Skip to content
Branch: master
Find file History
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Type Name Latest commit message Commit time
Failed to load latest commit information.

Go faster by adding more steps (on Kubernetes)

This directory contains a Kubernetes config that runs a demo that you can use to test linkerd's performance. The results of the demo are discussed in much more detail in Buoyant's blog post, Making Things Faster by Adding More Steps.


The add-steps.yml file that's included in this directory is configured to run the demo. Deploy it to Kubernetes with:

curl | kubectl apply -f -

Demo Details

Here's an overview of the demo you just deployed:


  • 2 slow_cookers: Traffic is generated using slow_cooker. The slow_cookers are configured to send 500 requests per second to both the linkerd cluster and the baseline cluster.

  • linkerd: linkerd is configured via a linkerd.yml config file, defined as a ConfigMap in add-steps.yml. This specifies a router running on port 4140, configured to route traffic to a backend app cluster, via Kubernetes service discovery.

  • 2 backend clusters: Each cluster runs 10 instances of the go web server that's defined in server.go. One cluster is fronted by linkerd, another baseline cluster simply uses a Kubernetes Service object. Instance response times vary between 0 and 2 seconds. The slowest instances also simulate a decrease in success rate.

  • prometheus: linkerd, slow_cooker, and the backend instances expose metrics data in a format that can be read by Prometheus. Prometheus metrics collection is configured via a prometheus.yml config file, defined as a ConfigMap in add-steps.yml. This file instructs Prometheus to scrape metrics from all processes every 5 seconds.

  • grafana: Collected metrics are displayed on a dashboard using Grafana. The grafana container is preconfigured to display dashboard comparing linkerd and the baseline cluster, defined via a making-things-faster-by-adding-more-steps.json dashboard file, as a ConfigMap in add-steps.yml.

View The Demo

Once up and running, open a port to the demo with:

kubectl -n add-steps port-forward $(kubectl -n add-steps get po --selector=app=grafana -o jsonpath='{.items[*]}') 3000:3000

Then browse to http://localhost:3000 to view the demo. It will take about a minute to begin reporting data:


Linkerd Config Details

Linkerd's config file, linkerd.yml, is defined as a ConfigMap in the add-steps.yml Kubernetes config.

# Configures Linkerd’s administrative interface.
  port: 9990

# Telemeters export metrics and tracing data about Linkerd, the services it
# connects to, and the requests it processes.
# Expose Prometheus style metrics on :9990/admin/metrics/prometheus
- kind: io.l5d.prometheus

# Usage is used for anonymized usage reporting. You can set the orgId to
# identify your organization or set `enabled: false` to disable entirely.
  orgId: linkerd-examples-add-steps-k8s
  enabled: true

# Namers provide Linkerd with service discovery information. To use a namer,
# you reference it in the dtab by its prefix.
# Enable the Kubernetes Service Discovery Namer, we will use `/#/io.l5d.k8s`
# in our dtab.
- kind: io.l5d.k8s
  host: localhost
  port: 8001

# Routers define how Linkerd actually handles traffic. Each router listens
# for requests, applies routing rules to those requests, and proxies them
# to the appropriate destinations. Each router is protocol specific.
# Configure one HTTP router. The application is expected to send traffic to
# this router on port 4140. Linkerd then proxies the request to the target
# application.
- protocol: http
  - ip:
    port: 4140
  # Route requests based on Kubernetes Service Discovery information.
  # Specifically, map the HTTP host header to endpoints identified by a
  # service name in the `add-steps` namespace, on the `test-app` port.
  # For example:
  # http_proxy=localhost:4140 curl http://linkerd-app
  # routes to endpoints defined by the service object:
  # http://linkerd-app.add-steps.svc.cluster.local
  dtab: |
    /svc => /#/io.l5d.k8s/add-steps/test-app

  # This section defines the policy that Linkerd will use when talking to
  # services. The structure of this section depends on its `kind`.
    # `` allows you to specifies parameters for all services.
    # A `responseClassifier` determines which HTTP responses should be
    # considered failures and which can be retried.
      # All 5XX responses are considered to be failures. However, GET, HEAD,
      # OPTIONS, and TRACE requests may be retried automatically.
      kind: io.l5d.http.retryableRead5XX

  # This section defines how the clients that Linkerd creates will be
  # configured. The structure of this section depends on its kind.
    # `` allows you to specifies parameters for all clients.
    # Specify a client-side load balancer.
      # Specify an Exponentially Weighted Moving Average load balancer
      # algorithm.
      # More info:
      kind: ewma

    # Specify a Circuit Breaker, (aka Failure Accrual) policy
    # Linkerd uses failure accrual to track the number of requests that have
    # failed to a given node, and it will back off sending requests to any
    # nodes whose failures have exceeded a given threshold. Both the failure
    # threshold and the backoff behavior are configurable.
      # Computes an exponentially-weighted moving average success rate for
      # each node, and backs off sending requests to nodes that have fallen
      # below the specified success rate. The window size for computing
      # success rate is constrained to a fixed number of requests.
      kind: io.l5d.successRate
      # Target success rate nodes must stay above to be marked alive.
      successRate: 0.9
      # Compute success rate over the last 20 requests.
      requests: 20
      # Once a node is marked dead, it will attempt to resend it traffic in
      # every 10 seconds.
        kind: constant
        ms: 10000



To view the Prometheus dashboard for raw metrics from all processes:

kubectl -n add-steps port-forward $(kubectl --namespace=add-steps get po --selector=app=prometheus -o jsonpath='{.items[*]}') 9090:9090

Then browse to http://localhost:9090 to view Prometheus.

Linkerd admin

To view the Linkerd admin dashboard:

kubectl -n add-steps port-forward $(kubectl --namespace=add-steps get po --selector=app=l5d -o jsonpath='{.items[*]}') 9990:9990

Then browse to http://localhost:9990 to view the Linkerd Admin Dashboard.


kubectl delete ns add-steps


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! 👋


If you make changes to server.go:

docker build ../ -t buoyantio/add-steps-app:v1
docker push buoyantio/add-steps-app:v1
You can’t perform that action at this time.