SPDY, SSL termination and proxy_pass

Valentin V. Bartenev vbart at nginx.com
Thu Oct 31 12:29:22 UTC 2013

On Thursday 31 October 2013 14:01:20 luckyknight wrote:
> I have setup SPDY on my application and have observed some nice reductions
> in page load times. However in a production environment my setup is
> somewhat different.
> At the moment my setup looks like this:
> server 1 running nginx, terminates ssl and uses proxy_pass to server 2
> server 2 running nginx, php-fpm and varnish etc. (actual web application)
> I have just setup on server 1 spdy protocol:
> server {
> listen *:443 ssl spdy;
> location / {
> proxy_pass http://someip;
> }
> }
> Now my question is with SSL and SPDY being terminated on the first server,
> do I still get the relevant performance improvement from using SPDY from
> the application that I am trying to use on server 2?

It's likely, yes.

> Does server 2 need SPDY enabled on nginx or does it not matter? Do I need
> to use proxy_pass https:// or https://someip:443 (and thus SSL installed
> on server 2?)

No, don't need, unless you care about security between your servers.

> Do I need to add_header alternative spdy on server 1?

Only if you also use plain http and want users switch to spdy when it's 

> On a related note, I am also planning on setting up load balancing on a
> seperate application. It will have load balancing setup on server 1, with
> ssl/spdy and then upstream to server 2/3/4/5/6 etc. Will I also get SPDY
> performance improvements?

You will.

  wbr, Valentin V. Bartenev

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