2 min read

Chaos engineering has been a trend to watch for the last 12 months, but it is yet to really capture the imagination of the global software industry. It remains a pretty specialised discipline confined to the most forward thinking companies who depend on extensive distributed systems.

However, that could all be about to change thanks to Gremlin who have today announced the launch of Gremlin Free. Gremlin Free is a tool that allows software, infrastructure and DevOps engineers to perform shutdown and CPU attacks on their infrastructure in a safe and controlled way using a neat and easy to use UI.

In a blog post published on the Gremlin site today, Lorne Kligerman, Director of Product, said “we believe the industry has answered why do chaos engineering, and has begun asking how do I begin practicing Chaos Engineering in order to significantly increase the reliability and resiliency of our systems to provide the best user experience possible.”

Read next: How Gremlin is making chaos engineering accessible [Interview]


What is Gremlin free?

Gremlin Free is based on Netflix’s Chaos Monkey tool. Chaos Monkey is the tool that gave rise to chaos engineering way back in 2011 when the streaming platform first moved to AWS. It let Netflix engineers “randomly shut down compute instances,” which became a useful tactic for stress testing the reliability and resilience of its new microservices architecture.

What can you do with Gremlin Free?

There are two attacks you can do with Gremlin Free: Shutdown and CPU. As the name indicates, Shutdown lets you take down (or reboot) multiple hosts or containers. CPU attacks simply allow you to cause spikes in CPU usage to monitor its impact on your infrastructure.

Both attacks can help teams identify pain points within their infrastructure, and ultimately form the foundations of an engineering strategy that relies heavily on the principles of chaos engineering.

Why Gremlin Free now?

Gremlin cites data from Gartner that underlines just how expensive downtime can be: according to Gartner, eCommerce companies can lose an average of $5,600 per minute, with that figure stretching even bigger for the planet’s leading eCommerce businesses.

However, despite the cost of downtime making a clear argument for chaos engineering’s value, its adoption isn’t widespread – certainly not as widespread as Gremlin believe it should be.

Kligerman said “It’s still a new concept to most engineering teams, so we wanted to offer a free version of our software that helps them become more familiar with chaos engineering – from both a tooling and culture perspective.”

If you’re interested in trying chaos engineering, sign up for Gremlin Free here.