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Don't Waste Time Calling Unhealthy Services


The circuit breaker protects your system from stacking requests to unhealthy services, resulting in cascading failures.

When your system is healthy, the circuit is closed (normal operations). When your system becomes unhealthy, the circuit opens, and the requests are no longer forwarded, but instead are handled by a fallback mechanism.

To assess if your system is healthy, the circuit breaker constantly monitors the services.

The CircuitBreaker only analyzes what happens after its position within the middleware chain. What happens before has no impact on its state.


Each router gets its own instance of a given circuit breaker. One circuit breaker instance can be open while the other remains closed: their state is not shared.

This is the expected behavior, we want you to be able to define what makes a service healthy without having to declare a circuit breaker for each route.

Configuration Examples

# Latency Check
  - "traefik.http.middlewares.latency-check.circuitbreaker.expression=LatencyAtQuantileMS(50.0) > 100"
# Latency Check
kind: Middleware
  name: latency-check
    expression: LatencyAtQuantileMS(50.0) > 100
# Latency Check
- "traefik.http.middlewares.latency-check.circuitbreaker.expression=LatencyAtQuantileMS(50.0) > 100"
"labels": {
  "traefik.http.middlewares.latency-check.circuitbreaker.expression": "LatencyAtQuantileMS(50.0) > 100"
# Latency Check
  - "traefik.http.middlewares.latency-check.circuitbreaker.expression=LatencyAtQuantileMS(50.0) > 100"
# Latency Check
    expression = "LatencyAtQuantileMS(50.0) > 100"
# Latency Check
        expression: "LatencyAtQuantileMS(50.0) > 100"

Possible States

There are three possible states for your circuit breaker:

  • Closed (your service operates normally)
  • Open (the fallback mechanism takes over your service)
  • Recovering (the circuit breaker tries to resume normal operations by progressively sending requests to your service)


While the circuit is closed, the circuit breaker only collects metrics to analyze the behavior of the requests.

At specified intervals (checkPeriod), the circuit breaker evaluates expression to decide if its state must change.


While open, the fallback mechanism takes over the normal service calls for a duration of FallbackDuration. After this duration, it enters the recovering state.


While recovering, the circuit breaker sends linearly increasing amounts of requests to your service (for RecoveryDuration). If your service fails during recovery, the circuit breaker opens again. If the service operates normally during the entire recovery duration, then the circuit breaker closes.

Configuration Options

Configuring the Trigger

You can specify an expression that, once matched, opens the circuit breaker and applies the fallback mechanism instead of calling your services.

The expression option can check three different metrics:

  • The network error ratio (NetworkErrorRatio)
  • The status code ratio (ResponseCodeRatio)
  • The latency at a quantile in milliseconds (LatencyAtQuantileMS)


If you want the circuit breaker to open at a 30% ratio of network errors, the expression is NetworkErrorRatio() > 0.30


You can configure the circuit breaker to open based on the ratio of a given range of status codes.

The ResponseCodeRatio accepts four parameters, from, to, dividedByFrom, dividedByTo.

The operation that will be computed is sum(to -> from) / sum (dividedByFrom -> dividedByTo).

If sum (dividedByFrom -> dividedByTo) equals 0, then ResponseCodeRatio returns 0.

fromis inclusive, to is exclusive.

For example, the expression ResponseCodeRatio(500, 600, 0, 600) > 0.25 will trigger the circuit breaker if 25% of the requests returned a 5XX status (amongst the request that returned a status code from 0 to 5XX).


You can configure the circuit breaker to open when a given proportion of your requests become too slow.

For example, the expression LatencyAtQuantileMS(50.0) > 100 opens the circuit breaker when the median latency (quantile 50) reaches 100ms.

You must provide a floating point number (with the trailing .0) for the quantile value

Using Multiple Metrics

You can combine multiple metrics using operators in your expression.

Supported operators are:

  • AND (&&)
  • OR (||)

For example, ResponseCodeRatio(500, 600, 0, 600) > 0.30 || NetworkErrorRatio() > 0.10 triggers the circuit breaker when 30% of the requests return a 5XX status code, or when the ratio of network errors reaches 10%.


Here is the list of supported operators:

  • Greater than (>)
  • Greater or equal than (>=)
  • Lesser than (<)
  • Lesser or equal than (<=)
  • Equal (==)
  • Not Equal (!=)

Fallback mechanism

The fallback mechanism returns a HTTP 503 Service Unavailable to the client instead of calling the target service. This behavior cannot be configured.


The interval used to evaluate expression and decide if the state of the circuit breaker must change. By default, CheckPeriod is 100ms. This value cannot be configured.


By default, FallbackDuration is 10 seconds. This value cannot be configured.


The duration of the recovering mode (recovering state).

By default, RecoveringDuration is 10 seconds. This value cannot be configured.