Overview

Nginx Sticky Module

modified and extended version; see Changelog.txt

Description

A nginx module to add a sticky cookie to be always forwarded to the same upstream server.

When dealing with several backend servers, it's sometimes useful that one client (browser) is always served by the same backend server (for session persistance for example).

Using a persistance by IP (with the ip_hash upstream module) is maybe not a good idea because there could be situations where a lot of different browsers are coming with the same IP address (behind proxies)and the load balancing system won't be fair.

Using a cookie to track the upstream server makes each browser unique.

When the sticky module can't apply, it switchs back to the classic Round Robin Upstream or returns a "Bad Gateway" (depending on the no_fallback flag).

Sticky module can't apply when cookies are not supported by the browser

Sticky module is based on a "best effort" algorithm. Its aim is not to handle security somehow. It's been made to ensure that normal users are always redirected to the same backend server: that's all!

Installation

You'll need to re-compile Nginx from source to include this module. Modify your compile of Nginx by adding the following directive (modified to suit your path of course):

./configure ... --add-module=/absolute/path/to/nginx-sticky-module-ng
make
make install

Usage

upstream {
  sticky;
  server 127.0.0.1:9000;
  server 127.0.0.1:9001;
  server 127.0.0.1:9002;
}

  sticky [name=route] [domain=.foo.bar] [path=/] [expires=1h] 
       [hash=index|md5|sha1] [no_fallback] [secure] [httponly];
  • name: the name of the cookies used to track the persistant upstream srv; default: route

  • domain: the domain in which the cookie will be valid default: nothing. Let the browser handle this.

  • path: the path in which the cookie will be valid default: /

  • expires: the validity duration of the cookie default: nothing. It's a session cookie. restriction: must be a duration greater than one second

  • hash: the hash mechanism to encode upstream server. It cant' be used with hmac. default: md5

    • md5|sha1: well known hash
    • index: it's not hashed, an in-memory index is used instead, it's quicker and the overhead is shorter Warning: the matching against upstream servers list is inconsistent. So, at reload, if upstreams servers has changed, index values are not guaranted to correspond to the same server as before! USE IT WITH CAUTION and only if you need to!
  • hmac: the HMAC hash mechanism to encode upstream server It's like the hash mechanism but it uses hmac_key to secure the hashing. It can't be used with hash. md5|sha1: well known hash default: none. see hash.

  • hmac_key: the key to use with hmac. It's mandatory when hmac is set default: nothing.

  • no_fallback: when this flag is set, nginx will return a 502 (Bad Gateway or Proxy Error) if a request comes with a cookie and the corresponding backend is unavailable.

  • secure enable secure cookies; transferred only via https

  • httponly enable cookies not to be leaked via js

Detail Mechanism

  • see docs/sticky.{vsd,pdf}

Issues and Warnings:

  • when using different upstream-configs with stickyness that use the same domain but refer to different location - configs it might be wise to set a different path / route -
    option on each of this upstream-configs like described here: https://bitbucket.org/nginx-goodies/nginx-sticky-module-ng/issue/7/leaving-cookie-path-empty-in-module

  • sticky module does not work with the "backup" option of the "server" configuration item.

  • sticky module might work with the nginx_http_upstream_check_module (up from version 1.2.3)
  • sticky module may require to configure nginx with SSL support (when using "secure" option)

Contributing

Downloads

TODO

see Todo.md

Authors & Credits

  • Jerome Loyet, initial module
  • Markus Linnala, httponly/secure-cookies-patch
  • Peter Bowey, Nginx 1.5.8 API-Change
  • Michael Chernyak for Max-Age-Patch
  • anybody who suggested a patch, created an issue on bitbucket or helped improving this module

Copyright & License

This module is licenced under the BSD license.

Copyright (C) 2010 Jerome Loyet (jerome at loyet dot net)
Copyright (C) 2014 Markus Manzke (goodman at nginx-goodies dot com)


Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without
modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions
are met:

1. Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright
notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.

2. Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright
notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the
documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.

THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY AUTHOR AND CONTRIBUTORS ``AS IS'' AND
ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE
IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE
ARE DISCLAIMED.  IN NO EVENT SHALL AUTHOR OR CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE
FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL
DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS
OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION)
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