Envoy rpc

Posted on 10.05.2021 Comments

Container Networking. Essentially, it lets you easily define a service using Protocol Buffers Protobufsworks across multiple languages and platforms, and is simple to set up and scale. All this leads to better network performance and flexible API management. One way to get around this problem is to use the gRPC-Web plugin and run a proxy like Envoy along with it. The conference attracted over attendees ranging from investors, customers, engineers, and leaders.

The front and backend talked seamlessly, while Istio provided additional observability into the system via Grafana metrics, Jaeger tracing and the Kiali service graph. The bottom line here is that by switching over to a gRPC-Web and Istio paradigm, developing a cloud-native application becomes a relatively seamless experience. By: Scott Goodman. By: Niran Even-Chen. By: Mark Schweighardt. Post to Facebook. Share on LinkedIn.

Share Post to Twitter. Venil Noronha Posted April 29, What is gRPC? AT — all about virtualization Comments are closed. Related Posts.Recently, one of the teams I work with selected Envoy as a core component for a system they were building.

I'd been impressed for some time by presentations on it, and the number of open source tools which had included it or built around it, but hadn't actually explored it in any depth.

I was especially curious about how to use it in the edge proxy mode, essentially as a more modern and programmable component that historically I'd have used nginx for.

The result was a small dockerized playground which implements this design. With this limited experience I can say Envoy more than lived up to my expectations. I found the documentation complete, but sometimes terse, which is one of the reasons I wanted to write this up — it was hard to find complete examples of this kind of pattern, so hopefully if you're reading this, it saves you some effort!

For the rest of this post I'll be going layer by layer through how each part of this stack works. I'm using docker-compose here, as it provides simple orchestration around building and running a stack of containers, and the unified log view is very helpful. The most important one ends up being or localhost on most docker machines which is the public HTTP endpoint.

To get it running, clone the repo. You'll also need a local copy of Lyft's ratelimit.

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Submodules would have been good here, but for a PoC it just as easy to git clone git github. I had to make some manual tweaks to the ratelimit codebase to get it to build — which may be operator error:.

After getting the code in place, run docker-compose up. The first one will take some time as it builds everything.

You can ensure that the full stack is working with a simple curl, which also shows traces of all the moving parts. The backend is a very simple Go app running in a container. It shows up cleverly named backend a few times in the envoy.

This is an example of where the Envoy config can take some time to understand. But, it's also incredibly powerful. We're able to define how to look up the host, how they should be load balanced, more than one cluster, more than one load balancer within a cluster, and more than one endpoint within that.

It's entirely possible that this definition can be simplified, but this version works. It's also helpful that clusters and the whole config are defined with well-managed data structures, that are actually defined as protobufs. This means managing Envoy can be done fairly consistently when you're configuring it with YAML files, or at runtime through the configuration interface. So, now that the backend is defined, it's time to get it some traffic, and that's done via routes.

This fragment of config says to call a gRPC service which is running at a cluster defined the same as the backend above called extauth. I am so happy about 2 quasi-recent developments which make this so easy to build — Go modules and Docker multi-stage builds.

Building a slim container, with just alpine and the binary of a Go app, only takes this little fragment of Dockerfile. Yes, please. Ok, so how do we build the app? For Go services, Envoy has made things very clean and straightforward. Simple custom authorizer code. This allows constructing and returning the proper responses based on what we need to do.

Here's the core of the successful path, for example:.Jan 30, 4 min read. Matt Campbell. Reddit introduced Envoy into their backend framework as service-to-service proxy to support their ongoing architectural improvements.

As their architecture evolves from monolithic into smaller services, the complexity of supporting and debugging their existing framework is becoming too costly. According to Courtney Wangsenior software engineer at Reddit, Reddit has undergone significant growth in both their engineering team size and product complexity over the past three years.

This has run in parallel with an evolution of their backend architecture as they move from a monolithic application and begin to adopt a more service-oriented architecture. These changes have led to an increase in complexity in how they debug their applications in moving from investigating function calls to tracing RPCs between multiple services. As well, the number of considerations that engineers need to entertain when standing up new services has increased and now includes understanding client request behaviours, retry handling, circuit breaking, and granular route control.

Reddit has been using Airbnb's SmartStack as their Service Mesh since they begun splitting services out of their monolith. As service instances are stood up and torn down, registration is handled by SmartStack Nerve.

envoy rpc

Nerve is a Ruby process that runs a sidecar on each instance and registers them into a central Zookeeper cluster.

To simplify work for developers, Reddit developed Baseplatea common framework that provides a health check interface and an abstraction layer for connecting to Nerve. Reddit makes use of Synapsea per-instance Ruby process, to manage their service endpoint discovery. Synapse reads the Zookeeper registry that Nerve populates and then writes the endpoint entries to a local HAProxy configuration file.

