Verify Deployments with the Verify Step

Updated 1 month ago by Michael Cretzman

The Verify step in a CD stage uses Harness Continuous Verification (CV) to verify your deployments.

Harness CV integrates with your APMs and logging tools to:

  • Verify that the deployed service is running safely and perform automatic rollbacks.
  • Apply machine learning to every deployment to identify and flag anomalies in future deployments.

This topic covers how to add and configure the Verify step.

In this topic:

Before You Begin


  • Currently, Harness supports the following APMs and logging tools:
    • AppDynamics
    • Google Cloud Operations (formerly Stackdriver)
    • Prometheus
    • New Relic
    • Splunk
      More tools will be added soon.
  • Pipeline verification is available for all Harness Continuous Delivery customers. You do not need to add Change Intelligence to verify deployments.

Review: What is Harness Continuous Verification (CV)?

The more often you deploy software, the more you need to validate the health of newly deployed service instances. You need the ability to rapidly detect regressions or anomalies, and to rapidly roll back failed deployments.

You have your choice of state-of-the-art APM (application performance monitoring) and logging software to continually measure your deployment data. But before Harness, you needed to connect your data to these multiple systems, and manually monitor each provider for unusual, post-deployment activity.

Harness' Continuous Verification (CV) approach simplifies verification. Harness uses machine learning to identify normal behavior for your applications. This allows Harness to identify and flag anomalies in future deployments, and to perform automatic rollbacks.

Review: CV Setup Options

To use the Verify step, you will need a Harness Change Intelligence Monitoring Source. In the simplest terms, a Change Intelligence Monitoring Source is basically a mapping of a Harness Service to a service monitored by your APM or logging tool.

You can set up a Change Intelligence Monitoring Source in the Change Intelligence module or in the Verify step in a CD stage. The process is the same.

No matter where you set up the Monitoring Source, Once it's set up, it's available to both Change Intelligence and CD modules.

In this topic we'll set up the Monitoring Source as part of the Verify step.

Step 1: Add Verify Step

There are two ways to add the Verify step:

  • When selecting the stage deployment strategy:
    The Verify step can be enabled in a CD stage the first time you open the Execution settings and select the deployment strategy. When you select the deployment strategy you want to use, there is also an Enable Verification option. Select the Enable Verification option.
    Harness will automatically add the Verify step. For example, here is a stage where Canary strategy and the Enable Verification option were selected.
  • Add the Verify step to an existing Execution setup: You can also add the Verify step to the Execution section of a CD stage in a Pipeline you previously created. Simply click Add Step after the deployment step, and then select Verify.

Step 2: Enter a Name and Timeout

In Name, enter a name for the step.

In Timeout, enter a timeout value for the step.

You can use:

  • w for weeks
  • d for days
  • h for hours
  • m for minutes
  • s for seconds
  • ms for milliseconds

The maximum is 53w.Timeouts can be set at the Pipeline level also.

Step 3: Select a Continuous Verification Type

In Continuous Verification Type, select a type that matches your deployment strategy.

Rolling, Canary, and Blue Green simply refer to the strategy in the stage.

For example, Canary deployment strategies use the Canary Continuous Verification type, and so on.

For Load Test, Harness compares the current Verify step execution with the last successful run of the Verify step. The first time you run the Pipeline there's no comparison. The comparisons are made is successive deployments.

Typically, Load Test is used in lower environments like QA where there is no continuous load and the deployments are usually verified by generating load via scripts, etc.

Step 4: Create a Monitored Service

In Monitored Service, click Click to autocreate a monitored service.

Harness automatically creates a Monitored Service using a concatenation of the Service and Environment names. For example, a Service named todolist and an Environment named dev will result in a Monitored Service named todolist_dev.

If the stage Service or Environment settings are Runtime Inputs, the Monitored Service and Health Sources settings will show up in the Runtime Input settings when you run the Pipeline.

Step 5: Add Health Sources

A Health Source is basically a mapping of a Harness Service to the service in a deployment environment monitored by an APM or logging tool.

A Health Source is a combination of the following:

  • Health Source type. This is the APM or logging tool monitoring the deployment environment. For example, AppDynamics or Splunk.
  • Connection to the APM or logging tool monitoring the deployment environment. This is set up as a Harness Connector.
  • The APM or logging tool feature used in monitoring. For example, AppDynamics Application Monitoring.
  • The APM or logging tool settings that let you select the deployment environment. For example, an AppDynamics application and tier.
  • Metric Pack: the metrics you want to use in verification. For example, Errors and Performance.

