Chapter 2. Health Probe

The Health Probe pattern is about how an application can communicate its health state to Kubernetes. To be fully automatable, a cloud-native application must be highly observable by allowing its state to be inferred so that Kubernetes can detect whether the application is up and whether it is ready to serve requests. These observations influence the lifecycle management of Pods and the way traffic is routed to the application.


Kubernetes regularly checks the container process status and restarts it if issues are detected. However, from practice, we know that checking the process status is not sufficient to decide about the health of an application. In many cases, an application hangs, but its process is still up and running. For example, a Java application may throw an OutOfMemoryError and still have the JVM process running. Alternatively, an application may freeze because it runs into an infinite loop, deadlock, or some thrashing (cache, heap, ...

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