Gremlin’s Chaos Engineering platform currently offers a library of 12 infrastructure and application level attacks to recreate just about any failure scenario you might encounter in production. That being said, one of the most common questions we get when speaking to our users is, What other attack types are you working on?

Today, we are excited to have an answer to that question: the brand new Space Gremlin.

The addition of this attack type (or “Gremlin”) enables teams to consume one of the most valuable resources for modern organizations: physical space.

This new addition to our platform was born from experience of failure in the real world. While we understand how things like network latency and node failures can negatively impact our systems and our end-user experience, it was only recently that the Gremlin team discovered firsthand how consumption of physical space can trigger cascading failure.

It all started when we hired our new VP of Sales.

Like many sales professionals, his appetite for ending meetings on time and reserving rooms has waned over the years. He’s recently started using conference rooms—designed to seat no fewer than a dozen employees—as his personal office. This started to have a noticeable impact on our team: meetings began to be postponed or cancelled entirely, delaying critical engineering work.

Gremlin's new VP of Sales, Sean.

How does the Space Gremlin work?

To run any Chaos Engineering experiment successfully you need three things: a target, an attack type, and a schedule.

In this example, we’ll choose a typical conference room in Gremlin’s San Francisco office as our target. Next, we choose the Space Gremlin and configure it to consume 80% of the available space for 15 minutes. (Note that you can specify the consumption by absolute cubic feet or as a percentage of available space).

Creating a new Space attack.

We can choose to either run this attack now or schedule it for a later time. For the purposes of this example, we will run it immediately. Here’s how the room looks a few moments after starting the attack:

VP fear.

As the attack continues, more of the room’s available space is consumed by the Space Gremlin.

After a few seconds, the room is filled to 80% capacity, our specified limit:

The Space Gremlin has allowed us to uncover many dependencies on physical space we have in our internal processes. However, to continue our mission of making the world a more reliable place for everyone, we are pleased to share our newest attack type with you.

Whether or not your space-consuming challenges include a room-hogging VP of Sales, we are confident the Space Gremlin will bring an extra layer of reliability to your systems this April Fool's Day.

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Chaos Engineer
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