Layer 4 Routing¶
Traffic Server supports a limited set of layer 4 routing options. In such use Traffic Server acts effectively as a router, moving network data between two endpoints without modifying the data. The routing is accomplished by examining the initial data from the inbound connection to decide the outbound destination. The initial data is then sent to the destination and subsequently Traffic Server forwards all data read on one connection to the other and vice versa.
In this way it acts similarly to nc.
The primary differences between different types of layer 4 routing is the mechanism by which Traffic Server creates the outbound connection. This is described in detail in the type specific documentation.
Transparency is in some sense layer 4 routing because the outbound connection is determined by examining the destination address in the client TCP packets. This is discussed in detail elsewhere.
Currently the only directly supported layer 4 routing (as of version 8.0) is SNI based routing. This imposes the requirement on the traffic that the inbound connection must be TLS.
SNI routing is configured by
If SNI Routing is enabled the initial “CLIENT HELLO” data of an inbound TLS connection is
examined to extract the “SNI” value. This is
matched against the configuration data to select an action for the inbound connection. In this case
the option of interest is
tunnel_route. If this is set then Traffic Server synthesizes an HTTP
request to itself with the
tunnel_route host and port as the upstream. That is, the inbound
connection is treated as if the user agent had sent a
CONNECT to the upstream and forwards the “CLIENT HELLO” to it.
Consider a Content Delivery Network (CDN) that has an edge layer of externally facing Traffic Server instances. The goal is to enable external clients to connect to internal services and do their own client certificate verification, possibly because distribution of private keys to the edge Traffic Server instances is too difficult or too risky. To achieve this, the edge Traffic Server instances can be configured to route inbound TLS connections with specific SNI values directly to the internal services without TLS termination on the edge. This enables the edge to provide controlled external access to the internal services without each internal service having to stand up its own edge. Note the services do not require global routable addresses as long as the edge Traffic Server instances can route to the services.
The basic set up is therefore
For the example, let us define two services inside the corporate network of Example, Inc.
service-1 is on port 443 on host
service-2 is on port 4443 on host
app-server-56. The SNI routing set up for this would be
sni.yaml contents would be
sni: - tunnel_route: app-server-29:443 fqdn: service-1.example.com - tunnel_route: app-server-56:4443 fqdn: service-2.example.com
In addition to this, in the
records.config file, edit the following variables:
The sequence of network activity for a Client connecting to
Note the destination for the outbound TCP connection and the HTTP
CONNECT is the same. If this
is a problem (which it will be in general) a plugin is needed to change the URL in the
In this case the proxy request is available in the
TS_HTTP_TXN_START_HOOK hook. This
cannot be done using remap because for a
CONNECT there is no remap phase. Note that for a
tunneled connection like this, the only transaction hooks that will be triggered are
TS_HTTP_TXN_CLOSE_HOOK. In addition, because Traffic Server
does not terminate (and therefore does not decrypt) the connection, it cannot be cached or served from