Network Working Group I. Nadareishvili
Internet-Draft April 28, 2018
Intended status: Informational
Expires: October 30, 2018

Health Check Response Format for HTTP APIs
draft-inadarei-api-health-check-01

Abstract

This document proposes a service health check response format for HTTP APIs.

Note to Readers

RFC EDITOR: please remove this section before publication

The issues list for this draft can be found at https://github.com/inadarei/rfc-healthcheck/issues.

The most recent draft is at https://inadarei.github.io/rfc-healthcheck/.

Recent changes are listed at https://github.com/inadarei/rfc-healthcheck/commits/master.

See also the draft’s current status in the IETF datatracker, at https://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/draft-inadarei-api-health-check/.

Status of This Memo

This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). Note that other groups may also distribute working documents as Internet-Drafts. The list of current Internet-Drafts is at https://datatracker.ietf.org/drafts/current/.

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This Internet-Draft will expire on October 30, 2018.

Copyright Notice

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction

The vast majority of modern APIs driving data to web and mobile applications use HTTP [RFC7230] as their protocol. The health and uptime of these APIs determine availability of the applications themselves. In distributed systems built with a number of APIs, understanding the health status of the APIs and making corresponding decisions, for failover or circuit-breaking, are essential for providing highly available solutions.

There exists a wide variety of operational software that relies on the ability to read health check response of APIs. There is currently no standard for the health check output response, however, so most applications either rely on the basic level of information included in HTTP status codes [RFC7231] or use task-specific formats.

Usage of task-specific or application-specific formats creates significant challenges, disallowing any meaningful interoperability across different implementations and between different tooling.

Standardizing a format for health checks can provide any of a number of benefits, including:

This document defines a “health check” format using the JSON format [RFC8259] for APIs to use as a standard point for the health information they offer. Having a well-defined format for this purpose promotes good practice and tooling.

2. Notational Conventions

The key words “MUST”, “MUST NOT”, “REQUIRED”, “SHALL”, “SHALL NOT”, “SHOULD”, “SHOULD NOT”, “RECOMMENDED”, “MAY”, and “OPTIONAL” in this document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].

3. API Health Response

The API Health Response Format (or, interchangeably, “health check response format”) uses the JSON format described in [RFC8259] and has the media type “application/health+json”.

Its content consists of a single mandatory root field (“status”) and several optional fields:

4. The Details Object

The “details” object MAY have a number of unique keyes, one for each logical sub-components. Since each sub-component may be backed by several nodes with varying health statuses, the key points to an array of objects. In case of a single-node sub-component (or if presence of nodes is not relevant), a single-element array should be used as the value, for consistency.

The key identifying an element in the object should be a unique string within the details section. It MAY have two parts: “{componentName}:{metricName}”, in which case the meaning of the parts SHOULD be as follows:

On the value eside of the equation, each “component details” object in the array MAY have one of the following object keys:

5. Example Output

  GET /health HTTP/1.1
  Host: example.org
  Accept: application/health+json

  HTTP/1.1 200 OK
  Content-Type: application/health+json
  Cache-Control: max-age=3600
  Connection: close

