ngx_http_limit_req_module questions

Lord Nynex lordnynex at
Sun Dec 8 23:19:56 UTC 2013


I have a requirement to rate limit requests to one of my customer facing
API's. At present Nginx is a proxy point directing traffic to network
internal servers based on endpoint URL. I am interested in integrating more
tightly with Nginx to do this rate limiting before the traffic is passed to
my upstream resources. I'm in research phases and theres a lot of moving
pieces to the project, so in the interest of clarity I've tried to organize
the below into sensible lists. Please let me know if if I'm not providing
enough detail.

Implementation specific limitations:

   - Our user base traffic tends to originate from networks where NAT is
   heavily used. Unfortunately, rate limiting by IP address would generate
   massive amounts of false positives as a result.
   - Our API is not 'open' and requires a successful authentication
   handshake (Oauth) to continue. Further requests utilize an auth token in
   headers to maintain session state. Auth tokens are alpha numeric strings
   with a length of 64 characters.
   - High Traffic! (30k+ req/sec)


   - Is it feasible to do rate limiting based on an auth token?
   - Is it feasible to insert strings of this length as keys into the zone?
   - Is the zone an in memory 'object' (for lack of a better word)?
   - Is there a performance drawback for create one large in memory zone
   that is GB as opposed to MB?
   - How long do keys live in the zone? If I set a 1+ GB zone file, what
   happens if our aggregate request volume bursts and the zone runs out of
   storage space? There is a sentence in the documentation I find frightening,
   "If the zone storage is exhausted, the server will return the 503
   (Service Temporarily Unavailable) error to all further requests." (
   - Are there better alternatives?

Thank You
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