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Retries for functions

OpenFaaS Pro offers an upgraded queue-worker which allows for messages to be retried a number of times using an exponential back-off algorithm to mitigate the impact associated with retrying messages.

Note: This feature is included for OpenFaaS Pro customers.

There are two primary use-cases for retrying asynchronous messages:

  • When a downstream API is likely to fail some of the time, and cannot be fixed easily, retrying can work around this problem
  • When max_inflight has been set on a function such as a web scraper, or memory-intensive function and you do not want to overload the function. When a function cannot accept any more connections due to the inflight setting, it will return a 429 error, which indicates the message can be retried at a later time.


You can install the Pro version of the queue worker by editing the values.yaml file of the OpenFaaS chart.

# Requires OpenFaaS Pro subscription
  enabled: false
  maxRetryAttempts: "10"
  maxRetryWait: "120s"
  initialRetryWait: "10s"
  httpRetryCodes: "429,502,500,504,408"

The initialRetryWait and maxRetryWait values are specified in Golang durations, such as 1s, 1m, 1m10s and so forth.

The maxRetryAttempts is the amount of times to try a message before giving up and discarding it.

The httpRetryCodes is a comma-separated list of HTTP status codes which the queue worker will retry if observed from a function.


To test the retry functionality, you can use our chaos function, which allows a function to be configured to return a canned response, or to timeout with a given duration.

git clone

faas-cli deploy -f chaos-fn.yml

Cause the API to start failing with a 500 error code:

curl -i localhost:8080/function/chaos-fn/set --data-binary '
{   "status": 500,
    "delay": "1s",
    "body": "1 second delay, then 500"}
' --header "Content-type: application/json"

Now invoke it, and the function will fail with a 500 error code each time it's invoked by the retry logic.

curl -i localhost:8080/async-function/chaos-fn -d ""

Observe the retrying mechanism with the logs of the queue-worker.

kubectl logs deploy/queue-worker -n openfaas -f

Whenever you like, fix the error by changing the canned HTTP response to "200 OK". This will allow the next retry to complete:

curl -i localhost:8080/function/chaos-fn/set --data-binary '
{"status": 200,
    "delay": "1ms",
    "body": "1ms second delay, then 200"}
' --header "Content-type: application/json"

Would you like a demo?

Feel free to reach out to us for a demo or to ask any questions you may have.