Netflix Chaos Monkey: toward apoptosis for the cloud?

Netflix has publicly released an internal tool called “Chaos Monkey,” a service that will basically do you the favor of occasionally killing your cloud-based processes in various ways. The goal is to encourage robustness of an overall platform to individual program failure by persistently incorporating failure into the software development life-cycle.

More generally — do large, complex, and evolved systems inevitably require mechanisms for frequent self-termination at the component level? This is a principle which biology, of course, fully exploits.