Container Healthchecks for TripleO Services

An OpenStack deployment involves many services spread across many hosts. It is important that we provide tooling and APIs that make it as easy as possible to monitor this large, distributed environment. The move to containerized services in the overcloud [1] brings with it many opportunities, such as the ability to bundle services with their associated health checks and provide a standard API for assessing the health of the service.


Problem Description

The people who are in the best position to develop appropriate health checks for a service are generally those people responsible for developing the service. Unfortunately, the task of setting up monitoring generally ends up in the hands of cloud operators or some intermediary.

I propose that we take advantage of the bundling offered by containerized services and create a standard API with which an operator can assess the health of a service. This makes life easier for the operator, who can now provide granular service monitoring without requiring detailed knowledge about every service, and it allows service developers to ensure that services are monitored appropriately.

Proposed Change


The Docker engine (since version 1.12), as well as most higher-level orchestration frameworks, provide a standard mechanism for validating the health of a container. Docker itself provides the HEALTHCHECK directive, while Kubernetes has explicit support for liveness and readiness probes. Both mechanisms work by executing a defined command inside the container, and using the result of that executing to determine whether or not the container is “healthy”.

I propose that we explicitly support these interfaces in containerized TripleO services through the following means:

  1. Include in every container a /openstack/healthcheck command that will check the health of the containerized service, exit with status 0 if the service is healthy or 1 if not, and provide a message on stdout describing the nature of the error.

  2. Include in every Docker image an appropriate HEALTHCHECK directive to utilize the script:

    HEALTHCHECK CMD /openstack/healthcheck
  3. If Kubernetes becomes a standard part of the TripleO deployment process, we may be able to implement liveness or readiness probes using the same script:

          - /openstack/healthcheck


The alternative is the status quo: services do not provide a standard healthcheck API, and service monitoring must be configured individually by cloud operators.

Security Impact


Other End User Impact

Users can explicitly run the healthcheck script to immediately assess the state of a service.

Performance Impact

This proposal will result in the periodic execution of tasks on the overcloud hosts. When designing health checks, service developers should select appropriate check intervals such that there is minimal operational overhead from the health checks.

Other Deployer Impact


Developer Impact

Developers will need to determine how best to assess the health of a service and provide the appropriate script to perform this check.




Work Items




TripleO CI jobs should be updated to utilize the healthcheck API to determine if services are running correctly.

Documentation Impact

Any documentation describing the process of containerizing a service for TripleoO must be updated to describe the healthcheck API.