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Failure accrual

This directory contains a docker-compose environment that runs a demo that you can use to test linkerd's failure accrual settings. The results of the demo are discussed in much more detail in Buoyant's blog post, Making microservices more resilient with advanced circuit breaking.


The docker-compose.yml file that's included in this directory is configured to run the demo. Start all of the containers with:

$ docker-compose build && docker-compose up -d

That command will build and run all of the following containers:

  • linkerd: linkerd is configured via the provided linkerd.yml, which specifies 3 separate routers, running on ports 4141, 4142, and 4143, each configured with different failure accrual policies, and each routing traffic to separate backend clusters. The linkerd config also specifies a 4th router running on port 4140, which evenly distributes its requests over the other three routers, which is useful for traffic generation.

  • 3 backend clusters: Each cluster runs 5 instances of the go web server that's defined in server.go. 4 of the 5 instances in each cluster return responses immediately with 100% success rate. 1 instance simulates a 60% success rate, and adds 100 milliseconds of latency to failing requests.

  • slow_cooker: Traffic to linkerd is generated using slow_cooker. slow_cooker is configured to send 300 requests per second to the linkerd router that is running on port 4140, which evenly distributes the requests to the other 3 routers, such that each router receives roughly 100 requests per second.

  • prometheus: linkerd and the backend instances expose metrics data in a format that can be read by Prometheus. Prometheus metrics collection is configured in prometheus.yml, which scrapes all metrics from all processes every 5 seconds.

  • grafana: Collected metrics are displayed on a dashboard using Grafana. The grafana container is preconfigured with the failure accrual comparison dashboard that is defined in grafana.json.



Grafana is running on port 3000 in your docker-compose environment. To see a dashboard comparing the different failure accrual settings, load the Grafana dashboard by going to port 3000 on your docker host. It should look like this:


linkerd admin

The linkerd admin server is running on port 9990 in your docker-compose environment. To see the admin dashboard, go to port 9990 on your docker host. It should look like this:



If you have any issues getting the demo up and running, pop into linkerd's Slack and we'll help you get it sorted out.

Thanks! 👋