Availability tests

Availability tests are custom resource providers for testing service resources when you configure applications. They can be used to ensure your nodes are correctly configured and services are running before Puppet configures dependent services on another node.

Example service resource with built-in availability test

When you create service resources, you want to include availability tests when necessary.

The following example shows two example availability tests. These tests are based on puppet-healthcheck.

  • TCP
    • The provider is called tcp.
    • This check performs a simple ping against a host and port to determine if the service is up.
  • PostgreSQL
    • The provider is called pg.
    • This check logs into specified database to do a simple SELECT 1 to determine if the database is up.
    • This check requires that you install the postgres-pr gem on the agent that will run the check.

In the following example, the component (My::Db) produces a service resource (Sql), and passes the tcp provider from the component into the service resource.

define my::db(
  $user = 'myuser',
  $password = 'mypassword',
  $host = 'myhost',
  $port = '5432',
  $database = 'mydb',
  $provider = 'tcp',
) {


My::Db produces Sql {
    user      => $user,
    password  => $password,
    host      => $host,
    port      => $port,
    database  => $dbname,
    provider  => $provider,

Based on this example, the following parameters from the sql type dictate the behavior of the availability test providers:

  • host
    • The host to run the test on.
    • Default is
  • port

    • The port to run the test on.
    • Defaults is 80 or 5432, depending on it's a TCP or PSQL test.
  • timeout

    • How long to run the test.
    • Defaults is 60 seconds.
  • ping_interval

    • How long to wait between tests.
    • Defaults is 1 second.
  • user

    • The user to log into the database with.
    • There is no default value.
  • password

    • The password to log into the database with.
    • There is no default value.
  • database

    • The database to connect to.
    • There is no default value.

Writing availability tests

You can write your own availability tests as needed. To write an availability check, you need to create a custom type and a custom provider.

Writing the type

The type needs to be defined as a service resource. The following example shows the basic format of a service resource.

Puppet::Type.newtype :mytype, :is_capability => true do
  newparam :type1
  newparam :type2
  newparam :type3

Here, you add whatever parameters this service resource needs to function.

In the module that defines your application, this service resource type would be located at lib/puppet/type/<YOUR TYPE>/<YOUR TYPE>.rb.

Writing the provider

The corresponding provider is what performs the availability test. Most parts of the provider are dependent on how you want the test to function. However, there two required methods:

  • exists?: The method with which you call your availability test code. This is also where you can pass in any parameter from your type to your availability test method.

  • create: The method on which you can raise a Puppet::Error. This will only be called if the exists? method returns false.

The following example shows the format of the provider portion of a basic availability test. As noted in the example, the default behavior of the test is to pass all parameters from the service resource to the availability test. You can also pass specific parameters, as shown in the example.

(Remember, the service resource type would be located at lib/puppet/provider/<YOUR TYPE>/<YOUR TYPE>.rb.)

require 'puppet/provider'

class Puppet::Provider::Tcp < Puppet::Provider
  def my_availability_test
    # availability test code
    Puppet::Info "Doing an availability test"

  # default, passes all parameters from the service resource to the availability test 
  # or the commented out code: passing specific parameters to the test
  def exists?
    # my_availability_test(resource[:type1], resource[:type2], resource[:type3])

  def create
    raise Puppet::Error, "The availability test failed"

Ensuring test runs only on consuming node

An availability test will run only on the node consuming the service resource. For example, if you have an API node and a database node, and the database node produces a Sql capability resource consumed by the API node, the availability test will only run on the API node after the database node has been configured.

The availability test will also run before any other resources are configured during the Puppet run. If it fails, all dependencies will be skipped. If it successfully makes a connection, the Puppet run will move on and configure the remaining parts of the application.

To ensure the availability test only runs on the consuming node, you must include the following code on your health check method:

def my_availability_test
  return true if resource.tags.grep(/^producer:/).any?
  # rest of the availability test code

Related links

  • Custom type and a provider documentation

  • Working examples

See the following provider directories in the puppet-healthcheck module for working examples.