Running Scheduled Experiments

In this lesson, we will see how to schedule our experiments periodically using CronJobs.

In some cases, one-shot experiments are useful. You might want to trigger an experiment based on specific events (e.g., deployment of a new release), or as a scheduled exercise with “all hands on deck.” However, there are situations when you might want to run chaos experiments periodically. You might, for example, decide to execute them once a day at a specific hour, or you might even choose to randomize that and run them periodically at a random time of a day.

Testing for objectiveness

We want to test the system and be objective. This might sound strange, but being objective with chaos engineering often means being, more or less, random. If we know when something potentially disrupting might happen, we might react differently than when in unexpected situations. We might be biased and schedule the execution of experiments at the time when we know that there will be no adverse effect on the system. Instead, it might be a good idea to run experiments at some random intervals during the day or a week so that we cannot easily predict what will happen. We often don’t control when “bad” things will happen in production. Most of the time, we don’t know when a node will die, and we often cannot guess when a network will stop being responsive.

Similarly, we should try to include some additional level of randomness to the experiments. If we run them only when we deploy a new release, we might not discover the adverse effects that might be produced hours later. We can partly mitigate that by running experiments periodically.

Inspecting the periodic.yaml file

Let’s see how we can create periodic execution of chaos experiments. To do that, we are going to take a look at yet another YAML file.

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