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Automated Application Rollback Insurance for Release Teams

System failures are an unfortunate fact of life in the new digital first world. Automated rollback and rollfoward enable application teams to quickly recover from a failure and minimize any resulting business impacts. This paper provides an overview of rollback vs. rollforward and how to implement within Chef Habitat.

Sometimes in IT certain terms take on a life of their own. They push past their original meaning and become something different, rollback is one of these terms.

In the language of enterprise IT, "rollback" means getting the system back into a working state. This ensures a system can be immediately restored if a system failure occurs and that there are no disruptions to business. I've heard "rollback" from CIOs, Directors of Operations, and VPs of Development. When discussed we weren't comparing the technical implications of rollback vs. other techniques. What they were really asking is "what type of insurance policy does Chef provide to get the system back into a working state after an issue has been detected?"

With the criticality of IT systems and the pressure for speed, companies need an insurance policy for when things go wrong. They need to be able to quickly restore service after a failed change or a failed release.