Engineering the Future of Software
29–31 Oct 2018: Tutorials & Conference
31 Oct–1 Nov 2018: Training
London, UK

Applying the principles of chaos to Serverless

Yan Cui (DAZN)
15:5016:40 Monday, 29 October 2018
Location: King's Suite - Sandringham Level: Intermediate
Secondary topics:  Overview, Theoretical

Who is this presentation for?

Senior Developers, Architects, DevOps

Prerequisite knowledge

Attendees should have experience running applications in the cloud, and have working knowledge of serverless technologies such as AWS Lambda.

What you'll learn

* understand what is chaos engineering. * where to inject faults into a serverless architecture * how to inject faults into a serverless architecture (e.g. how to inject latency to AWSSDK/HTTP requests, or to the function invocation directly). * how to control the fault injection process via configurations


Chaos engineering is a discipline that focuses on improving system resilience through controlled experiments that expose the inherent chaos and failure modes in our system, before these failure modes manifest themselves like a wildfire in production and impact our users.

Netflix is undoubtedly the leader in this field, but much of the publicised tools and articles focus on killing EC2 instances, and the efforts in the serverless community has been largely limited to moving those tools into AWS Lambda functions.

But how can we apply the same principles of chaos to a serverless architecture built around AWS Lambda functions?

These serverless architectures have more inherent chaos and complexity than their serverful counterparts, and, we have less control over their runtime behaviour. In short, there are far more unknown unknowns with these systems.

Can we adapt existing practices to expose the inherent chaos in these systems? What are the limitations and new challenges that we need to consider?

Join us in this talk as Yan Cui shares his thoughts and experiments in his pursuit to understand how we can apply the principles of chaos to a serverless architecture.

Photo of Yan Cui

Yan Cui


Yan is an experienced engineer who has worked with AWS for nearly 10 years. He has been an architect and lead developer with a variety of industries ranging from investment banks, e-commerce to mobile gaming. In the last 2 years he has worked extensively with AWS Lambda in production, and he has been very active in sharing his experiences and the lessons he has learnt, some of his work has even made their way into the Well-Architected whitepaper published by AWS.

Yan is polyglot in both spoken and programming languages, he is fluent in both English and Mandarin, and counts C#, F#, Scala, Node.js and Erlang amongst programming languages that he has worked with professionally. Although he enjoys learning different programming languages and paradigms, he still holds F# as his undisputed favourite.

Yan is a regular speaker at user groups and conferences internationally, and he is also the instructor of Production-Ready Serverless and a co-author of F# Deep Dives. In his spare time he keeps an active blog at where he shares his thoughts on topics such as AWS, serverless, functional programming and chaos engineering.

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