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Showing posts from February, 2012

Remember to put a timeout on your heartbeat pings

I'm working a distributed piece of software which needs to be disabled when a tier is not reachable. To do that, I developed a Spring bean (a java service class) and I scheduled a method on it (with a @scheduled annotation). This method makes some heartbeat pings on each tier. The java service class contains a flag which indicates if all is OK. If an heartbeat fails, this boolean status is set to false. Of course, thanks to Spring, I easily injected this class into my web pages. If a user tries to access to the application and the health status is set to false, he is automatically redirected to a page which indicates that the service is closed. But, let's go back to pings.

I scheduled my pings to be executed each minute. That was for me a good value. But, a problem appeared during my first real tests. I realized that pings durations could be longer than one minute because the network connect() method blocked my thread. Of course, I forgot to manage short timeouts!

After a few go…