Fault Injection

This task shows you how to inject faults to test the resiliency of your application.

Before you begin

  • Set up Istio by following the instructions in the Installation guide.

  • Deploy the Bookinfo sample application.

  • Review the fault injection discussion in the Traffic Management concepts doc.

  • Apply application version routing by either performing the request routing task or by running the following commands:

    $ kubectl apply -f @samples/bookinfo/networking/virtual-service-all-v1.yaml@
    $ kubectl apply -f @samples/bookinfo/networking/virtual-service-reviews-test-v2.yaml@

Injecting an HTTP delay fault

To test the Bookinfo application microservices for resiliency, inject a 7s delay between the reviews:v2 and ratings microservices for user jason. This test will uncover a bug that was intentionally introduced into the Bookinfo app.

Note that the reviews:v2 service has a 10s hard-coded connection timeout for calls to the ratings service. Even with the 7s delay that you introduced, you still expect the end-to-end flow to continue without any errors.

  1. Create a fault injection rule to delay traffic coming from the test user jason.

    $ kubectl apply -f @samples/bookinfo/networking/virtual-service-ratings-test-delay.yaml@
  2. Confirm the rule was created:

    $ kubectl get virtualservice ratings -o yaml
    apiVersion: networking.istio.io/v1alpha3
    kind: VirtualService
    metadata:
      name: ratings
      ...
    spec:
      hosts:
      - ratings
      http:
      - fault:
          delay:
            fixedDelay: 7s
            percent: 100
        match:
        - headers:
            end-user:
              exact: jason
        route:
        - destination:
            host: ratings
            subset: v1
      - route:
        - destination:
            host: ratings
            subset: v1

    Allow several seconds for the new rule to propagate to all pods.

Testing the delay configuration

  1. Open the Bookinfo web application in your browser.

  2. On the /productpage, log in as user jason.

    You expect the Bookinfo home page to load without errors in approximately 7 seconds. However, there is a problem: the Reviews section displays an error message:

    Error fetching product reviews!
    Sorry, product reviews are currently unavailable for this book.
  3. View the web page response times:

    1. Open the Developer Tools menu in you web browser.
    2. Open the Network tab
    3. Reload the productpage web page. You will see that the webpage actually loads in about 6 seconds.

Understanding what happened

You’ve found a bug. There are hard-coded timeouts in the microservices that have caused the reviews service to fail.

The timeout between the productpage and the reviews service is 6 seconds - coded as 3s + 1 retry for 6s total. The timeout between the reviews and ratings service is hard-coded at 10 seconds. Because of the delay we introduced, the /productpage times out prematurely and throws the error.

Bugs like this can occur in typical enterprise applications where different teams develop different microservices independently. Istio’s fault injection rules help you identify such anomalies without impacting end users.

Notice that the fault injection test is restricted to when the logged in user is jason. If you login as any other user, you will not experience any delays.

Fixing the bug

You would normally fix the problem by:

  1. Either increasing the /productpage timeout or decreasing the reviews to ratings service timeout
  2. Stopping and restarting the fixed microservice
  3. Confirming that the /productpage returns its response without any errors.

However, you already have this fix running in v3 of the reviews service, so you can simply fix the problem by migrating all traffic to reviews:v3 as described in the traffic shifting task.

Exercise

Change the delay rule to use a 2.8 second delay and then run it against the v3 version of reviews.

Injecting an HTTP abort fault

Another way to test microservice resiliency is to introduce an HTTP abort fault. In this task, you will introduce an HTTP abort to the ratings microservices for the test user jason.

In this case, you expect the page to load immediately and display the product ratings not available message.

  1. Create a fault injection rule to send an HTTP abort for user jason:

    $ kubectl apply -f @samples/bookinfo/networking/virtual-service-ratings-test-abort.yaml@
  2. Confirm the rule was created:

    $ kubectl get virtualservice ratings -o yaml
    apiVersion: networking.istio.io/v1alpha3
    kind: VirtualService
    metadata:
      name: ratings
      ...
    spec:
      hosts:
      - ratings
      http:
      - fault:
          abort:
            httpStatus: 500
            percent: 100
        match:
        - headers:
            end-user:
              exact: jason
        route:
        - destination:
            host: ratings
            subset: v1
      - route:
        - destination:
            host: ratings
            subset: v1

Testing the abort configuration

  1. Open the Bookinfo web application in your browser.

  2. On the /productpage, log in as user jason.

    If the rule propagated successfully to all pods, the page loads immediately and the product ratings not available message appears.

  3. Log out from user jason and the rating stars show up successfully on the application’s /productpage.

Cleanup

  1. Remove the application routing rules:

    $ kubectl delete -f @samples/bookinfo/networking/virtual-service-all-v1.yaml@
  2. If you are not planning to explore any follow-on tasks, refer to the Bookinfo cleanup instructions to shutdown the application.

See also

How to use Istio for traffic management without deploying sidecar proxies.

Introduction, motivation and design principles for the Istio v1alpha3 routing API.

Describes how to configure Istio ingress with a network load balancer on AWS.

An introduction to safer, lower-risk deployments and release to production.

Describes a simple scenario based on Istio's Bookinfo example.

Describes a simple scenario based on Istio's Bookinfo example.