18 September 2013

Nginx supports X-Accel-Redirect for local files with no extra hassle, but what happens if you need to serve files located in some remote location like s3 and you don’t want to expose direct urls to the files? Sometimes you may want that to have control over stats or to keep an option to migrate to another file server without changing original urls.

Here is what you do:

Then in your application you need to set X-Accel-Redirect header with remote file hostname ( first part ) and URI (second part).

X-Accel-Redirect: /internal_redirect/assets.example.com.s3-website-us-east-1.amazonaws.com/file/uri.jpg

Potentially you could use the same idea for private files stored on S3. For that you would need to generate correct Authorization header

proxy_set_header Authorization "value";

which might be a little tricky, but possbile with perl support ( extract required tokens from instance metadata if you are using IAM roles, or use access keys passed to the instance somehow ).

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My books recommendations

Great book for operations people. Helped me to design and build solid deployment pipelines. Awesome advices on automated testing as well. The author advocates against feature branches, every commit goes to master! Scary? I know, but it actually makes sense once you get the idea. Read the book to find out more.

One of those rare books where every word counts!

Classics from John Allspaw who is SVP of Infrastructure and Operations at Etsy (and used to work for Flickr). The book covers very important topics like metrics collection, continuous deployment, monitoring, dealing with unexpected traffic spikes, dev and ops collaboration and much more. Def recommend if you are starting out in the operations field or been doing it for a while ( in latter case you probably read this book already :).

This book is must read for every software engineer, no matter which language you use! It will change your perspective on writing code. I was amazed by the quality of material - very detailed and up to the point.

"The only way to make the deadline -- the only way to go fast -- is to keep the code as clean as possible at all times."

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