Programming language: Go
License: MIT License
Latest version: v2.1.2

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A library that enables async dependency health checking for services running on an orchestrated container platform such as kubernetes or mesos.

Why is this important?

Container orchestration platforms require that the underlying service(s) expose a "health check" which is used by the platform to determine whether the container is in a good or bad state.

While this can be achieved by simply exposing a /status endpoint that performs synchronous checks against its dependencies (followed by returning a 200 or non-200 status code), it is not optimal for a number of reasons:

  • It does not scale
    • The more dependencies you add, the longer your health check will take to complete (and potentially cause your service to be killed off by the orchestration platform).
    • Depending on the complexity of a given dependency, your check may be fairly involved where it is okay for it to take 30s+ to complete.
  • It adds unnecessary load on yours deps or at worst, becomes a DoS target
    • Non-malicious scenario
      • Thundering herd problem -- in the event of a deployment (or restart, etc.), all of your service containers are likely to have their /status endpoints checked by the orchestration platform as soon as they come up. Depending on the complexity of the checks, running that many simultaneous checks against your dependencies could cause at worst the dependencies to experience problems and at minimum add unnecessary load.
      • Security scanners -- if your organization runs periodic security scans, they may hit your /status endpoint and trigger unnecessary dep checks.
    • Malicious scenario
      • Loading up any basic HTTP benchmarking tool and pointing it at your /status endpoint could choke your dependencies (and potentially your service).

With that said, not everyone needs asynchronous checks. If your service has one dependency (and that is unlikely to change), it is trivial to write a basic, synchronous check and it will probably suffice.

However, if you anticipate that your service will have several dependencies, with varying degrees of complexity for determining their health state - you should probably think about introducing asynchronous health checks.

How does this library help?

Writing an async health checking framework for your service is not a trivial task, especially if Go is not your primary language.

This library:

  • Allows you to define how to check your dependencies.
  • Allows you to define warning and fatal thresholds.
  • Will run your dependency checks on a given interval, in the background. [1]
  • Exposes a way for you to gather the check results in a fast and thread-safe manner to help determine the final status of your /status endpoint. [2]
  • Comes bundled w/ pre-built checkers for well-known dependencies such as Redis, Mongo, HTTP and more.
  • Makes it simple to implement and provide your own checkers (by adhering to the checker interface).
  • Allows you to trigger listener functions when your health checks fail or recover using the IStatusListener interface.
  • Allows you to run custom logic when a specific health check completes by using the OnComplete hook.

[1] Make sure to run your checks on a "sane" interval - ie. if you are checking your Redis dependency once every five minutes, your service is essentially running blind for about 4.59/5 minutes. Unless you have a really good reason, check your dependencies every X seconds, rather than X minutes.

[2] go-health continuously writes dependency health state data and allows you to query that data via .State(). Alternatively, you can use one of the pre-built HTTP handlers for your /healthcheck endpoint (and thus not have to manually inspect the state data).


For full examples, look through the [examples dir](examples/)

  1. Create an instance of health and configure a checker (or two)
import (
    health "github.com/InVisionApp/go-health/v2"

// Create a new health instance
h := health.New()

// Create a checker
myURL, _ := url.Parse("https://google.com")
myCheck, _ := checkers.NewHTTP(&checkers.HTTPConfig{
    URL: myURL,
  1. Register your check with your health instance
        Name:     "my-check",
        Checker:  myCheck,
        Interval: time.Duration(2) * time.Second,
        Fatal:    true,
  1. Start the health check

From here on, you can either configure an endpoint such as /healthcheck to use a built-in handler such as handlers.NewJSONHandlerFunc() or get the current health state of all your deps by traversing the data returned by h.State().

Sample /healthcheck output

Assuming you have configured go-health with two HTTP checkers, your /healthcheck output would look something like this:

    "details": {
        "bad-check": {
            "name": "bad-check",
            "status": "failed",
            "error": "Ran into error while performing 'GET' request: Get google.com: unsupported protocol scheme \"\"",
            "check_time": "2017-12-30T16:20:13.732240871-08:00"
        "good-check": {
            "name": "good-check",
            "status": "ok",
            "check_time": "2017-12-30T16:20:13.80109931-08:00"
    "status": "ok"

Additional Documentation

OnComplete Hook VS IStatusListener

At first glance it may seem that these two features provide the same functionality. However, they are meant for two different use cases:

The IStatusListener is useful when you want to run a custom function in the event that the overall status of your health checks change. I.E. if go-health is currently checking the health for two different dependencies A and B, you may want to trip a circuit breaker for A and/or B. You could also put your service in a state where it will notify callers that it is not currently operating correctly. The opposite can be done when your service recovers.

The OnComplete hook is called whenever a health check for an individual dependency is complete. This means that the function you register with the hook gets called every single time go-health completes the check. It's completely possible to register different functions with each configured health check or not to hook into the completion of certain health checks entirely. For instance, this can be useful if you want to perform cleanup after a complex health check or if you want to send metrics to your APM software when a health check completes. It is important to keep in mind that this hook effectively gets called on roughly the same interval you define for the health check.


All PR's are welcome, as long as they are well tested. Follow the typical fork->branch->pr flow.

*Note that all licence references and agreements mentioned in the go-health README section above are relevant to that project's source code only.