Cattle vs Pets

Cattle and Pets are ways to classify how you think about a compute unit that is involved in providing a service.  Typically the unit would be a server ( metal or virtual ) but can also be a container ( e.g Docker ) that is running on a server.  The compute units classification will determine how you treat it.


Can be destroyed and replaced at any time without the service failing.  It’s Cattle


Indispensable; destroying and replacing will cause the overall service to fail. It’s a Pet.



EXCHANGE01 is ACME Corporations single server providing email to the entire company. If it goes down, email service is lost.   EXCHANGE01 is a Pet

The cluster compromising virtual servers WWW001 through to  WWW100 , provides ACME Corporation website to the world.  Any server in that cluster can be destroyed and replaced without ACME Corporations website failing.  Therefore these servers are Cattle





About Jon Giffard

Husband, father, motorcyclist , amateur runner ( on hold due to knee injury ) - now trying not to drown whilst swimming. Product Manager at Webroot Not available for yodelling. Please do not ask.
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