Category Archives: Aloha

Smart content switching for news website

Purpose

Build a scalable architecture for news website using below components:

  • load balancer with content switching capability
  • cache server
  • application server

Definition

  • Content switching: the ability to route traffic based on the content of the HTTP request: URI, parameters, headers, etc…
    HAproxy is a good example of OpenSource reverse proxy load-balancer with content switching capability.
  • cache server: a server able to quickly deliver static content.
    Squid, Varnish and Apache Traffic Server are OpenSource cache reverse proxy.
  • application server: the server which build the pages for your news website.
    This can be either Apache+PHP, Tomcat+Java, IIS+asp .net, etc…

Target Network Diagram

Architecture

Context

All the traffic pass through the Aloha load-balancer.
HAproxy, the layer 7 load-balancer included in Aloha, will do the content switching to route request either to cache servers or to application servers.
If cache server misses an object, it will get it from the application servers.

Haproxy configuration

Service configuration:

frontend public
	bind :80
	acl DYN path_beg /user
	acl DYN path_beg /profile
	acl DYN method POST
	use_backend APPLICATION if DYN
	default_backend CACHE

The content switching is achieved by the few lines beginning with the keyword acl.
If a URI starts with /user or /profile or if the method is a POSTthen, the traffic will be redirected to the APPLICATION server pool, otherwise the CACHE pool will be used.

Application pool configuration:

backend APPLICATION
	balance roundrobin
	cookie PHPSESSID prefix
	option httpchk /health
	http-check expect string GOOD
	server APP1 1.1.1.1:80 cookie app1 check
	server APP2 1.1.1.2:80 cookie app2 check

We maintain backend server persistence using the cookie sent by the application server, named PHPSESSID in this example. You can change this cookie name to the cookie provided by your application, like JSESSIONIDASP.NET_SessionId or anything else.
Note the health check URL: /health. The script executed on the backend will check server health (database availability, CPU usage, memory usage, etc…) and will return a GOOD if everything looks fine and a WRONG if not. With this, HAproxy will consider the server as ready only if the server returns a GOOD.

Cache pool configuration

backend CACHE
	balance url
	hash-type consistent
	option httpchk /
	http-check expect KEYWORD
	reqidel ^Accept-Encoding unless { hdr_sub(Accept-Encoding) gzip }
	reqirep ^Accept-Encoding: .*gzip.* Accept-Encoding: gzip
	server CACHE1 1.1.1.3:80 check
	server CACHE2 1.1.1.4:80 check

Here, we balance requests according to the URL. The purpose of this metric is to “force” a single URL to always be retrieved from the same server.
Main benefits are :

  1. less objects in caches memory
  2. less requests to the application server for static and pseudo-static content

In order to lower the impact of the Vary: header on Content Encoding, we added the two lines reqidel / reqirep to normalize a bit the Accept-Encoding header.

Links

Layer7 IPv6 configuration

Purpose

Use the Aloha as an IPv6 to IPv4 gateway without modifying anything on your current platform.

Target Network Diagram

Context

The website is available through IPv4 on  the service IP  192.168.1.254. The IPv4 router does NAT IPv4 public address to this service IP.
About IPv6, the website hostname resolves directly on the IP 2001::2254, which is the  IPv6 service IP hosting the service. The router just routes traffic to the Aloha.
All IPv6 traffic will be automatically translated to IPv4 by the Aloha: nothing to change on your servers and your servers don’t even need to be IPv6 compliant.

Configuration

Aloha 1 network configuration

On the GUI, click on Services > network > eth0  setup icon  , then  update  the configuration as below:

service network eth0
    vrrp id 254
    vrrp garp 30
    vrrp prio 100
    vrrp no-address
    vrrp address 2001::2254
    vrrp address 192.168.1.254
    vrrp address 2001::2254
    ip6  address 2001::2201/96
    ip address 192.168.1.201/24
    mtu 1500

Click on [OK], then [Close].

Once the configuration has been updated, you need to reload the services:

  • Network: Click on Services > eth0 reload icon
  • VRRP: Click on Services > vrrp reload icon

Aloha 2 network configuration

On the GUI, click on Services > network > eth0  setup icon  , then  update  the configuration as below:

service network eth0
    vrrp id 254
    vrrp garp 30
    vrrp prio 99
    vrrp no-address
    vrrp address 2001::2254
    vrrp address 192.168.1.254
    vrrp address 2001::2254
    ip6  address 2001::2202/96
    ip address 192.168.1.202/24
    mtu 1500

Click on [OK], then [Close].

Once the configuration has been updated, you need to reload the services:

  • Network: Click on Services > eth0 reload icon
  • VRRP: Click on Services > vrrp reload icon

Layer 7 (HAproxy) configuration

This configuration is common to both Aloha load balancer.
Add the bind on the IPv6 service address in the corresponding frontend section:

frontend ft_myappli
    bind  192.168.1.254:80
    bind 2001::2254:80
    mode http
    log global
    option httplog
    maxconn 1000
    timeout client 25s
    default_backend bk_myappli

Click on [OK], then [Apply].

Links