HAProxy runs as a sidecar process handling proxying and load-balancing the downstream service traffic. While the SmartStack implementation has remained relatively unchanged and operational, their evolving infrastructure has begun to push against the limits of what SmartStack offers. As Wang notes, this led the team to re-evaluate the service mesh landscape and see if a replacement made sense for them. The key pain points they were hoping to resolve were:. In selecting a new service mesh candidate, Wang indicates their key requirements were ensuring no performance impact, gaining Layer 7 Thrift support in the proxy, and ease of extending and integrating with the new tool.

The team decided on Envoy as it fit within these requirements with tradeoffs that they deemed acceptable. The largest gap with Envoy was lack of first-class Thrift support.

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Wang recounts that they worked with Turbine Labs, who had recently announced their support for Envoy, to contract development for Thrift support. Nerve and Synapse would still handle the service registration and discovery which meant that they would not be able to leverage Envoy's dynamic discovery service. This allowed them to keep their service discovery layer stable while also rolling out Envoy to production.Jan 30, 4 min read.

envoy rpc

Matt Campbell. Reddit introduced Envoy into their backend framework as service-to-service proxy to support their ongoing architectural improvements. As their architecture evolves from monolithic into smaller services, the complexity of supporting and debugging their existing framework is becoming too costly. According to Courtney Wangsenior software engineer at Reddit, Reddit has undergone significant growth in both their engineering team size and product complexity over the past three years.

This has run in parallel with an evolution of their backend architecture as they move from a monolithic application and begin to adopt a more service-oriented architecture. These changes have led to an increase in complexity in how they debug their applications in moving from investigating function calls to tracing RPCs between multiple services.

As well, the number of considerations that engineers need to entertain when standing up new services has increased and now includes understanding client request behaviours, retry handling, circuit breaking, and granular route control. Reddit has been using Airbnb's SmartStack as their Service Mesh since they begun splitting services out of their monolith.

As service instances are stood up and torn down, registration is handled by SmartStack Nerve.

envoy rpc

Nerve is a Ruby process that runs a sidecar on each instance and registers them into a central Zookeeper cluster. To simplify work for developers, Reddit developed Baseplatea common framework that provides a health check interface and an abstraction layer for connecting to Nerve.

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Reddit makes use of Synapsea per-instance Ruby process, to manage their service endpoint discovery. Synapse reads the Zookeeper registry that Nerve populates and then writes the endpoint entries to a local HAProxy configuration file. HAProxy runs as a sidecar process handling proxying and load-balancing the downstream service traffic. While the SmartStack implementation has remained relatively unchanged and operational, their evolving infrastructure has begun to push against the limits of what SmartStack offers.

As Wang notes, this led the team to re-evaluate the service mesh landscape and see if a replacement made sense for them. The key pain points they were hoping to resolve were:. In selecting a new service mesh candidate, Wang indicates their key requirements were ensuring no performance impact, gaining Layer 7 Thrift support in the proxy, and ease of extending and integrating with the new tool.

The team decided on Envoy as it fit within these requirements with tradeoffs that they deemed acceptable. The largest gap with Envoy was lack of first-class Thrift support. Wang recounts that they worked with Turbine Labs, who had recently announced their support for Envoy, to contract development for Thrift support.

Nerve and Synapse would still handle the service registration and discovery which meant that they would not be able to leverage Envoy's dynamic discovery service. This allowed them to keep their service discovery layer stable while also rolling out Envoy to production. By running both HAProxy and Envoy in parallel, listening on different ports, they could rollback simply by adjusting the configuration.

This also allowed them to audit Envoy configuration against their HAProxy configuration to verify the accuracy of their Synapse configuration generator. Wang indicates that Envoy has now been serving production traffic smoothly for nearly four months.

He states that there were no show stopping issues, but describes that Envoy's network connection handling differed enough from HAProxy to cause some unexpected errors in the application connection management code. With Envoy and the new Thrift filterthey are finding greater observability at the network layer including request and response metrics that weren't available before without application code changes.

They have yet to be able to make an accurate measurement on service latencies as HAProxy is still running as a sidecar to facilitate quick rollbacks during this transition period. With the success of adopting Envoy at the proxy level to manage Layer 4 traffic, the next step in Reddit's plan is to the deploy Envoy's discovery service API backed by a centralized configuration store. Further reaching plans include investigating running Envoy at the edge as a replacement for using HAProxy as a load balancer for their core Reddit backend application and AWS ALBs for some of their external ingress points.

Wang believes that this will provide greater observability and service routing control, such as shadowing inbound traffic and traffic shifting at the edge.Envoy is a lightweight service proxy designed for Cloud Native applications.

The go-control-plane project provides Go bindings for Envoy protos. Below is a diagram depicting our final deployment. We use the following Envoy configuration for registering both the Greeter and the RateLimitService servers and enabling Rate Limit checks. Note that the locally deployed services are referred via the docker.

To deploy the Envoy proxy, we copy the above configuration to a file named envoy. Then, we can build a Docker image with the following Dockerfile. Since we now want to route our Greeter client calls via Envoy, we update the server port from to in its implementation and rebuild it.

