Every engineering organization has multiple team responsible for critical services (e.g. adserving, monetization, data, etc) and their own oncall roaster. The rotation is usually done weekly moving between primary, and secondary. Sometimes some people go on vacations and manual edits are expected, and medium term planning is also desired.

How it works

We built a backend ngd (never go down !) server (written in Go), an android app, and js, which is the driver for the android app. The JS driver is to avoid any logic on the android app, hence making the update almost solely server side. SDK only provides make call, send sms and receive sms functionality to the NGD-bridge that connects it with JS. Go Server talks to MySql backends an uses transactions to ensure correctness and randomness to minimize contentions across mobile agents helping server to make the alerting.

The server gets alerts from monitoring infra (nagios, home grown scripts, etc) and send alerts (phone call, sms, email) to on-call team members using worker devices (set of dedicated smart phones - using diftft gsm carriers )

On call team member can ACK/NACK, which the server parses to the original handler. The acks can be silenced directly too.

Challenges I ran into

Android hick-ups, with playing a pre-recorded audio in an outgoing android phone call & injecting prec-recorded audio in an potgoing android call (apparently android does not allow it)

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

  1. The app doesnt need updation The server send the latest js code (which implements all the complex logic of retries, primary , secondary on-call teammates, rotations, etc etc) 2.We handle rotations. 3.We can even handle a team member, going on vacation, and opting out of on-call, say, next week.
  2. Multiple servers and multiple phones can be part of worker pool.

They automatically get pushed to the bottom of the roaster , but we still respect human load balancing ( roughly = no of on call days / human :D)

What I learned

What's next for never_go_down

-- provide Meta monitoring services. -- use AWS RDS instead of mysql on our local machine ( we didnt get the AWS credit email ) -- monitoring an org's AWS infra for metrics, alerts, etc -- web ui for command line stuff now

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