Netflix open source technology Hystrix controls the interactions between distributed services

New Netflix Open Source Technology Hystrix Improves Cloud Resiliency, Uptime

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Netflix announced on Monday that it has open sourced its technology that controls the interactions between distributed services, called Hystrix.

Hystrix is a library that isolates points of access between the services, stops cascading failures across them, and provides fallback options, Netflix engineer Ben Christensen says in a blog post.

Hystrix provides greater tolerance of latency and failure, improving the system’s overall resiliency, as well as helping to achieve a dramatic improvement in uptime for Netflix.

According to GigaOm, Hystrix could be useful for those building service-oriented architectures in the Amazon Web Services cloud, the infrastructure that Netflix uses to support its video streaming service.

For a cloud provider, having customers invested in  products to the point that they contribute their own resources in developing tools around the infrastructure, is interesting. Not only does it create loyalty from that particular customer, but if the tools are open-sourced, other customers benefit since they are available to the community at large.

Born out of the engineering work that the Netflix API team began last year, Hysterix is now used across many teams within Netflix, and is available on Github.

Christensen says tens of billions of thread-isolted and hundreds of billion semaphore-isolated calls are executed via Hystrix every day at Netflix.

Netflix says in “the near future” it will release the real-time dashboard for monitoring Hystrix.

The announcement aligns with the AWS:Reinvent customer and partner conference, held in Las Vegas this week. Reed Hastings, Netflix CEO will be speaking at the event.

In July, Netflix open sourced its cloud testing software Chaos Monkey. The tool breaks Netflix’s architecture continuously to ensure its environment is capable of withstanding that kind of failure, and tests to make sure the design is running effectively.

Netflix has also contributed to Facebook’s Open Compute Project.

Talk back: Would you use the new Netflix open source tool for AWS? Have you ever open sourced your own technology? Let us know in a comment.

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