Current stable version: 1.1.2
fabio is a fast, modern, zero-conf load balancing HTTP(S) router for deploying microservices managed by consul.
Why build another HTTP router?
Both hardware and software routers like Citrix Netscaler, F5 Big IP, haproxy, varnish, nginx or apache require some form of configuration - the routing table - to route incoming traffic to services which can handle them. The routing table has to be kept in sync with the actual deployed set of services and instances during each deployment and each outage on every environment. This makes the routing table a crucial part of the configuration without the application cannot function.
Managing the routing table can be automated via API calls or tools like consul-template but that also requires configuration and/or tools. In the case of consul-template the config file template itself has to be kept in sync with the actual setup of the application. Finally, updating the routing table without loss of existing connections can be challenging.
fabio solves this problem by making the services themselves responsible for updating the routing table. Services already know which routes they serve since they have handlers who can handle requests for them. Once services push the routes they handle into the service registry (in this case consul) fabio can build the routing table and can re-configure itself on every change automatically without restart and without the loss of existing connections.
The motivation is also outlined in the presentation I've given at the dotGo EU pre-party in Paris on 9 Nov 2015. You can watch it here.
fabio was developed at the eBay Classifieds Group in Amsterdam and routes in total roughly 15.000 req/sec for the following sites without any measurable latency impact.
(drop me a note if you want to have your site listed here)
- Single binary in Go. No external dependencies.
- Hot-reloading of routing table through backend watchers
- Round robin and random distribution
- Traffic Shaping (send 5% of traffic to new instances)
- Graphite metrics
- Request tracing
- v1.0.4: SSL client certificate authentication support (see
- v1.0.5: Websocket support
- v1.0.6: Raw websocket support as default
- v1.0.6: Experimental HTTP API
- v1.0.6: Improved UI
- v1.0.6: fabio registers itself in consul
- v1.0.8: Support consul ACL token
- v1.0.9: Make read and write timeout configurable
- Service configuration
- Manual overrides
- Traffic shaping
- Request tracing
- Web UI
This is how you use fabio in your setup:
- Register your service in consul
- Register a health check in consul as described here. Make sure the health check is passing since fabio will only watch services which have a passing health check.
- Register one
host/pathprefix it serves, e.g.
- Start fabio without a config file (assuming a consul agent on
localhost:8500) Watch the log output how fabio picks up the route to your service. Try starting/stopping your service to see how the routing table changes instantly.
- Send all your HTTP traffic to fabio on port
To start a sample server to test the routing run the
demo/server like this:
./server -addr 127.0.0.1:5000 -name svc-a -prefix /foo
and access the server direct and via fabio
curl 127.0.0.1:5000/foo # direct curl 127.0.0.1:9999/foo # via fabio
If you want fabio to handle SSL as well set the
proxy.addr along with the
public/private key files in
fabio -cfg fabio.properties. You might also want to set the
Check the Debugging section to see how to test fabio with
See fabio in action
fabio-example project is now in the
To install fabio you need Go 1.5.3 or higher. Run
GO15VENDOREXPERIMENT=1 go get github.com/eBay/fabio
To start fabio run
which will run it with the default configuration which is described
fabio.properties. To run it with a config file run it
./fabio -cfg fabio.properties
or use the official Docker image and mount your own config file to
docker run -d -p 9999:9999 -p 9998:9998 -v $PWD/fabio/fabio.properties:/etc/fabio/fabio.properties magiconair/fabio
If you want to run the Docker image with one or more SSL certificates then
you can store your configuration and certificates in
/etc/fabio and mount
the entire directory, e.g.
$ cat ~/fabio/fabio.properties proxy.addr=:443;/etc/fabio/ssl/mycert.pem;/etc/fabio/ssl/mykey.pem docker run -d -p 443:443 -p 9998:9998 -v $PWD/fabio:/etc/fabio magiconair/fabio
The official Docker image contains the root CA certificates from a recent and updated Ubuntu 12.04.5 LTS installation.
Contribute to fabio
Contributions to fabio of any kind are welcome including documentation, examples, feature requests, bug reports, discussions, helping with issues, etc.
If you have a question on how or what to contribute just open an issue and indicate that it is a question.
Code Contribution Guideline
Your contribution is welcome. To make merging code as seamless as possible we ask for the following:
- For small changes and bug fixes go ahead, fork the project, make your changes and send a pull request.
- Larger changes should start with a proposal in an issue. This should ensure that the requested change is in line with the project and similar work is not already underway.
- Only add libraries if they provide significant value. Consider copying the code (attribution) or writing it yourself.
- Manage dependencies in the vendor path via
govendoras separate commits per library. Please make sure your commit message has the following format:
Vendoring in version <git hash> of <pkgname>
Once you are ready to send in a pull request, be sure to:
- Sign the CLA
- Provide test cases for the critical code which test correctness. If your code is in a performance critical path make sure you have performed some real world measurements to ensure that performance is not degregated.
make testyour code
- Squash your change into a single commit with the exception of additional libraries.
