HAProxy Enterprise Documentation 2.6r1

Rate limit HTTP requests

In traffic policing, you can limit the number of HTTP requests a user can make within a certain period of time. When this period of time is the interval immediately following each request, this limit is called a sliding window rate limit.

Follow these steps to create a sliding window limit that allows a client to issue no more than 20 requests in a 10-second window.

  1. Add a stick-table directive to the frontend. The table stores and aggregates each client's HTTP request rate.

    frontend website
        bind :80
        stick-table  type ipv6  size 100k  expire 30s  store http_req_rate(10s)
    
        default_backend servers

    To conserve space, the stick table is limited to the 100,000 most recent IP records. Also, records expire and are removed if they are inactive for 30 seconds.

  2. Add an http-request track directive to store the client's IP address with their request rate in the stick table. Counters for the IP address record begin incrementing as soon as the record is added.

    frontend website
        bind :80
        stick-table  type ipv6  size 100k  expire 30s  store http_req_rate(10s)
        http-request track-sc0 src
    
        default_backend servers
  3. Add an http-request deny directive to deny requests for clients that exceed the limit.

    frontend website
        bind :80
        stick-table  type ipv6  size 100k  expire 30s  store http_req_rate(10s)
        http-request track-sc0 src
        http-request deny deny_status 429 if { sc_http_req_rate(0) gt 20 }
    
        default_backend servers

    In the http-request deny directive, the if expression determines whether the client's current request rate has exceeded the allowed number of requests, in this case 20. If so, the current request is denied with a 429 Too Many Requests response. When the count of requests during the preceding 10 seconds is again below 20, requests are accepted.

You can adjust any part of this example to suit your needs.

  • To change the test interval, change the time specified in the http_req_rate fetch in the stick-table directive.

  • To change the number of allowable requests in the interval, change the gt test value specified in the http-request deny directive.

  • Instead of denying requests that exceed the limit, you could show a reCAPTCHA or silently drop the connection. For more information, see Response Policies.


Next up

Rate limit HTTP requests by URL