dispatch can be found on the Netflix Open Source site and detailed instructions for setup and configuration are also available.

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