{
  "status": "pass",
  "version": "1",
  "releaseID": "1.2.2",
  "notes": [""],
  "output": "",
  "serviceID": "f03e522f-1f44-4062-9b55-9587f91c9c41",
  "description": "health of authz service",
  "details": {
    "cassandra:responseTime": [
      {
        "componentId": "dfd6cf2b-1b6e-4412-a0b8-f6f7797a60d2",
        "componentType": "datastore",
        "metricValue": 250,
        "metricUnit": "ms",
        "status": "pass",
        "time": "2018-01-17T03:36:48Z",
        "output": ""
      }
    ],
    "cassandra:connections": [
      {
        "componentId": "dfd6cf2b-1b6e-4412-a0b8-f6f7797a60d2",
        "type": "datastore",
        "metricValue": 75,
        "status": "warn",
        "time": "2018-01-17T03:36:48Z",
        "output": "",
        "links": {
          "self": "http://api.example.com/dbnode/dfd6cf2b/health"
        }
      }
    ],
    "uptime": [
      {
        "componentType": "system",
        "metricValue": 1209600.245,
        "metricUnit": "s",
        "status": "pass",
        "time": "2018-01-17T03:36:48Z"
      }
    ],
    "cpu:utilization": [
      {
        "componentId": "6fd416e0-8920-410f-9c7b-c479000f7227",
        "node": 1,
        "componentType": "system",
        "metricValue": 85,
        "metricUnit": "percent",
        "status": "warn",
        "time": "2018-01-17T03:36:48Z",
        "output": ""
      },
      {
        "componentId": "6fd416e0-8920-410f-9c7b-c479000f7227",
        "node": 2,
        "componentType": "system",
        "metricValue": 85,
        "metricUnit": "percent",
        "status": "warn",
        "time": "2018-01-17T03:36:48Z",
        "output": ""
      }
    ],
    "memory:utilization": [
      {
        "componentId": "6fd416e0-8920-410f-9c7b-c479000f7227",
        "node": 1,
        "componentType": "system",
        "metricValue": 8.5,
        "metricUnit": "GiB",
        "status": "warn",
        "time": "2018-01-17T03:36:48Z",
        "output": ""
      },
      {
        "componentId": "6fd416e0-8920-410f-9c7b-c479000f7227",
        "node": 2,
        "componentType": "system",
        "metricValue": 5500,
        "metricUnit": "MiB",
        "status": "pass",
        "time": "2018-01-17T03:36:48Z",
        "output": ""
      }
    ]
  },
  "links": {
    "about": "http://api.example.com/about/authz",
    "http://api.x.io/rel/thresholds":
      "http://api.x.io/about/authz/thresholds"
  }
}

6. Security Considerations

Clients need to exercise care when reporting health information. Malicious actors could use this information for orchestrating attacks. In some cases the health check endpoints may need to be authenticated and institute role-based access control.

7. IANA Considerations

The media type for health check response is application/health+json.

8. Acknowledgements

Thanks to Mike Amundsen, Erik Wilde, Justin Bachorik and Randall Randall for their suggestions and feedback. And to Mark Nottingham for blueprint for authoring RFCs easily.

9. Creating and Serving Health Responses

When making an health check endpoint available, there are a few things to keep in mind:

10. Consuming Health Check Responses

Clients might use health check responses in a variety of ways.

Note that the health check response is a “living” document; links from the health check response MUST NOT be assumed to be valid beyond the freshness lifetime of the health check response, as per HTTP’s caching model [RFC7234].

As a result, clients ought to cache the health check response (as per [RFC7234]), to avoid fetching it before every interaction (which would otherwise be required).

Likewise, a client encountering a 404 (Not Found) on a link is encouraged to obtain a fresh copy of the health check response, to assure that it is up-to-date.

11. References

11.1. Normative References

[RFC2119] Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, DOI 10.17487/RFC2119, March 1997.
[RFC3986] Berners-Lee, T., Fielding, R. and L. Masinter, "Uniform Resource Identifier (URI): Generic Syntax", STD 66, RFC 3986, DOI 10.17487/RFC3986, January 2005.
[RFC7234] Fielding, R., Nottingham, M. and J. Reschke, "Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP/1.1): Caching", RFC 7234, DOI 10.17487/RFC7234, June 2014.
[RFC8259] Bray, T., "The JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) Data Interchange Format", STD 90, RFC 8259, DOI 10.17487/RFC8259, December 2017.
[RFC8288] Nottingham, M., "Web Linking", RFC 8288, DOI 10.17487/RFC8288, October 2017.

11.2. Informative References

[RFC3339] Klyne, G. and C. Newman, "Date and Time on the Internet: Timestamps", RFC 3339, DOI 10.17487/RFC3339, July 2002.
[RFC6838] Freed, N., Klensin, J. and T. Hansen, "Media Type Specifications and Registration Procedures", BCP 13, RFC 6838, DOI 10.17487/RFC6838, January 2013.
[RFC7230] Fielding, R. and J. Reschke, "Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP/1.1): Message Syntax and Routing", RFC 7230, DOI 10.17487/RFC7230, June 2014.
[RFC7231] Fielding, R. and J. Reschke, "Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP/1.1): Semantics and Content", RFC 7231, DOI 10.17487/RFC7231, June 2014.

Author's Address

Irakli Nadareishvili 114 5th Avenue New York, United States EMail: irakli@gmail.com URI: http://www.freshblurbs.com