Harness Acquires ChaosNative to Meld Chaos Engineering, DevOps

Harness this week announced it acquired ChaosNative as part of a plan to more deeply integrate chaos engineering with DevOps workflows.

At the same time, the company added a Harness Service Reliability Management (SRM) and Harness Security Testing Orchestration capability to its continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) platform.

Chaos engineering, as a discipline, refers to experiments on a software system that test its resiliency in the face of an unplanned outage. The goal is to deliberately make resources unavailable to see how the application environment either adjusts or whether it fails.

ChaosNative’s LitmusChaos platform, which manages these chaos engineering tasks, was donated to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation earlier this year.

Scott Sanchez, chief marketing officer for Harness. said the company plans to shift chaos engineering further left as part of an effort to enable developers to test the resiliency of their applications before they are in a production environment.

It’s still early days where adoption of chaos engineering within DevOps workflows is concerned. Many IT leaders’ performance is measured based on the stability of application environments. The idea that they should deliberately break something as part of an effort to make an application more resilient requires a shift in mindset, noted Sanchez.

However, once IT leaders start to appreciate how chaos engineering actually improves the availability of applications it’s only a matter of time before the practice becomes more widely implemented, he added.

In the meantime, Harness is looking to automate more of the lower-level tasks that today’s DevOps teams often manage. Harness SRM enables DevOps teams to automatically track service level objectives (SLOs) that are attached to specific pipelines within the Harness CI/CD platform.

The Harness STO module, meanwhile, makes it simpler to orchestrate security testing across multiple pipelines.

In general, there is now more focus on the productivity of DevOps teams as the number of applications that are simultaneously built increases. The challenge, however, is not just the number of applications but also the dependencies that exist between them.

Harness is making a case for a CI/CD platform that automates DevOps tasks by employing, for example, machine learning algorithms to identify which applications are most likely to fail before a build is completed. The goal is to reduce the amount of time DevOps teams waste waiting for builds to complete only to discover that the application almost immediately failed.

The time, effort and cost of maintaining a DevOps platform will naturally vary as the overall environment becomes more complex. However, as DevOps processes become more automated, the platforms themselves become more accessible to a wider range of organizations. Today, the effort required by a DevOps to set up and then support a CI/CD environment is often considerable.

However, as more organizations rely on custom applications to drive digital business processes, it’s only a question of when and to what degree DevOps best practices will be more widely adopted. After all, the total cost of application downtime is only going to rise in the age of digital transformation.

Leave a Comment