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Trying to configure an origin pull CDN-like reverse proxy

November 03, 2012 12:16AM
Hello, I'm hosting a group of Wordpress blogs with about 200k visits and millions of hits per day. MySql + PHP live in a server (beefy VPS) and I placed a reverse proxy in front of it to cache most of the requests.

Now I want to offload all the static files to a third server, taking advantage of a feature of common Wordpress cache plugins, that rewrites static file URLs for origin-pull CDN services. This way, an original URL http://blog.com/wp-content/uploads/photo.jpg is rewritten as http://cdn.url.com/wp-content/uploads/photo.jpg and this server requests the file form the original server, caches it and then serves it directly, for the duration of the 1st server's Expires header/directive.

I thought it would be easy to use the proxy_* features, but I'm hitting a wall and I can't find an applicable tutorial/article anywhere. Would somebody have any advice on how to do this? This is the basic behavior I'm after:
- Client requests static file cdn.blog.com/dir/photo.jpg
- cdn.blog.com looks for the file in its cache
- If the cache has it, check original or revalidate according with original headers (this is internal, I know).
- If the cache doesn't have it, request it from www.blog.com/dir/photo.jpg, cache it and serve it.
- Preferably, allow for this to be done for many sites/domains, acting as a CDN server for many sites.

This is my conf:
The cache zones in otherwise default nginx.conf and before including conf.d/*.conf (I'm on CentOS 6.3 with nginx 1.0.15 from EPEL)

proxy_cache_path /var/www/cache/images levels=1:2
max_size=10g inactive=3d;

proxy_cache_path /var/www/cache/scripts levels=1:2
max_size=10g inactive=3d;

proxy_cache_path /var/www/cache/pages levels=1:2
max_size=10g inactive=3d;

And this is the individual server config on conf.d/server1.conf

upstream backend_cdn.blog.com {
server 333.333.333.333;

server {
listen 80;
server_name cdn.blog.com;
access_log off;
# Set proxy headers for the passthrough
proxy_set_header Host $host;
proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;

# Let the Set-Cookie and Cache-Control headers through.
proxy_pass_header Set-Cookie;
proxy_pass_header Cache-Control;
proxy_pass_header Expires;

# Fallback to stale cache on certain errors.
# 503 is deliberately missing, if we're down for maintenance
# we want the page to display.
proxy_cache_use_stale error

# Set the proxy cache key
set $cache_key $scheme$host$uri$is_args$args;

location / {
proxy_pass http://backend_$host;
proxy_cache pages;
proxy_cache_key $cache_key;
proxy_cache_valid 15m; # 200, 301 and 302 will be cached.
# 2 rules to dedicate the no caching rule for logged in users.
# proxy_cache_bypass $wordpress_auth; # Do not cache the response.
# proxy_no_cache $wordpress_auth; # Do not serve response from cache.
add_header X-Cache $upstream_cache_status;

location ~* \.(png|jpg|jpeg|gif|ico|swf|flv|mov|mpg|mp3)$ {
expires max;
log_not_found off;
proxy_pass http://backend_$host;
proxy_cache images;
proxy_cache_key $cache_key;

location ~* \.(css|js|html|htm)$ {
expires 7d;
log_not_found off;
proxy_pass http://backend_$host;
proxy_cache scripts;
proxy_cache_key $cache_key;

With this configuration, whenever I call a static file such as http://cdn.blog.com/wp-includes/js/prototype.js I end up being redirected to http://www.blog.com/wp-includes/js/prototype.js. I've tried many things, like setting the Host header to various values or adding $uri to the end of the proxy_pass directives, to no avail. One thing to notice is that the 333.333.333.333 server only responds to www.blog.com, not cdn.blog.com.

Do I need a root directive in server1.conf?

I'm running in circles, any help will be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance,
Cachito Espinoza
Subject Author Posted

Trying to configure an origin pull CDN-like reverse proxy

cachito November 03, 2012 12:16AM

Re: Trying to configure an origin pull CDN-like reverse proxy

Francis Daly November 03, 2012 05:46AM

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