HTTP connection management¶
HTTP is such a critical component of modern service oriented architectures that Envoy implements a large amount of HTTP specific functionality. Envoy has a built in network level filter called the HTTP connection manager. This filter translates raw bytes into HTTP level messages and events (e.g., headers received, body data received, trailers received, etc.). It also handles functionality common to all HTTP connections and requests such as access logging, request ID generation and tracing, request/response header manipulation, route table management, and statistics.
HTTP connection manager configuration.
Envoy’s HTTP connection manager has native support for HTTP/1.1, WebSockets, and HTTP/2. It does not support SPDY. Envoy’s HTTP support was designed to first and foremost be an HTTP/2 multiplexing proxy. Internally, HTTP/2 terminology is used to describe system components. For example, an HTTP request and response take place on a stream. A codec API is used to translate from different wire protocols into a protocol agnostic form for streams, requests, responses, etc. In the case of HTTP/1.1, the codec translates the serial/pipelining capabilities of the protocol into something that looks like HTTP/2 to higher layers. This means that the majority of the code does not need to understand whether a stream originated on an HTTP/1.1 or HTTP/2 connection.
HTTP header sanitizing¶
The HTTP connection manager performs various header sanitizing actions for security reasons.
Route table configuration¶
Each HTTP connection manager filter has an associated route table. The route table can be specified in one of two ways:
- Dynamically via the RDS API.
Retry plugin configuration¶
Normally during retries, hosts selection follows the same process as the original request. To modify this behavior retry plugins can be used, which fall into two categories:
Host Predicates: These predicates can be used to “reject” a host, which will cause host selection to be reattempted. Any number of these predicates can be specified, and the host will be rejected if any of the predicates reject the host.
Envoy supports the following built-in host predicates
- envoy.retry_host_predicates.previous_hosts: This will keep track of previously attempted hosts, and rejects hosts that have already been attempted.
Priority Predicates: These predicates can be used to adjust the priority load used when selecting a priority for a retry attempt. Only one such predicate may be specified.
Envoy supports the following built-in priority predicates
- envoy.retry_priority.previous_priorities: This will keep track of previously attempted priorities, and adjust the priority load such that other priorites will be targeted in subsequent retry attempts.
Host selection will continue until either the configured predicates accept the host or a configurable max attempts has been reached.
These plugins can be combined to affect both host selection and priority load. Envoy can also be extended with custom retry plugins similar to how custom filters can be added.
For example, to configure retries to prefer hosts that haven’t been attempted already, the built-in
envoy.retry_host_predicates.previous_hosts predicate can be used:
retry_policy: retry_host_predicate: - name: envoy.retry_host_predicates.previous_hosts host_selection_retry_max_attempts: 3
This will reject hosts previously attempted, retrying host selection a maximum of 3 times. The bound on attempts is necessary in order to deal with scenarios in which finding an acceptable host is either impossible (no hosts satisfy the predicate) or very unlikely (the only suitable host has a very low relative weight).
To configure retries to attempt other priorities during retries, the built-in
envoy.retry_priority.previous_priorities can be used.
retry_policy: retry_priority: name: envoy.retry_priorities.previous_priorities config: update_frequency: 2
This will target priorites in subsequent retry attempts that haven’t been already used. The
update_frequency parameter decides how
often the priority load should be recalculated.
These plugins can be combined, which will exclude both previously attempted hosts as well as previously attempted priorities.
retry_policy: retry_host_predicate: - name: envoy.retry_host_predicates.previous_hosts host_selection_retry_max_attempts: 3 retry_priority: name: envoy.retry_priorities.previous_priorities config: update_frequency: 2
Various configurable timeouts apply to an HTTP connection and its constituent streams:
- Connection-level idle timeout: this applies to the idle period where no streams are active.
- Connection-level drain timeout: this spans between an Envoy originated GOAWAY and connection termination.
- Stream-level idle timeout: this applies to each individual stream. It may be configured at both the connection manager and per-route granularity. Header/data/trailer events on the stream reset the idle timeout.
- Stream-level per-route upstream timeout: this applies to the upstream response, i.e. a maximum bound on the time from the end of the downstream request until the end of the upstream response. This may also be specified at the per-retry granularity.
- Stream-level per-route gRPC max timeout: this bounds the upstream timeout and allows the timeout to be overridden via the grpc-timeout request header.