Health Check

New to Kuma? You don’t need this policy, check MeshHealthCheck instead. If you want to use the HealthCheck policy, remember that it requires the TrafficRoute policy to function properly.

Health Check is an outbound policy. Dataplanes whose configuration is modified are in the sources matcher.

This policy enables Kuma to keep track of the health of every data plane proxy, with the goal of minimizing the number of failed requests in case a data plane proxy is temporarily unhealthy.

By creating an HealthCheck resource we can instruct a data plane proxy to keep track of the health status for any other data plane proxy. When health-checks are properly configured, a data plane proxy will never send a request to another data plane proxy that is considered unhealthy. When an unhealthy proxy returns to a healthy state, Kuma will resume sending requests to it again.

This policy provides active checks. If you want to configure passive checks, please utilize the Circuit Breaker policy. Data plane proxies with active checks will explicitly send requests to other data plane proxies to determine if target proxies are healthy or not. This mode generates extra traffic to other proxies and services as described in the policy configuration.


As usual, we can apply sources and destinations selectors to determine how health-checks will be performed across our data plane proxies.

The HealthCheck policy supports both L4/TCP (default) and L7/HTTP checks.


kind: HealthCheck
mesh: default
  name: web-to-backend-check
  - match: web_default_svc_80
  - match: backend_default_svc_80
    interval: 10s
    timeout: 2s
    unhealthyThreshold: 3
    healthyThreshold: 1
    initialJitter: 5s # optional
    intervalJitter: 6s # optional
    intervalJitterPercent: 10 # optional
    healthyPanicThreshold: 60 # optional, by default 50
    failTrafficOnPanic: true # optional, by default false
    noTrafficInterval: 10s # optional, by default 60s
    eventLogPath: "/tmp/health-check.log" # optional
    alwaysLogHealthCheckFailures: true # optional, by default false
    reuseConnection: false # optional, by default true
    tcp: # only one of tcp or http can be defined
      send: Zm9v
      - YmFy
      - YmF6
      path: /health
      - append: false
          key: Content-Type
          value: application/json
      - header:
          key: Accept
          value: application/json
      expectedStatuses: [200, 201]

We will apply the configuration with kubectl apply -f [..].


HTTP health checks are executed using HTTP 2

  • path - HTTP path which will be requested during the health checks
  • expectedStatuses (optional) - list of status codes which should be considered as a healthy during the checks
    • only statuses in the range [100, 600) are allowed
    • by default, when this property is not provided only responses with status code 200 are being considered healthy
  • requestHeadersToAdd (optional) - list of headers which should be added to every health check request:
    • append (default, optional) - should the value of the provided header be appended to already existing headers (if present)
    • header:
      • key - the name of the header
      • value (optional) - the value of the header


  • send - Base64 encoded content of the message which should be sent during the health checks
  • receive list of Base64 encoded blocks of strings which should be found in the returning message which should be considered as healthy
    • when checking the response, “fuzzy” matching is performed such that each block must be found, and in the order specified, but not necessarily contiguous;
    • if receive section won’t be provided or will be empty, checks will be performed as “connect only” and will be marked as successful when TCP connection will be successfully established.


HealthCheck is an Outbound Connection Policy. The only supported value for destinations.match is

All options