Last Summer GigaOMs Derrick Harris reported that “Netflix has open sourced Chaos Monkey, a service designed to terminate cloud computing instances in a controlled manner so companies can ensure their applications keep running when a virtual server dies unexpectedly. In the past year, Chaos Monkey has terminated more than 65,000 of Netflix’s instances.”
Just this month Netflix continued supplying the cloud utility goodness with Janitor Monkey. “Janitor Monkey is a service which runs in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud, looking for unused resources to clean up. Similar to Chaos Monkey, the design of Janitor Monkey is flexible enough to allow extending it to work with other cloud providers and cloud resources. The service is configured to run, by default, on non-holiday weekdays at 11 AM. The schedule can be easily re-configured to fit your business’ need.”
There is no business requirement that Netflix share these valuable utilities with us, and perhaps their competitors. They are living up to the spirit of open source, the ability to build interesting things, share it with the world, and collaborate on making the code better over time. Back in the 90s when working on popular Unix platforms, we all had some open source project going to solve some small problem. Looks like that spirit is back, and it’s now in the cloud, and that’s a great thing.