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This is the third in a series of posts on increasing overall availability of your service or system.
In the first post of this series, we defined and introduced some concepts of system availability, including mean time between failure – MTBF – and mean time to recovery – MTTR. In our second post we went on to discuss easy ways in which you can effectively reduce MTTR starting now. This post continues on that theme with more tips on reducing MTTR and directly increasing your availability.
For the really bad problems, have a Standard Operating Procedure that everyone knows how to follow. The SOP should be a set of steps that can be taken to make it easier to work on the problem by increasing communication and organization. This is different than the documented failure modes in the “know your enemy” section in my last post, in that an SOP is a generic procedure that can be used in pretty much any major failure scenario.
The SOP would be something your on-call primary engineer can bust out if some major catastrophe happens that he or she can’t immediately resolve within a designated timeframe – like say 10 minutes.
An example SOP might be for your on-call to:
Having an SOP for really high-severity issues reduces the variability of response and resolution times, and gets everyone up to speed quickly, including business decision makers. It also reduces stress, uncertainty, and confusion when there is a pretty clear procedure to follow when starting to deal with large issues.
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“Chaos Engineering is the discipline of experimenting on a distributed system in order to build confidence in the system’s capability to withstand turbulent conditions in...
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