AWS Makes it Easier for Developers to Track Visitor Traffic to Their Apps by Adding More Support

By: Jeff Stewart  |   August 3rd, 2013   |   Mobile Apps, News

Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced on Tuesday, July 30th that it has added some more support that will enable developers to keep a track of visitor traffic to their applications slightly more easily. Developers will be able to do so when an IP address gets connected via AWS Elastic Load Balancer (ELB). Mentioning the details of the newly added support, AWS mentioned in a blog post that:


“Starting today, Elastic Load Balancing (ELB) supports Proxy Protocol version 1. You can now identify the originating IP address of a client connecting to your servers using TCP load balancing. Client connection information, such as IP address and port, is typically lost when requests are proxied through a load balancer. This is because the load balancer sends requests to the server on behalf of the client, making your load balancer appear as though it is the requesting client. Having the originating client IP address is useful if you need more information about visitors to your applications. For example, you may want to gather connection statistics, analyze traffic logs, or manage whitelists of IP addresses.


Until today, ELB allowed you to obtain the client’s IP address only if you used HTTP(S) load balancing, which adds this information in the X-Forwarded-For headers. Since X-Forwarded-For is used in HTTP headers only, you could not obtain the client’s IP address if the ELB was configured for TCP load balancing. Many of you told us that you wanted similar functionality for TCP traffic, so we added support for Proxy Protocol. It simply prepends a human readable header with the client’s connection information to the TCP data sent to your server. The advantage of Proxy Protocol is that it can be used with any protocol layer above TCP, since it has no knowledge of the higher-level protocol that is used on top of the connection. Proxy Protocol is useful when you are serving non-HTTP traffic. Alternatively, you can use it if you are sending HTTPS requests and do not want to terminate the SSL connection on the load balancer. For more information, please visit the Elastic Load Balancing Guide.


Creating a Simple Web Application Running Behind an ELB with Proxy Protocol

I’d like to show you how we can use the Proxy Protocol feature in a simple Node.js application running behind an ELB. This application retrieves the client IP address and port number from the Proxy Protocol header in the TCP connection and outputs the information in an HTML response.


We’ll use AWS Elastic Beanstalk to quickly deploy and manage the application. Elastic Beanstalk automatically provisions an environment that includes Elastic Load Balancing, a set of EC2 instances with all the necessary software, and more. Elastic Beanstalk supports many languages and platforms; for this example, we chose to use Node.js.”


Source: TechCrunch, AWSBlog

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