proxy pass keepalive without upstream module

Richard Kearsley rkearsley at
Fri May 3 11:41:02 UTC 2013

I read here that keepalives to backend can be enabled with the upstream 
But can they be used without defining an upstream block? Just a simple 
proxy_pass as the backend is a variable in my case: 'proxy_pass $proxy_to;'

Many thanks

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