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Registers Jetty server address with Zookeeper, and creates a Ring handler to provide app healthchecks and metrics endpoints.
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Clojure-Ring-Bootstrap exposes functions to:

  1. Add metrics to your API handlers, via clj-metrics and the ring middleware.
  2. Add a page for health checks to your handler, so that external clients can instrument you and detect misconfigurations and failures without grepping logs.
  3. Register your provider into a zookeeper cluster at an arbitrary path point. This makes it easy for clients to your service providers and allows for rolling restarts.


In your project.clj file add the dependency:

    ["clojure-ring-bootstrap" "0.2.0"]

Then when you register a handler you can add /metrics/ and /healthcheck/ responders with the middleware function bootstrap-middleware found in clojure-ring-bootstrap.core. Note that these are folded into your actual ring handler, so they are probably not appropriate for exposing to external clients.

Adding Healthchecks and Metrics

bootstrap-middleware takes three key arguments. The most important is :healthchecks, which takes a map containing healthcheck names and healthcheck functions. These can return whatever arbitrary app-specific status information you'd like to expose to instrumentation.


(defhandler my-api ...)
(def app (handler/api (bootstrap-middleware my-api
                                            :healthchecks {
                                                :check-database (fn [] ...)
                                                :check-perms    (fn [] ...)})))

Your endpoint will then respond to /metrics/ and /healthchecks/.

Healthcheck Output

Every time that the /healthchecks/ endpoint is hit, it calls each of your named healthcheck functions and reports their output. If any of the healthchecks return false or throw an uncaught exception, they "fail" and the page will report a status code 500. The contents of the page also reflect the output, making the healthchecks suitable for human inspection. If all tests pass, it reports a 200.

> curl -v http://localhost:8080/healthcheck/
* About to connect() to localhost port 8080 (#0)
*   Trying ::1... connected
* Connected to localhost (::1) port 8080 (#0)
> GET /healthcheck/ HTTP/1.1
> User-Agent: curl/7.21.4
> Host: localhost:8080
> Accept: */*
< HTTP/1.1 200 OK
< Date: Fri, 03 Aug 2012 00:51:15 GMT
< Content-Type: text/html;charset=ISO-8859-1
< Content-Length: 255
< Server: Jetty(7.6.1.v20120215)
<!DOCTYPE html>
* Connection #0 to host localhost left intact
* Closing connection #0
<body><section><p>The following healthchecks have been registered:</p>
<dl><dt class="check_name">successful</dt>
    <dd class="check_result">
      <span class="success">success</span>

Metrics Output

For /metrics/ you should expect output like:

> curl http://localhost/metrics/
{"type":"meter","rates":{"1":0.0,"5":0.0,"15":0.0}},"ring.handling-time.DELETE": ...

For a full treatment on this output, please refer to the metrics-clojure documentation.

Zookeeper Registration (Jetty only)

At Crowdflower, we try to follow a Boundary-inspired policy of registering internal service providers into Zookeeper and using that data to connect, rather than providing a proxy for every internal service. This allows us to do rolling restarts, and allows clients to make intelligent decisions about which service to connect to.

Our Zookeeper registration code is not Ring middleware, but rather a Jetty configuratior. It registers a lifecycle observer so that the zookeeper registration is removed before graceful shutdown is complete.

You can register a jetty service at server creation time like so:

(defn launch-site [handler port]
   (let [configurator (zk-service-configurator :zk-connect "zk1:2181,zk2:2182,zk3:2181"
                                               :path "/path/in/zookeeper"
                                               :contents {"version" "0.1.0"})]
     (ring/run-jetty handler {:port port :configurator configurator})))

This will register a sequential, ephemeral node in zookeeper /path/in/zookeeper/provider-000001. The data attribute of the node will be a json representation of your contents hash merged with the default keys, hostname, ports, and port. port is the preferred binding, but in some cases multiple ports may be exposed, and ports captures that. These details should be sufficient to allow a client to connect.

The configurator tries to determine your machine's hostname automatically. If this does not work to your liking, a static string or fn may be passed to zk-service-configurator under the key :hostname to override the default behavior.

Please be advised that this feature is not quite 100% robust; we do not properly handle connection losses to zookeeper at the time of the 0.2.0 release. This shortcoming should be corrected.

Roadmap of Planned Features

We're working to improve this library. On our roadmap are the following features:

  1. Testing
  2. Allow failing healthchecks to remove or re-add the system from zookeeper.
  3. Allow for dynamic contents in zookeeper hashes with variable periodicity.
  4. Better behavior when the zookeeper server cannot be found.
  5. A simple service discovery shim to pair with this.

Pull requests are welcome. :)


Copyright (C) 2012 Crowdflower Distributed under the Apache Public License. Please see LICENSE for more details.

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