Tips, Tutorials and Training

Chaos Monkey Guide for Engineers

The Chaos Monkey Guide for Engineers is a full how-to of Chaos Monkey, including what it is, its origin story, its pros and cons, its relation to the broader topic of Chaos Engineering, and much more.

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About the Authors

Jordan Pritchard

Director of Infrastructure & Site Reliability Engineering

Michael Kehoe

Architect of reliable, scalable infrastructure

Rodney Lester

Technical Lead, Reliability Pillar of Well Architected Program

Tammy Butow

Principal SRE

Jay Holler

Manager, Site Reliability Engineering

Ramin Keene


What's inside?

We've also included step-by-step technical tutorials for getting started with Chaos Monkey, along with advanced engineering tips and guides for those looking to go beyond the basics. The Simian Army section explores all the additional tools created after Chaos Monkey.

This guide also includes resources, tutorials, and downloads for engineers seeking to improve their own Chaos Engineering practices.

Chaos Monkey Alternatives

Our alternative technologies chapter goes above and beyond by examining a curated list of the best alternatives to Chaos Monkey. We dig into everything from Azure and Docker to Kubernetes and VMware!

  • Incident classification: SEV descriptions and levels, and SEV and time-to-detection (TTD) timelines

  • Organization-wide critical service monitoring, including key dashboards and KPI metrics emails

  • Service ownership and metrics for organizations maintaining a microservices architecture

  • Effective on-call principles for site reliability engineers, including rotation structure, alert threshold maintenance, and escalation practices

  • Chaos Engineering practices to identify random and unpredictable behavior in your system

  • Monitoring and metrics to detect incidents caused by self-healing systems

  • Creating a high-reliability culture by listening to people in your organization

Who Is This Guide For?

We've created this guide primarily for engineers who are looking for an in-depth resource on Chaos Monkey, as a way to get started with Chaos Engineering. We want to help readers see how Chaos Monkey fits into the practice of Chaos Engineering.

Why Did We Create This Guide?

Gremlin's goal is to empower engineering teams to build more resilient systems through thoughtful Chaos Engineering. We're on a constant quest to promote the Chaos Community through frequent conferences & meetups, in-depth talks, detailed tutorials, and the ever-growing list of Chaos Engineering Slack channels.

While Chaos Engineering extends well beyond the scope of one single technique or idea, Chaos Monkey is the most well-known tool for running Chaos Experiments and is a common starting place for engineers getting started with the discipline.

Over a decade of collective experience unleashing chaos at companies like

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