3 min read

Gremlin, the chaos engineering platform have revealed some exciting news today to coincide with the very first chaos engineering conference – Chaos Conf. Not only has the company raised a $18 million in its series B funding round, it has also launched a brand new feature.

Application Level Fault Injection – ALFI – brings a whole new dimension to the Gremlin platform as it will allow engineering teams to run resiliency tests – or ‘chaos experiments’ – at an application level. Up until now, tests could only be run at the infrastructure level, targeting a specific host or container (although containers are only a recent addition).

Bringing chaos engineering to serverless applications

One of the benefits of ALFI is it will make it possible to run ‘attacks’ on serverless applications. Citing Cloudability’s State of the Cloud 2018 report, the press release highlights that serverless adoption is growing rapidly. This means that Gremlin will now be able to expand its use cases and continue to move forward in its broader mission to help engineering teams improve the resiliency of their software in a manageable and accessible way.

Matt Fornaciari, Gremlin CTO and co-founder, said:

“With ALFI one of the first problems we wanted to address was improving the reliability and understanding of serverless providers like AWS Lambda and Azure Functions. It’s a tough problem to solve because the host is abstracted and it’s a very new technology — but now we can run attacks at the application level, and with a level of precision that isn’t possible at the infrastructure level. We are giving them a scalpel to very specifically target particular communications between different systems and services.”

One of the great benefits of ALFI is that it should help engineers to tackle different types of threats that might be missed if you simply focus on infrastructure. Yan Cui, Principal Engineer at DAZN, the sports streaming service explained, saying, “AWS Lambda protects you against some infrastructure failures, but you still need to defend against weakness in your own code. Application-level fault injection is a great way to uncover these weaknesses.”

A new chapter for Gremlin and a big step forward for chaos engineering

It would seem that Gremlin is about to embark on a new chapter. But what will be even more interesting is the wider impact chaos engineering has on the industry. Research, such as this year’s Packt Skill Up survey, indicates that chaos engineering is a trend that is still in an emergent phase. If Gremlin can develop a product that not only makes chaos engineering relatively accessible but also palatable for those making technical decisions, we might start to see things changing.

It’s clear that Redpoint Ventures, the VC firm leading Gremlin’s Series B funding, sees a lot of potential in what the platform can offer the software landscape. Managing Director  Tomasz Tuguz said “In a world where nearly every business is an online business, Gremlin makes companies more resilient and saves millions of dollars in unnecessary disasters and outages. We’re thrilled to join them on this journey.”

Co-editor of the Packt Hub. Interested in politics, tech culture, and how software and business are changing each other.