Overview

By default, the HAProxy router expects incoming connections to unsecure, edge, and re-encrypt routes to use HTTP. However, you can configure the router to expect incoming requests by using the PROXY protocol instead. This topic describes how to configure the HAProxy router and an external load balancer to use the PROXY protocol.

Why Use the PROXY Protocol?

When an intermediary service such as a proxy server or load balancer forwards an HTTP request, it appends the source address of the connection to the request’s "Forwarded" header in order to provide this information to subsequent intermediaries and to the back-end service to which the request is ultimately forwarded. However, if the connection is encrypted, intermediaries cannot modify the "Forwarded" header. In this case, the HTTP header will not accurately communicate the original source address when the request is forwarded.

To solve this problem, some load balancers encapsulate HTTP requests using the PROXY protocol as an alternative to simply forwarding HTTP. Encapsulation enables the load balancer to add information to the request without modifying the forwarded request itself. In particular, this means that the load balancer can communicate the source address even when forwarding an encrypted connection.

The HAProxy router can be configured to accept the PROXY protocol and decapsulate the HTTP request. Because the router terminates encryption for edge and re-encrypt routes, the router can then update the "Forwarded" HTTP header (and related HTTP headers) in the request, appending any source address that is communicated using the PROXY protocol.

The PROXY protocol and HTTP are incompatible and cannot be mixed. If you use a load balancer in front of the router, both must use either the PROXY protocol or HTTP. Configuring one to use one protocol and the other to use the other protocol will cause routing to fail.

Using the PROXY Protocol

By default, the HAProxy router does not use the PROXY protocol. The router can be configured using the ROUTER_USE_PROXY_PROTOCOL environment variable to expect the PROXY protocol for incoming connections:

Enable the PROXY Protocol
$ oc set env dc/router ROUTER_USE_PROXY_PROTOCOL=true

Set the variable to any value other than true or TRUE to disable the PROXY protocol:

Disable the PROXY Protocol
$ oc set env dc/router ROUTER_USE_PROXY_PROTOCOL=false

If you enable the PROXY protocol in the router, you must configure your load balancer in front of the router to use the PROXY protocol as well. Following is an example of configuring Amazon’s Elastic Load Balancer (ELB) service to use the PROXY protocol. This example assumes that ELB is forwarding ports 80 (HTTP), 443 (HTTPS), and 5000 (for the image registry) to the router running on one or more EC2 instances.

Configure Amazon ELB to Use the PROXY Protocol
  1. To simplify subsequent steps, first set some shell variables:

    $ lb='infra-lb' (1)
    $ instances=( 'i-079b4096c654f563c' ) (2)
    $ secgroups=( 'sg-e1760186' ) (3)
    $ subnets=( 'subnet-cf57c596' ) (4)
    1 The name of your ELB.
    2 The instance or instances on which the router is running.
    3 The security group or groups for this ELB.
    4 The subnet or subnets for this ELB.
  2. Next, create the ELB with the appropriate listeners, security groups, and subnets.

    You must configure all listeners to use the TCP protocol, not the HTTP protocol.

    $ aws elb create-load-balancer --load-balancer-name "$lb" \
       --listeners \
        'Protocol=TCP,LoadBalancerPort=80,InstanceProtocol=TCP,InstancePort=80' \
        'Protocol=TCP,LoadBalancerPort=443,InstanceProtocol=TCP,InstancePort=443' \
        'Protocol=TCP,LoadBalancerPort=5000,InstanceProtocol=TCP,InstancePort=5000' \
       --security-groups $secgroups \
       --subnets $subnets
    {
        "DNSName": "infra-lb-2006263232.us-east-1.elb.amazonaws.com"
    }
  3. Register your router instance or instances with the ELB:

    $ aws elb register-instances-with-load-balancer --load-balancer-name "$lb" \
       --instances $instances
    {
        "Instances": [
            {
                "InstanceId": "i-079b4096c654f563c"
            }
        ]
    }
  4. Configure the ELB’s health check:

