Example app for graceful start and stop with Kubernetes and Node.js
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Example repository to give a help with Kubernetes graceful start and shutdown in Node.js
Related article: https://blog.risingstack.com/graceful-shutdown-node-js-kubernetes/

What it does?

Kubernetes graceful shutdown

  1. pod receives SIGTERM signal because Kubernetes wants to stop the it because of deploy, scale etc.
  2. App (pod) starts to return 500 for GET /health to let readinessProbe (Service) know that it's not ready to receive more requests.
  3. Kubernetes readinessProbe checks GET /health and after (failureThreshold * periodSecond) it stops redirecting traffic after to the app (because it continuously returns 500)
  4. App waits (failureThreshold * periodSecond) before starts shutdown, to being sure that Service is get notified via readinessProbe fail
  5. App starts graceful shutdown
  6. App first close server with live working DB connections
  7. App closes databases after the server is closed
  8. App exists process
  9. Kubernetes force kill application after 30s (SIGKILL) if it's still running (in an optimal case it doesn't happen)

In our case Kubernetes livenessProbe won't kill the app before graceful shutdown because needs to wait (failureThreshold * periodSecond) to do it, so livenessProve threshold should be larger than readinessProbe threshold (graceful stop happens around 4s, force kill would happen 30s after SIGTERM)


Test case

$ ab -n 100000 -c 20

Plus changing an environment variable in the Deployment to re-deploy all pods during the ab benchmarking.

AB output

Document Path:          /
Document Length:        3 bytes

Concurrency Level:      20
Time taken for tests:   172.476 seconds
Complete requests:      100000
Failed requests:        0
Total transferred:      7800000 bytes
HTML transferred:       300000 bytes
Requests per second:    579.79 [#/sec] (mean)
Time per request:       34.495 [ms] (mean)
Time per request:       1.725 [ms] (mean, across all concurrent requests)
Transfer rate:          44.16 [Kbytes/sec] received

Application log output

Got SIGTERM. Graceful shutdown start 2016-10-16T18:54:59.208Z
Request after sigterm: / 2016-10-16T18:54:59.217Z
Request after sigterm: / 2016-10-16T18:54:59.261Z
Request after sigterm: / 2016-10-16T18:55:00.064Z
Request after sigterm: /health?type=readiness 2016-10-16T18:55:00.820Z
Request after sigterm: /health?type=readiness 2016-10-16T18:55:02.784Z
Request after sigterm: /health?type=liveness 2016-10-16T18:55:04.781Z
Request after sigterm: /health?type=readiness 2016-10-16T18:55:04.800Z
Server is shutting down... 2016-10-16T18:55:05.210Z
Successful graceful shutdown 2016-10-16T18:55:05.212Z

Benchmark result


Zero failed requests: you can see in the app log that Service stopped sending traffic to the pod before we disconnected from db and killed the app.

Known issues


Kubernetes doesn't handover keep-alive connections. Request from agents with keep-alive header will be still routed to the pod. It's tricked me first when I benchmarked with autocannon or Google Chrome.

Docker signaling

CMD ["node", "src"] works, CMD ["npm", "start"] not. It doesn't pass the SIGTERM to the node process.

An alternative can be: https://github.com/Yelp/dumb-init