Jump to content

Blog: KubeInvaders - Gamified Chaos Engineering Tool for Kubernetes

Recommended Posts

Authors Eugenio Marzo, Sourcesense

Some months ago, I released my latest project called KubeInvaders. The first time I shared it with the community was during an Openshift Commons Briefing session. Kubenvaders is a Gamified Chaos Engineering tool for Kubernetes and Openshift and helps test how resilient your Kubernetes cluster is, in a fun way.

It is like Space Invaders, but the aliens are pods.


During my presentation at Codemotion Milan 2019, I started saying "of course you can do it with few lines of Bash, but it is boring."


Using the code above you can kill random pods across a Kubernetes cluster, but I think it is much more fun with the spaceship of KubeInvaders.

I published the code at https://github.com/lucky-sideburn/KubeInvaders and there is a little community that is growing gradually. Some people love to use it for demo sessions killing pods on a big screen.


How to install KubeInvaders

I defined multiples modes to install it:

  1. Helm Chart https://github.com/lucky-sideburn/KubeInvaders/tree/master/helm-charts/kubeinvaders

  2. Manual Installation for Openshift using a template https://github.com/lucky-sideburn/KubeInvaders#install-kubeinvaders-on-openshift

  3. Manual Installation for Kubernetes https://github.com/lucky-sideburn/KubeInvaders#install-kubeinvaders-on-kubernetes

The preferred way, of course, is with a Helm chart:

# Please set target_namespace to set your target namespace!
helm install --set-string target_namespace="namespace1,namespace2" \
--name kubeinvaders --namespace kubeinvaders ./helm-charts/kubeinvaders

How to use KubeInvaders

Once it is installed on your cluster you can use the following functionalities:

  • Key 'a' — Switch to automatic pilot
  • Key 'm' — Switch to manual pilot
  • Key 'i' — Show pod's name. Move the ship towards an alien
  • Key 'h' — Print help
  • Key 'n' — Jump between different namespaces (my favorite feature!)

Tuning KubeInvaders

At Codemotion Milan 2019, my colleagues and I organized a desk with a game station for playing KubeInvaders. People had to fight with Kubernetes to win a t-shirt.

If you have pods that require a few seconds to start, you may lose. It is possible to set the complexity of the game with these parameters as environmment variables in the Kubernetes deployment:

  • ALIENPROXIMITY — Reduce this value to increase the distance between aliens;
  • HITSLIMIT — Seconds of CPU time to wait before shooting;
  • UPDATETIME — Seconds to wait before updating pod status (you can set also 0.x Es: 0.5);

The result is a harder game experience against the machine.

Use cases

Adopting chaos engineering strategies for your production environment is really useful, because it is the only way to test if a system supports unexpected destructive events.

KubeInvaders is a game — so please do not take it too seriously! — but it demonstrates some important use cases:

  • Test how resilient Kubernetes clusters are on unexpected pod deletion
  • Collect metrics like pod restart time
  • Tune readiness probes

Next steps

I want to continue to add some cool features and integrate it into a Kubernetes dashboard because I am planning to transform it into a "Gamified Chaos Engineering and Development Tool for Kubernetes", to help developer to interact with deployments in a Kubernetes environment. For example:

  • Point to the aliens to get pod logs
  • Deploy Helm charts by shooting some particular objects
  • Read messages stored in a specific label present in a deployment

Please feel free to contribute to https://github.com/lucky-sideburn/KubeInvaders and stay updated following #kubeinvaders news on Twitter.

View the full article

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...