1

I have a social media website that uses AWS extensively.

Through the site we stream video stored in S3, and this video is delivered through CloudFront.

I have a Client who is one of our biggest users who wants our content to come from a Static IP Address.

Apparently he has a Firewall, and it can only be configured for IP Addresses, not Domain Names.

Unfortunately none of our video content is coming through a Static IP Address. The Domain is the same, but the IP is not.

I have suggested using a Proxy, but apparently this wont work (Ive not been given any explanation as to why it wont work).

This whole situation confuses me, as I can clearly remember configuring my cheap Internet Router at home from 20 years ago to block or unblock both IP Addresses and Domain Names. Every single piece of Firewall Software I have ever used has had the ability to block or unblock both IP Addresses and Domain Names.

The Client I speak to is very friendly, but he is liaising between me and a "Network Engineer" who works at his business.

This Network Engineer just seems to be saying no, without any explanation to myself or the Client, to every suggestion I make. Apparently it is "impossible" to configure the business Firewall to block or unblock Domain Names. A Proxy "just wont work". He is adamant that we must provide him with a Static IP Address.

The Network Engineer also suggested at one point that we are "the only website on the Internet using a dynamic IP Address". I had to explain to my Client that this just isn't true.

I am not networking expert, but I am fairly sure what we are trying to achieve here can be done without a Static IP Address, but I dont know how to proceed when this Network Engineer blocks me at every turn.

This Client is one of our biggest users and I dont want to lose him, but I fear this may be the case if I dont find a solution that his Network Engineer can accept.

Can anyone suggest a course of action for me?


Sorry if this is the wrong place to ask this question. I am just getting quite desperate and want to find a positive resolution to this situation before it gets out of hand. If this is the wrong place, suggestions as to where else I could ask this question would be greatly appreciated.

3

I guess, the better, more scalable approach is to find out what system your client is using, and educate that network engineer.

But if you really need a static IP to serve for Cloudfront content for your really important client, and if a different subdomain is acceptable to you, you could set up a proxy on your side for him.

That said, you will lose the advantages of using cloud front for this particular client. All traffic for this client originally intended for cloud front will have be proxied through this EC2 instance. Another disadvantage is that if the proxy load gets too heavy on this EC2 instance, the only way of scaling this box is to scale up (get a bigger instance).

Details:

  1. You will need a Elastic IP address on a EC2 instance, say 101.11.12.13

  2. Set up a subdomain for your client with the DNS pointing to this IP:

    myclient.mydomain.com A 101.11.12.13

  3. Run nginx or apache on the EC2 instance doing a proxy to proxy to the cloud front content.

Nginx:

    server {
        location / {
            proxy_pass http://yourdistribution.cloudfront.net;
        }
    }

Apache:

ProxyPass / http://yourdistribution.cloudfront.net/
ProxyPassReverse http://yourdistribution.cloudfront.net/ /
  • Ive gone for educating the Network Engineer (wish me luck!) - but thank you very much for your answer – Jimmery Jan 15 '15 at 16:15
1

I am said network engineer, well maybe not that specific one but just another example and I come up against this question all of the time...

There are a number of firewalls out there that when at Enterprise scale, have issues with DNS based ACL's. There are Security and Performance Issues to be considered.

Can you trust the DNS won't be subverted or corrupted - probably, but that still doesnt mean you want your Firewalls doing lookups.

Performance wise - some firewalls will pause to do the lookup, add more delay if the lookup fails for whatever reason - if only for a incredibly small amount of time. This is a big consideration. No problem on your home router, major problem in a large organisation where there are 1000's (millions, billions!) of concurrent traffic streams.

The correct solution in this instance is to use a Proxy Server of some description.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.