- Write a good commit message.
fabio is configured to listen on port 9999 for HTTP traffic and uses
localhost:8500 as the default registry backend. To configure
additional listeners, different backends, enable metrics reporting or
change other configuration parameters please check the well documented
file. Each property value can also be configured via a corresponding
environment variable which has the dots replaced with underscores.
# fabio.properties metrics.target = stdout # correspondig env var metrics_target=stdout ./fabio
The main use-case for fabio is to distribute incoming HTTP(S) requests from the internet to frontend (FE) services which can handle these requests. In this scenario the FE services then use the service discovery feature in consul to find backend (BE) services they need in order to fulfil the request.
That means that fabio is currently not used as an FE-BE or BE-BE router to route traffic among the services themselves since the service discovery of consul already solves that problem. Having said that, there is nothing that inherently prevents fabio from being used that way. It just means that we are not doing it.
In the following setup fabio is configured to listen on the public ip(s) where it can optionally terminate SSL traffic for one or more domains - one ip per domain.
+--> service-a | internet -- HTTP/HTTPS --> fabio -- HTTP --+--> service-b | +--> service-c
To scale fabio you can deploy it together with the frontend services which provides high-availability and distributes the network bandwidth.
+- HTTP/HTTPS -> fabio -+- HTTP -> service-a (host-a) | | internet --+- HTTP/HTTPS -> fabio -+- HTTP -> service-b (host-b) | | +- HTTP/HTTPS -> fabio -+- HTTP -> service-c (host-c)
Behind an existing LB/Gateway
In the following setup fabio is configured receive all incoming traffic from an existing gateway which also terminates SSL for one or more domains. fabio supports SSL Client Certificate Authentication to support the Amazon API Gateway
+--> service-a | internet -- HTTP/HTTPS --> LB -- HTTP --> fabio -- HTTP --+--> service-b | +--> service-c
Again, to scale fabio you can deploy it together with the frontend services which provides high-availability and distributes the network bandwidth.
+- HTTP -> fabio -+-> service-a (host-a) | | internet -- HTTP/HTTPS --> LB -+- HTTP -> fabio -+-> service-b (host-b) | | +- HTTP -> fabio -+-> service-c (host-c)
fabio has been tested to deliver up to 15.000 req/sec on a single 16 core host with moderate memory requirements (~ 60 MB).
To achieve the performance fabio sets the following defaults which can be overwritten with the environment variables:
GOMAXPROCSis set to
runtime.NumCPU()since this is not the default for Go 1.4 and before
GOGC=800is set to reduce the pressure on the garbage collector
When fabio is compiled with Go 1.5 and run with default settings it can be up
to 40% slower than the same version compiled with Go 1.4. The
default puts more pressure on the Go 1.5 GC which makes the fabio spend 10% of
the time in the GC. With
GOGC=800 this drops back to 1-2%. Higher values
don't provide higher gains.
As usual, don't rely on these numbers and perform your own benchmarks. You can
check the time fabio spends in the GC with
Each service can register one or more URL prefixes for which it serves
traffic. A URL prefix is a
host/path combination without a scheme since SSL
has already been terminated and all traffic is expected to be HTTP. To
register a URL prefix add a tag
urlprefix-host/path to the service
By default, traffic is distributed evenly across all service instances which register a URL prefix but you can set the amount of traffic a set of instances will receive ("Canary testing"). See Traffic Shaping below.
A background process watches for service definition and health status changes in consul. When a change is detected a new routing table is constructed using the commands described in Config Commands.
Since an automatically generated routing table can only be changed with a service deployment additional routing commands can be stored manually in the consul KV store which get appended to the automatically generated routing table. This allows fine-tuning and fixing of problems without a deployment.
The Traffic Shaping commands are also stored in the KV store.
Routing Table Configuration
The routing table is configured with the following commands:
route add <svc> <src> <dst> weight <w> tags "<t1>,<t2>,..." - Add route for service svc from src to dst and assign weight and tags route add <svc> <src> <dst> weight <w> - Add route for service svc from src to dst and assign weight route add <svc> <src> <dst> tags "<t1>,<t2>,..." - Add route for service svc from src to dst and assign tags route add <svc> <src> <dst> - Add route for service svc from src to dst route del <svc> <src> <dst> - Remove route matching svc, src and dst route del <svc> <src> - Remove all routes of services matching svc and src route del <svc> - Remove all routes of service matching svc route weight <svc> <src> weight <w> tags "<t1>,<t2>,..." - Route w% of traffic to all services matching svc, src and tags route weight <src> weight <w> tags "<t1>,<t2>,..." - Route w% of traffic to all services matching src and tags route weight <svc> <src> weight <w> - Route w% of traffic to all services matching svc and src route weight service host/path weight w tags "tag1,tag2" - Route w% of traffic to all services matching service, host/path and tags w is a float > 0 describing a percentage, e.g. 0.5 == 50% w <= 0: means no fixed weighting. Traffic is evenly distributed w > 0: route will receive n% of traffic. If sum(w) > 1 then w is normalized. sum(w) >= 1: only matching services will receive traffic Note that the total sum of traffic sent to all matching routes is w%.