Using the async-hooks API to integrate Envoy with our RPC library — Part I

At this point we have the Greeter server, the RateLimitService server and an instance of Envoy proxy running. To do so, we can simply send a few Greeter requests via the updated Greeter client as shown below. As you observe, alternate requests fail with a gRPC status code of 14 i. RPC failedwhile 5 out of the 10 requests are successful. This shows that the Rate Limit service is limiting every second request as designed, and Envoy rightly terminates such requests on its end.

Below is a schematic for the Greeter application. Once we run the Greeter application, we should have the following output on the console. Listen "tcp""" if err! NewServer rls. Serve lis ; err!

Dial "localhost"grpc. WithInsecure if err! WithTimeout context. Backgroundtime.

Adopting Envoy as a Service-to-Service Proxy at Reddit

Sending build context to Docker daemon SayHello user. Venil Noronha. Share this.The tutorial highlights some of the advanced features that Envoy provides for gRPC. This tutorial focuses on situations where clients are untrusted, such as mobile clients and clients running outside the trust boundary of the service provider. Of the load-balancing options that gRPC provides, you use proxy-based load balancing in this tutorial. This service provides a single public IP address and passes TCP connections directly to the configured backends.

In the tutorial, the backend is a Kubernetes Deployment of Envoy instances.

envoy rpc

Envoy is an open source application layer layer 7 proxy that offers many advanced features. Compared to other application layer solutions such as Kubernetes Ingress, using Envoy directly provides multiple customization options, like the following:. These instances then use application layer information to proxy requests to different gRPC services running in the cluster. The Envoy instances use cluster DNS to identify and load-balance incoming gRPC requests to the healthy and running pods for each service.

To generate a cost estimate based on your projected usage, use the pricing calculator. New Google Cloud users might be eligible for a free trial.

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When you finish this tutorial, you can avoid continued billing by deleting the resources you created. For more information, see Cleaning up. If you don't already have one, sign up for a new account.

Go to the project selector page. Make sure that billing is enabled for your Google Cloud project. Learn how to confirm billing is enabled for your project. Enable the APIs. The following diagram shows the architecture for exposing these two services through a single endpoint:. Network Load Balancing accepts incoming requests from the internet for example, from mobile clients or service consumers outside your company. Network Load Balancing performs the following tasks:.

This means that no clusterIP address is assigned, and the Kubernetes network proxy doesn't load-balance traffic to the pods.

Lyft's Envoy: Embracing a Service Mesh

Envoy discovers the pod IP addresses from this DNS entry and load-balances across them according to the policy configured in Envoy. If the command does not return the ID of the project you selected, configure Cloud Shell to use your project, replacing project-id with the name of your project:. This tutorial uses the us-central1 region and the us-central1-b zone. However, you can change the region and zone to suit your needs. Verify that the kubectl context has been set up by listing the worked nodes in your cluster:.

To route traffic to multiple gRPC services behind one load balancer, you deploy two simple gRPC services: echo-grpc and reverse-grpc. Both services expose a unary method that takes a string in the content request field. Create Kubernetes Deployments for echo-grpc and reverse-grpc :. The output looks similar to the following. Create Kubernetes headless Services for echo-grpc and reverse-grpc.

Check that both echo-grpc and reverse-grpc exist as Kubernetes Services:.The project was born out of the belief that:. The network should be transparent to applications. When network and application problems do occur it should be easy to determine the source of the problem. Envoy runs on every host and abstracts the network by providing common features load balancing, circuit breaking, service discovery, etc.

When all service traffic in an infrastructure flows via an Envoy mesh, it becomes easy to visualize problem areas, tune overall performance, and add substrate features in a single place. Envoy has been in development at Lyft for around 1. In a few places we deployed HAProxy for increased performance. At the time, we had about 30 services and even at that level of scale we faced continuous issues with sporadic networking and service call failures to the extent that most developers were afraid to have high volume service calls in critical paths.

It was incredibly difficult to understand where the problems were occurring. In the service code?

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In EC2 networking? In the ELB? Who knew? Envoy is influenced by years of experience observing how different companies attempt to make sense of a confusing situation. Initially we used it as our front proxy, and gradually replaced our usage of ELBs across the infrastructure with direct mesh connections and local Envoys running on every service node.

In practice, achieving complete network transparency is difficult. Envoy attempts to do so by providing the following high level features:. Out of process architecture : Envoy is a self contained process that is designed to run alongside every application server. All of the Envoys form a transparent communication mesh in which each application sends and receives messages to and from localhost and is unaware of the network topology.

The out of process architecture has two substantial benefits over the traditional library approach to service to service communication:. Native code was chosen because we believe that an architectural component such as Envoy should get out of the way as much as possible. Modern application developers already deal with tail latencies that are difficult to understand due to deployments in shared cloud environments and the use of very productive but not particularly well performing languages such as PHP, Python, Ruby, Scala, etc.

HTTP L7 routing : When operating in HTTP mode, Envoy supports a routing subsystem that is capable of routing and redirecting requests based on path, authority, content type, runtime values, etc.