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Can dynamic configuration avoid the butterfly effect of application changes?

Jason Li
Sr. Software Development Engineer
Skilled Angular and .NET developer, team leader for a healthcare insurance company.
January 21, 2022

Dynamic system configuration is the capacity to revise and extend a system while it is operating. The facility is a necessity in huge distributed systems where it may not be practical or economic to end the whole system to permit revision to part of its hardware or software. It is moreover beneficial during the production of the system to support incremental integration of component parts, and during operation to support system advancement. Configuration shifts on complex apps authorize firms to respond quickly to improving conditions or build less stretched traits or product takeoffs. Due to the immediacy of software growth, a crucial challenge for software dealers is to audit transformations in their application domains, such as system configurations. The issue is that any change executed at any phase of an operation can affect other sectors of an application. 

butterfly effect

The butterfly effect plays a role in chaos theory, which deals with the unpredictability of complicated systems and is frequently bound to quantum theory. Notions like the butterfly effect put into question the possible determinist mechanical rendition of the universe. The butterfly effect is a constantly misunderstood phenomenon wherein a minor shift in beginning circumstances can direct to extensively distinct consequences. Knowing the butterfly effect can provide us with a unique lens through which to view business, markets, and more. It isn't meant to propose that this could happen, hardly that a small event, like this, at the proper time and spot could, in theory, spur a clump of events that will ultimately end in the array of a hurricane on the different side of the realm. This digital butterfly effect can be extremely detrimental in today’s fast-paced, on-demand setting and it evolves even more fatal when these modifications can’t be found, due to inadequate tracking. Failure to track shifts can seriously entail an industry’s income and prosperity.

Marketplaces are, in essence, chaotic networks that are impacted by slight changes, and this creates it tough to predict the future, as the victories and downfalls of enterprises can appear random. Periods of economic progress and drop sprout from nowhere which is the upshot of the exponential result of subtle impulses the economic counterpart of the butterfly effect. This idea has been used to tremendous impact in films and TV shows, as well as to decipher why a snowstorm that was foreseen in your hometown occurred in the rain rather. There are numerous dynamic impetuses at work within IT networks, and shifts to one part of the infrastructure can retain far-reaching consequences. The downside of these complicated interdependencies is that errors, even minor configuration errors, and there are thousands of parameters that require to be configured can exemplify themselves down the road as crucial crises.

Multiple industries had to delay software releases or just reduce whole outputs because of sudden hits and downfalls in the code that took place after further functionality was delivered and integrated into completed applications. If one looks beyond sheer exercises and methodologies of evolution he may truly recognize that other laws can be connected to software as well. Avoiding the butterfly effect can also be related to app growth, particularly when dealing with huge and sophisticated decentralized applications inscribed in millions of lines of code. In this case, a typo or other misconception in one line can have awful outcomes in the end. Businesses have generally dealt with this through a method of continuous integration (CI) and continuous development (CD), one of the reasonable practices in an agile procedure for DevOps teams.

Incredibly like the atmosphere, economizing is a complicated network in which we discern only the visible findings rain or shine, boom, or bust. With the conception of globalization and enriched information technology, the economy is even more connected than in the past. One happening of market volatility can inflict crises for the entire network. The butterfly effect in economics refers to the compounding effect of small changes and as an outcome, it is practically difficult to make factual revelations for the future or to specify the detailed explanation of a bewildering change. Long spans of resilience are ensured by immediate reductions and vice versa. Equipping for the possibility and discerning the logic in the chaos of consumer behavior is not effortless. Once-powerful giants downfall as they stumble behind the times. Little start-ups grow from the ashes and dominate industries. Minor switches in persisting technology transform how people live their lives while fads capture everyone’s foresight and then vanish.

Industries have two choices in this situation: create a timeless commodity or service, or race to stay with evolution. But application configuration techniques have not been as simple to operate, with numerous configurations packed as an application initializes, enduring the same until an app restarts. However, configuration management is expended to concede to dynamic shifts in the live atmosphere, such as initiating a Black Friday deal on an e-commerce website or furnishing premium subscribers with entry to different TV shows on a streaming locale. It’s furthermore a strong method. In extension to the CI / CD regulations of your requisition, you also desire to exercise continuous configuration (CC).

With large-scale events particularly Prime Day, Black Friday, and the holiday season, Amazon has a technique to deal with configuration transitions from thousands of creators and hundreds of internal groups within Amazon, gratitude to AWS AppConfig. Originally formulated in-house, AppConfig will be declared as a component within AWS Systems Manager in 2019 to help consumers to aid from the tasks understood by Amazon in executing CI / CD / CC practices. In the fast-paced and continuously uncertain world of software applications, we see it in action every day. Virtually anything that touches an application either expands or impairs performance. Discerning whether it’s credited to the infrastructure, a coding transition, an API, the system, application architecture or related assistance is the challenge.

Major features

AppConfig benefits three crucial facilities that authorize firms to embrace continuous configuration:

1. Configuration data is divided from the main code, with the proficiency to update shortly and store data individually;

2. Applications can retrieve configuration from external assistance;

3. Configuration shifts are scanned and assessed before they are deployed slowly to avoid catastrophic effects.

The vital advantage of endless configuration tools such as AWS AppConfig is that it is entitled to chiefly instant release of an aspect, without predicting the threat and time cost of an entire application redeploy. For instance, a formal use case for feature ensigns is the skill to veer a feature on or off confiding on an explicit event – like the advent of Black Friday. As the volume blows on Black Friday, dealers desire to facilitate and configure details such as analytics, expenditure verification and processing, inventory supervision, and social media integration. For example, a merchant may have to limit the proposals made to an inventory database to avoid aids from being overloaded. Alternatively, prioritize delivery to an area where delivery is feasible in time for the expeditions.


When companies confide on configuration and change management networks rather than manual operations, configuration-related application outages hardly prevail, and when they do occur, the time it brings to interpret and settle the crisis gets on from hours to minutes. The configuration chaos that has directed to holds and apprehension around application deployments, advances, and migrations are brought under supervision. Configuration and change management chores and procedures are manual, dreary, redundant, and error-prone. Monitor for granular configuration switches and automatically generate cues to advise of potential configuration confrontations. Configuration and change management contributions enable IT staff to automatically perceive configuration transitions at an extremely granular status and proactively instruct the proper staff members of the transformation. Operating configuration and change management techniques, the common chores, methods, and reasonable policies to strengthen, revise, replicate, promote, outlay, and pertain are carved into the tools. Instead of manually configuring every application, these automation components assure repeatability and extensively curtail misconceptions and continuous supervision.

Contemporary applications ride on virtual devices and containers and branch outside of application servers to engage any amount of microservices to perform a deal and that branching frequently ensues outside your premises, in the cloud. This centers modern application architectures gaze less like the conventional three-tier norm, and more like a sprawling biological ecosystem. More than anything else, possessing a configuration network that not only can directly update configuration but also inspect and validate upheavals before deployment occurs, can be slightly stressful during those great occasions. Thus, small revisions that can be assessed, phased out, and regulated benefit enterprises avoid future catastrophic butterfly effects.