A great deal has already been written about readiness and liveness checks and I don’t intend to cover that ground again. Rather I want to cover, very specifically, their use in a large microservices architecture.

I had also expected this would be an area that is already well covered, given the prevalence of Kubernetes in hosting these types of applications. Trawling the internet didn’t reveal a great deal specific to implementing readiness checks in a microservice world and recent experiences with some clients has shown there is a degree of misunderstanding in their use and correct implementation.

Much of what has been written already tends to focus on the how of implementing the readiness and liveness checks in your services and often in relation to the use of database, caches or other dependent infrastructure. Little tends to be said though, of what that implementation should look like when your dependencies take the form of other services. This is the area I’d like to explore a little further here.

Let’s take a fairly trivial example where Service A exposes a public REST API and in order to fulfil those requests will need to call Service B. When implementing your readiness check in service A you may be tempted to include a call to check if service B is available (let’s say you use the readiness end point). On the face of it, this seems to make sense. You require service B to be available, in order to be able to respond to requests. To accomplish this, you might think you can call one of the health check endpoints on service B.


Kubernetes Readiness Probes Implementation in Microservices | Hacker Noon
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