People usually think of a health check as a simple sequence: performing a specific action and judging whether the target application is healthy based on the outcome. This becomes trickier when the application consists of multiple containers managed by a cluster orchestrator and monitored by third-party tooling. In this situation, a number of questions arise, including:
Alexander Rukletsov discusses the perils of modern health checking and shares lessons learned during the revamp of the Apache Mesos health checks subsystem. Alexander explores challenges and trade-offs and offers an overview of how the modern distributed systems, such as AWS, Apache Mesos, and Kubernetes, tackle the problem of health checking, as well as alternative solutions.
Alex Rukletsov is an Apache committer and Mesos PMC member at Mesosphere. He loves making programs run faster, reducing the cognitive load of code, and creating the right abstractions. In a previous life, Alex segmented medical images and investigated the behavior of human vessels at several German research institutes. His areas of interests include distributed systems, object recognition, and probabilistic and heuristic algorithms.
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