In Health Sources, click Add. The Add New Health Source settings appear.

In Select health source type, select your APM or logging tool. Each tool requires its own Health Source.

In Health Source Name, enter a name for the Health Source.

Click in Select Connector.

In the Connector settings, select a Connector to your APM or logging tool or click New Connector.

Here's an example of an AppDynamics Connector's settings:

When your Connector is set up, click Apply Selected. The Connector is added to the Health Source.

In Select Feature, select the APM or logging tool component to use. For example, AppDynamics Application Monitoring.

Click Next.

The settings in Customize Health Source will depend on the Health Source Type you selected. For example, here are the Customize Health Source settings for an AppDynamics Health Source:

The AppDynamics application and tier are selected to map the Harness Service to the monitored environment.

In Metric Packs, select the metrics you want Harness to use.

Click Validation Passed or No Data to see the data received from the tool. Some metrics might not have data at this time.

Click View calls to [Provider Name] to see the requests and responses of each call.

Click Submit. The Health Source is displayed in the Verify step.

You can add more Health Sources for each APM or logging provider.

Step 6: Select Sensitivity

In Sensitivity, you select the risk level that will be used as failure criteria during the deployment. When the criteria are met, the Failure Strategy for the stage or step is executed.

For time-series analysis (APM), the risk level is determined using standard deviations, as follows: 5𝞼 (sigma) represents high risk, 4𝞼 represents medium risk, and 3𝞼 or below represents low risk.

Harness also takes into account the number of points that deviated: 50%+ is High, 25%-50% is Medium, and 25% or below is Low.

Every successful deployment contributes to creating and shaping a healthy baseline that tells Harness what a successful deployment looks like, and what should be flagged as a risk. If a deployment failed due to verification, Harness will not consider any of the metrics produced by that deployment as part of the baseline.

Step 7: Select Duration

In Duration, select the number of data points Harness uses. If you enter 10 minutes, Harness will take the first 10 minutes worth of the log/APM data points and analyze it.

The length of time it takes Harness to analyze the 10 min of data points depends on the number of instances being analyzed and the monitoring tool. If you have a 1000 instances, it can take some time to analyze the first 10 minutes of all of their logs/APM data points.

The recommended Duration is 10 min for logging providers and 15 min for APM and infrastructure providers.

Harness waits 2-3 minutes to allow enough time for the data to be sent to the verification provider before it analyzes the data. This wait time is a standard with monitoring tools. So, if you set the Duration to 10 minutes, the 10 minutes excludes the initial 2-3 minute wait, but the total sample time is 13 minutes.

Step 8: Specify Artifact Tag

In Artifact Tag, use a Harness expression to reference the artifact in the stage Service settings.

The expression <+serviceConfig.artifacts.primary.tag> references the primary artifact.

Option: Advanced Settings

In Advanced, you can use the following options:

By default, Harness adds the following Failure Strategy for Verification Failures:

You can change the strategy to perform different actions, but leave the Verification Failures type to ensure that the Pipeline rolls back if it fails verification.

Step 9: Deploy and Review Results

When you are done setting up the Verify step, click Apply Changes.

Now you can run the Pipeline. Click Run.

In Run Pipeline, select the tag for the artifact if a tag was not added in the Artifact Details settings.

Click Run Pipeline.

When the Pipeline is running, click the Verify step.

You can see that the verification takes a few minutes.

Once verification is complete, the Verify step shows the following:

Before and After

Harness automatically detects the hosts that were present before and after the deployment.

If the host icon in After is green, then that host is verified to have no issues.

Red and orange are to show risk level.

The risk level might start out with a number of violations but those are often smoothed out over the duration. So, a red or orange colored host will often change to green.


The Summary section shows how many metrics and logs are in violation.

Console View

You can take a deeper look at verification, click Console View or simply click View Details in Summary.

In the Console View, each pod has a column that shows the graphs for each metric and logs:

For example, when using an AppDynamics Health Source, each row shows the transaction name and metric name (like Number of Errors).

If you have more than one Health Source, you can use the View dropdown to select each one.

You can use the search option to search for any specific metric or transaction you want.

See Also

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