Screaming in the Cloud

Episode 22: The Chaos Engineering experiment that is us-east-1

Trying to convince a company to embrace the theory and idea of Chaos Engineering is an uphill battle. When a site keeps breaking, Gremlin’s plan involves breaking things intentionally. How do you introduce chaos as a step toward making things better?

Today, we’re talking to Ho Ming Li, lead solutions architect at Gremlin. He takes a strategic approach to deliver holistic solutions, often diving into the intersection of people, process, business, and technology. His goal is to enable everyone to build more resilient software by means of Chaos Engineering practices.

Some of the highlights of the show include:

  • Ho Ming Li previously worked as a technical account manager (TAM) at Amazon Web Services (AWS) to offer guidance on architectural/operational best practices
  • Difference between and transition to solutions architect and TAM at AWS
  • Role of TAM as the voice and face of AWS for customers
  • Ultimate goal is to bring services back up and make sure customers are happy
  • Amazon Leadership Principles: Mutually beneficial to have the customer get what they want, be happy with the service, and achieve success with the customer
  • Chaos Engineering isn’t about breaking things to prove a point
  • Chaos Engineering takes a scientific approach
  • Other than during carefully staged DR exercises, DR plans usually don’t work
  • Availability Theater: A passive data center is not enough; exercise DR plan
  • Chaos Engineering is bringing it down to a level where you exercise it regularly to build resiliency
  • Start small when dealing with availability
  • Chaos Engineering is a journey of verifying, validating, and catching surprises in a safe environment
  • Get started with Chaos Engineering by asking: What could go wrong?
  • Embrace failure and prepare for it; business process resilience
  • Gremlin’s GameDay and Chaos Conf allows people to share experiences


Brought to you by Corey Quinn of Screaming in the Cloud