The order of commands matters but routes are always ordered from most to least specific by prefix length.
The routing table contains first all routes with a host sorted by prefix length in descending order and then all routes without a host again sorted by prefix length in descending order.
For each incoming request the routing table is searched top to bottom for a
matching route. A route matches if either
host/path or - if there was no
match - just
The matching route determines the target URL depending on the configured
rr are available with
rnd being the default.
The auto-generated routing table is
route add service-a www.mp.dev/accounts/ http://host-a:11050/ tags "a,b" route add service-a www.kjca.dev/accounts/ http://host-a:11050/ tags "a,b" route add service-a www.dba.dev/accounts/ http://host-a:11050/ tags "a,b" route add service-b www.mp.dev/auth/ http://host-b:11080/ tags "a,b" route add service-b www.kjca.dev/auth/ http://host-b:11080/ tags "a,b" route add service-b www.dba.dev/auth/ http://host-b:11080/ tags "a,b"
The manual configuration under
route del service-b www.dba.dev/auth/ route add service-c www.somedomain.com/ http://host-z:12345/
The complete routing table then is
route add service-a www.mp.dev/accounts/ http://host-a:11050/ tags "a,b" route add service-a www.kjca.dev/accounts/ http://host-a:11050/ tags "a,b" route add service-a www.dba.dev/accounts/ http://host-a:11050/ tags "a,b" route add service-b www.mp.dev/auth/ http://host-b:11080/ tags "a,b" route add service-b www.kjca.dev/auth/ http://host-b:11080/ tags "a,b" route add service-c www.somedomain.com/ http://host-z:12345/ tags "a,b"
fabio allows to control the amount of traffic a set of service instances will
receive. You can use this feature to direct a fixed percentage of traffic to a
newer version of an existing service for testing ("Canary testing"). See
Manual Overrides for a complete description of the
The following command will allocate 5% of traffic to
all instances of
service-b which match tags
is independent of the number of actual instances running. The remaining 95%
of the traffic will be distributed evenly across the remaining instances
publishing the same prefix.
route weight service-b www.kjca.dev/auth/ weight 0.05 tags "version-15,dc-fra"
Websocket support works but is considered experimental since I don't have an in-house use case for it at the moment. I would like to hear from users whether it works in their environments beyond my simple test case before I declare it stable. It has been implemented with the websocket library from golang.org/x/net/websocket
You can test the websocket support with the
implements a simple echo server.
./server -addr 127.0.0.1:5000 -name ws-a -prefix /echo -proto ws ./wsclient -url ws://127.0.0.1:9999/echo
You can also run multiple web socket servers on different ports but the same endpoint.
fabio detects on whether to forward the request as HTTP or WS based on the
value of the
Upgrade header. If the value is
websocket it will attempt a
websocket connection to the target. Otherwise, it will fall back to HTTP.
One limitation of the current implementation is that the accepted set of protocols has to be symmetric across all services handling it. Only the following combinations will work reliably:
svc-a and svc-b register /foo and accept only HTTP traffic there svc-a and svc-b register /foo and accept only WS traffic there svc-a and svc-b register /foo and accept both HTTP and WS traffic there
The following setup (or variations thereof) will not work reliably:
svc-a registers /foo and accept only WS traffic there svc-b registers /foo and accept only HTTP traffic there
This is not a limitation of the routing itself but because the current configuration does not provide fabio with enough information to make the routing decision since the services do not advertise the protocols they handle on a given endpoint.
This does not look like a big restriction but is also not difficult to extend in a later version assuming there are use cases which require this behavior. For now the services have to be symmetric in the protocols they accept.
To send a request from the command line via the fabio using
you should send it as follows:
curl -v -H 'Host: foo.com' 'http://localhost:9999/path'
--proxy options will most likely not work as you expect as they
send the full URL instead of just the request URI which usually does not match
any route but the default one - if configured.
To trace how a request is routed you can add a
Trace header with an non-
empty value which is truncated at 16 characters to keep the log output short.
$ curl -v -H 'Trace: abc' -H 'Host: foo.com' 'http://localhost:9999/bar/baz' 2015/09/28 21:56:26 [TRACE] abc Tracing foo.com/bar/baz 2015/09/28 21:56:26 [TRACE] abc No match foo.com/bang 2015/09/28 21:56:26 [TRACE] abc Match foo.com/ 2015/09/28 22:01:34 [TRACE] abc Routing to http://220.127.116.11:8080/
fabio contains a simple web ui to examine the routing table and manage the
manual overrides. By default it is accessible on