undefined## Service Discovery: Eureka Clients {#service-discovery-eureka-clients}

Service Discovery is one of the key tenets of a microservice based architecture. Trying to hand configure each client or some form of convention can be very difficult to do and can be very brittle. Eureka is the Netflix Service Discovery Server and Client. The server can be configured and deployed to be highly available, with each server replicating state about the registered services to the others.

Registering with Eureka

When a client registers with Eureka, it provides meta-data about itself such as host and port, health indicator URL, home page etc. Eureka receives heartbeat messages from each instance belonging to a service. If the heartbeat fails over a configurable timetable, the instance is normally removed from the registry.

Example eureka client:

public class Application {

    public String home() {
        return "Hello world";

    public static void main(String[] args) {
        new SpringApplicationBuilder(Application.class).web(true).run(args);


(i.e. utterly normal Spring Boot app). In this example we use @EnableEurekaClient explicitly, but with only Eureka available you could also use @EnableDiscoveryClient. Configuration is required to locate the Eureka server. Example:


      defaultZone: http://localhost:8761/eureka/

where "defaultZone" is a magic string fallback value that provides the service URL for any client that doesn’t express a preference (i.e. it’s a useful default).

The default application name (service ID), virtual host and non-secure port, taken from the Environment, are ${spring.application.name}, ${spring.application.name} and ${server.port} respectively.

@EnableEurekaClient makes the app into both a Eureka "instance" (i.e. it registers itself) and a "client" (i.e. it can query the registry to locate other services). The instance behaviour is driven by eureka.instance.* configuration keys, but the defaults will be fine if you ensure that your application has a spring.application.name (this is the default for the Eureka service ID, or VIP).

See EurekaInstanceConfigBean and EurekaClientConfigBean for more details of the configurable options.

Status Page and Health Indicator

The status page and health indicators for a Eureka instance default to "/info" and "/health" respectively, which are the default locations of useful endpoints in a Spring Boot Actuator application. You need to change these, even for an Actuator application if you use a non-default context path or servlet path (e.g. server.servletPath=/foo) or management endpoint path (e.g. management.contextPath=/admin). Example:


    statusPageUrlPath: ${management.contextPath}/info
    healthCheckUrlPath: ${management.contextPath}/health

These links show up in the metadata that is consumers by clients, and used in some scenarios to decide whether to send requests to your application, so it’s helpful if they are accurate.

Eureka Metadata for Instances and Clients

It’s worth spending a bit of time understanding how the Eureka metadata works, so you can use it in a way that makes sense in your platform. There is standard metadata for things like hostname, IP address, port numbers, status page and health check. These are published in the service registry and used by clients to contact the services in a straightforward way. Additional metadata can be added to the instance registration in the eureka.instance.metadataMap, and this will be accessible in the remote clients, but in general will not change the behaviour of the client, unless it is made aware of the meaning of the metadata. There are a couple of special cases described below where Spring Cloud already assigns meaning to the metadata map.

Using Eureka on Cloudfoundry

Cloudfoundry has a global router so that all instances of the same app have the same hostname (it’s the same in other PaaS solutions with a similar architecture). This isn’t necessarily a barrier to using Eureka, but if you use the router (recommended, or even mandatory depending on the way your platform was set up), you need to explicitly set the hostname and port numbers (secure or non-secure) so that they use the router. You might also want to use instance metadata so you can distinguish between the instances on the client (e.g. in a custom load balancer). For example:


    hostname: ${vcap.application.uris[0]}
    nonSecurePort: 80
      instanceId: ${vcap.application.instance_id:${spring.application.name}:${spring.application.instance_id:${server.port}}}

Depending on the way the security rules are set up in your Cloudfoundry instance, you might be able to register and use the IP address of the host VM for direct service-to-service calls. This feature is not (yet) available on Pivotal Web Services (PWS).

Using Eureka on AWS

If the application is planned to be deployed to an AWS cloud, then the Eureka instance will have to be configured to be Amazon aware and this can be done by customizing the EurekaInstanceConfigBean the following way:

public EurekaInstanceConfigBean eurekaInstanceConfig() {
  EurekaInstanceConfigBean b = new EurekaInstanceConfigBean();
  AmazonInfo info = AmazonInfo.Builder.newBuilder().autoBuild("eureka");
  return b;

Making the Eureka Instance ID Unique

By default a eureka instance is registered with an ID that is equal to its host name (i.e. only one service per host). Using Spring Cloud you can override this by providing a unique identifier in eureka.instance.metadataMap.instanceId. For example:


      instanceId: ${spring.application.name}:${spring.application.instance_id:${random.value}}

With this metadata, and multiple service instances deployed on localhost, the random value will kick in there to make the instance unique. In Cloudfoundry the spring.application.instance_id will be populated automatically in a Spring Boot Actuator application, so the random value will not be needed.

Using the DiscoveryClient

Once you have an app that is @EnableEurekaClient you can use it to discover service instances from the Eureka Server. One way to do that is to use the native com.netflix.discovery.DiscoveryClient (as opposed to the Spring Cloud DiscoveryClient), e.g.

<pre>@Autowired private DiscoveryClient discoveryClient;

public String serviceUrl() { InstanceInfo instance = discoveryClient.getNextServerFromEureka("STORES", false); return instance.getHomePageUrl(); }</pre>

Tip Don’t use the DiscoveryClient in @PostConstruct method or in a @Scheduled method (or anywhere where the ApplicationContext might not be started yet). It is initialized in a SmartLifecycle (with phase=0) so the earliest you can rely on it being available is in another SmartLifecycle with higher phase.

Alternatives to the native Netflix DiscoveryClient

You don’t have to use the raw Netflix DiscoveryClient and usually it is more convenient to use it behind a wrapper of some sort. Spring Cloud has support for Feign (a REST client builder) and also Spring RestTemplate using the logical Eureka service identifiers (VIPs) instead of physical URLs. To configure Ribbon with a fixed list of physical servers you can simply set &lt;client&gt;.ribbon.listOfServers to a comma-separated list of physical addresses (or hostnames), where &lt;client&gt; is the ID of the client.

You can also use the org.springframework.cloud.client.discovery.DiscoveryClient which provides a simple API for discovery clients that is not specific to Netflix, e.g.

<pre>@Autowired private DiscoveryClient discoveryClient;

public String serviceUrl() { List<ServiceInstance> list = client.getInstances("STORES"); if (list != null && list.size() > 0 ) { return list.get(0).getUri(); } return null; }</pre>

Why is it so Slow to Register a Service?

Being an instance also involves a periodic heartbeat to the registry (via the client’s serviceUrl) with default duration 30 seconds. A service is not available for discovery by clients until the instance, the server and the client all have the same metadata in their local cache (so it could take 3 hearbeats). You can change the period using eureka.instance.leaseRenewalIntervalInSeconds and this will speed up the process of getting clients connected to other services. In production it’s probably better to stick with the default because there are some computations internally in the server that make assumptions about the lease renewal period.