In today’s cloud-first world, organizations are looking for ways to increase the resilience of their applications. ChatOps is one way to achieve this goal. ChatOps is a collaborative approach to all the stakeholders that use chat rooms as a platform for communication and collaboration in real time to resolve issues and share information.
Cloud Resources Explorer (CRE) is a tool that helps you easily discover and manage resources in your cloud subscription. With CRE, you can search for resources by name, location, resource type, or tag. A centrally managed CRE also provides capabilities to search for these resources across many different cloud accounts. Intelligent filtering and grouping so you can quickly find the resources you need.
One of the biggest problems that organizations realize after a disaster incident such as a ransomware attack is that they wish that they had done at least a few tests to make sure how all their internal organizational stakeholders from applications, compute, storage, security, networking, and architecture came together for a successful recovery. Appranix has advanced the area of cloud application environment recovery with several innovations such as cloud time machine, cloud infrastructure backup, recovery-as-code, automated recovery simulations, etc. to drastically reduce time to recover application environments, particularly on the cloud platforms. However, even with these innovations, it is particularly hard for reasonable enterprises to pull off the recovery tests. If they don’t conduct frequent tests, there is no way they can become confident in themselves to be able to recover from much worse disasters like ransomware attacks.
This post explores bringing together several innovations over the years to aid organizations to run through frequent recovery tests for them to achieve much better application resilience.
What Is ChatOps?
ChatOps is a collaborative approach to DevOps that uses chat rooms as a platform for communication and collaboration. This means that all members of the DevOps team can work together in real time to resolve issues and share information.
ChatOps was originally developed by Paul Dix and Aaron Frank of InfluxData as a way to improve communication among members of their dev team. The idea quickly caught on, and soon other organizations were adopting ChatOps as well. Today, ChatOps is used by some of the biggest names in tech, including Google, Facebook, Etsy, and Amazon.
So what makes ChatOps so special? There are four key benefits:
improved communication among team members;
faster problem resolution; and
better documentation of process and procedures.
These benefits make ChatOps an essential part of any DevOps and SRE teams toolkit.
Cloud Infrastructure Backup(CiB) with a Cloud Time Machine
Hyperscale cloud providers AWS, Azure, GCP and others have been making it easier to explore resources in a cloud account. However, it is hard to backup resources across all the cloud accounts in a centrally protected location with a time machine capability where you want to recover your resources at any point in time for different use cases, particularly for application recoveries. With the centralized capabilities away from your primary cloud provider gives you a continuous configuration backup with search and recovery capability that cloud operations, backup and recovery, SREs and security teams can make use for not only application recovery capabilities but also their day to day activities.
Cloud Application Resilience with ChatOps and Chatbots
There are several ways in which ChatOps can help you achieve application resilience. One of the biggest problems in executing frequent recovery tests is the level of information, collaboration and human interaction required to conduct a single test. We have seen first hand how organizations have struggled to execute a single DR test. Even with managed service providers specializing in offering quarterly DR tests post recovery application verification is a very lengthy and costly process. Without collaborative and assistive technology, organizations will not be able to prepare themselves for ransomware recoveries at all.
Leveraging ChatOps for recovery tests is one of the easiest ways to cut down time to conduct the tests and thereby removing the organizations hesitancy to test more and hence be prepared for an eventuality.
As Cyber Recovery ChatOps matures in an organization, adding Chatbot AI Assistants will make the entire operations efficient and less time consuming.
How to use a Cloud Application Resilience Chatbot
An application resilience chatbot could answer questions like
“Has the security group xyz changed since yesterday?”
“Create a test environment from yesterday’s timeline”
“Can I recover my application with tag ‘ERP’ on the AWS California region?”
“Does my recovered VM’s private IP address match the production environment?”
You can see how these implementations can grow to simplify your cloud operations over time. The good thing is that these environments get richer in use cases as more people use the platform and more data gets added through a centrally managed resources explorer.
Application resilience is critical for ensuring high availability in today’s digital world. Outages can occur due to cloud infrastructure or platform service failure, ransomware attacks, network issues, power loss, lightning strike or simply a human error. To recover from outages and ensure high availability, organizations must have a robust recovery plan that can quickly restore applications and data.
ChatOps is a powerful tool that can help you achieve application resilience by automating tasks, standardizing communication, and improving visibility into your applications. If you are not already using ChatOps in your organization, now is the time to give it a try!