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Willian Antunes

NGINX on Kubernetes Made Easy: Your Local Development Sandbox

3 minute read

nginx, proxy, k8s, kind

Warning: This is a note, so don't expect much 😅!

Sometimes, the default configuration of your reverse proxy does not behave as expected, given the context of your application. In that case, an adjustment should be applied carefully to avoid unintended consequences. Using Ingress NGINX Controller and kind, you can easily create a local development sandbox to test everything you need before promoting the configuration.

Let's say you want to understand how proxy_next_upstream works. Download the playground project and execute the following commands in order:

kind create cluster --config kind-config.yaml
kubectl create namespace development
kubectl config set-context --current --namespace=development
helm repo add ingress-nginx charts/ingress-nginx
helm repo update
helm install nginx-internal ingress-nginx/ingress-nginx --namespace development -f ./nginx-internal-values.yaml

With the controller adequately installed, we can proceed with the creation of the scenario:

kubectl apply -f scenario.yaml

It has the following objects:

  • POD named env-web-server-1: A web server in Python that takes 3 seconds to answer a request.
  • POD named env-web-server-2: A web server in Python that has no delays. It answers a request immediately.
  • SERVICE named env-web-server-service: It selects both previous PODs.
  • INGRESS named all-rules: It sends all requests to the previous SERVICE, regardless of the host.

Wait a few seconds, and we should be able to access http://localhost:8000/. If we press F5, we'll get APP-1 or APP-2 output. They alternate as we press F5. APP-1 delays 3 seconds to answers, and the reverse proxy accepts it, but let's say we don't want it to happen. We want to make the reverse proxy attempt another upstream. We can force this behavior by adding a timeout of 2 seconds with the following annotation: "2"

After the configuration is applied, if we press F5, we will only see APP-2 content on your browser. APP-1 won't appear anymore. NGINX logs will inform you of the following:

2024/06/27 00:21:51 [error] 112#112: *5248 upstream timed out (110: Operation timed out) while reading response header from upstream, client:, server: _, request: "GET / HTTP/1.1", upstream: "", host: "localhost:8000"

Suppose we don't want the request to be passed to the next server. We can turn off the feature by adding another annotation to the Ingress manifest: "off"

If we press F5 until the reverse proxy tries to establish a connection with APP-1, NGINX will return 504 this time; it won't try to establish a connection with APP-2.

2024/06/27 00:29:44 [error] 149#149: *7212 upstream timed out (110: Operation timed out) while reading response header from upstream, client:, server: _, request: "GET / HTTP/1.1", upstream: "", host: "localhost:8000"
{"time": "2024-06-27T00:29:44+00:00", "remote_addr": "-", "x_forward_for": "", "request_id": "228bd03f947cf4168578c31f6eeaa405", "remote_user": "-", "bytes_sent": 702, "request_time": 2.001, "status": 504, "vhost": "localhost", "request_proto": "HTTP/1.1", "path": "/", "request_query": "-", "request_length": 643, "duration": 2.001,"method": "GET", "http_referrer": "-", "http_user_agent": "Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/ Safari/537.36", "http_origin": "-", "true_client_ip": "-"}

Well, if the tests are done, we can destroy our sandbox:

kind delete cluster

I hope this may help you. See you! 😄

Have you found any mistakes 👀? Feel free to submit a PR editing this blog entry 😄.