Netflix Open Sources Janitor Monkey, an AWS Cleanup Tool
By on January 7th, 2013

Following the plan to open source its Simian Army gradually, Netflix has now open sourced the Janitor Monkey tool. This is the second Simian tool to be open sourced by Netflix after the source for Chaos Monkey was released to the public in July last year. The Simian Army at Netflix is used to manage cloud services and the last offering of Chaos Monkey was used for stress testing. As a whole, this Simian Army suite is well designed to perform a multitude of actions on cloud services.


The legend behind Janitor Monkey goes as follows:

At Netflix, when we analyzed our Amazon Web Services (AWS) usage, we found a lot of unused resources and we needed a solution to rectify this problem. Diligent engineers can manually delete unused resources via Asgard but we needed a way to automatically detect and clean them up. Our solution was Janitor Monkey.

In short, the Janitor Monkey comes in handy when disposing of unused resources. The Janitor Monkey service runs in Amazon Web Services (AWS) and it can be scheduled to perform regular resource cleanups.

Although Netflix is calling this an open sourcing of the entire tool, it seems like Janitor Monkey have not been open sourced entirely. Only modules that are generalized for other cloud services have been made available under the Apache 2 license.

The source code for Simian Army tools are made available on Github, as and when they are released. Netflix had also open-sourced its Asgard tool in June last year, which was not a part of the Simian Army, but deals with cloud services.

Author: Chinmoy Kanjilal Google Profile for Chinmoy Kanjilal
Chinmoy Kanjilal is a FOSS enthusiast and evangelist. He is passionate about Android. Security exploits turn him on and he loves to tinker with computer networks. He rants occasionally at You can connect with him on Twitter @ckandroid.

Chinmoy Kanjilal has written and can be contacted at

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