    $ aws elb configure-health-check --load-balancer-name "$lb" \
       --health-check 'Target=HTTP:1936/healthz,Interval=30,UnhealthyThreshold=2,HealthyThreshold=2,Timeout=5'
    {
        "HealthCheck": {
            "HealthyThreshold": 2,
            "Interval": 30,
            "Target": "HTTP:1936/healthz",
            "Timeout": 5,
            "UnhealthyThreshold": 2
        }
    }
  5. Finally, create a load-balancer policy with the ProxyProtocol attribute enabled, and configure it on the ELB’s TCP ports 80 and 443:

    $ aws elb create-load-balancer-policy --load-balancer-name "$lb" \
       --policy-name "${lb}-ProxyProtocol-policy" \
       --policy-type-name 'ProxyProtocolPolicyType' \
       --policy-attributes 'AttributeName=ProxyProtocol,AttributeValue=true'
    $ for port in 80 443
      do
        aws elb set-load-balancer-policies-for-backend-server \
         --load-balancer-name "$lb" \
         --instance-port "$port" \
         --policy-names "${lb}-ProxyProtocol-policy"
      done
Verify the Configuration

You can examine the load balancer as follows to verify that the configuration is correct:

$ aws elb describe-load-balancers --load-balancer-name "$lb" |
    jq '.LoadBalancerDescriptions| [.[]|.ListenerDescriptions]'
[
  [
    {
      "Listener": {
        "InstancePort": 80,
        "LoadBalancerPort": 80,
        "Protocol": "TCP",
        "InstanceProtocol": "TCP"
      },
      "PolicyNames": ["infra-lb-ProxyProtocol-policy"] (1)
    },
    {
      "Listener": {
        "InstancePort": 443,
        "LoadBalancerPort": 443,
        "Protocol": "TCP",
        "InstanceProtocol": "TCP"
      },
      "PolicyNames": ["infra-lb-ProxyProtocol-policy"] (2)
    },
    {
      "Listener": {
        "InstancePort": 5000,
        "LoadBalancerPort": 5000,
        "Protocol": "TCP",
        "InstanceProtocol": "TCP"
      },
      "PolicyNames": [] (3)
    }
  ]
]
1 The listener for TCP port 80 should have the policy for using the PROXY protocol.
2 The listener for TCP port 443 should have the same policy.
3 The listener for TCP port 5000 should not have the policy.

Alternatively, if you already have an ELB configured, but it is not configured to use the PROXY protocol, you will need to change the existing listener for TCP port 80 to use the TCP protocol instead of HTTP (TCP port 443 should already be using the TCP protocol):

$ aws elb delete-load-balancer-listeners --load-balancer-name "$lb" \
   --load-balancer-ports 80
$ aws elb create-load-balancer-listeners --load-balancer-name "$lb" \
   --listeners 'Protocol=TCP,LoadBalancerPort=80,InstanceProtocol=TCP,InstancePort=80'
Verify the Protocol Updates

Verify that the protocol has been updated as follows:

$ aws elb describe-load-balancers --load-balancer-name "$lb" |
   jq '[.LoadBalancerDescriptions[]|.ListenerDescriptions]'
[
  [
    {
      "Listener": {
        "InstancePort": 443,
        "LoadBalancerPort": 443,
        "Protocol": "TCP",
        "InstanceProtocol": "TCP"
      },
      "PolicyNames": []
    },
    {
      "Listener": {
        "InstancePort": 5000,
        "LoadBalancerPort": 5000,
        "Protocol": "TCP",
        "InstanceProtocol": "TCP"
      },
      "PolicyNames": []
    },
    {
      "Listener": {
        "InstancePort": 80,
        "LoadBalancerPort": 80,
        "Protocol": "TCP", (1)
        "InstanceProtocol": "TCP"
      },
      "PolicyNames": []
    }
  ]
]
1 All listeners, including the listener for TCP port 80, should be using the TCP protocol.

Then, create a load-balancer policy and add it to the ELB as described in Step 5 above.