Circuit Breaker

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distributed systems error handling design pattern

A circuit breaker is a design pattern used in software development to detect and manage failures in distributed systems and external services, preventing cascading failures and improving system resiliency by temporarily halting requests to the affected service until it recovers.


The basic operation of a circuit breaker involves monitoring service calls for failures or errors. When a predefined threshold of failures is reached, the circuit breaker “trips” and stops sending requests to the failing service. During this time, it returns fallback responses or errors. After a set timeout period, the circuit breaker enters a “half-open” state, allowing a limited number of requests to pass through to check if the service has recovered. If successful, the circuit breaker resets and resumes normal operation; otherwise, it returns to the “open” state and continues to block requests.

  1. Design Patterns
  2. Implementing circuit breakers in your startup’s infrastructure
  3. Adaptive circuit breakers with machine learning
  4. Circuit Breaker Metrics and Monitoring
  5. Comparison of circuit breaker pattern to other resilience patterns
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