Overview

Starting with version 10.1 for Linux and 10.2 for Windows, RightLink is capable of routing all its traffic through an external proxy for all workflows (enable running, install at boot, custom image).

The proxy server must support the HTTPS CONNECT protocol. SOCKS is currently not supported, and no HTTP requests are made by the RightLink client. Basic authentication is also supported by passing the username and password in the url itself. Digest and more advanced authentication schemes such as NTLM or Kerberos are not currently supported.

Execution environment

http_proxy, https_proxy, HTTP_PROXY, and HTTPS_PROXY will also be set in the execution environment of your scripts if RightLink is proxied. no_proxy and NO_PROXY will also be set if the no_proxy parameter is passed. Many unix programs (apt-get, yum, curl, rsc) will honor these parameters if set.

Configuring your proxy

RightLink communicates back with the RightScale platform in 4 ways:

  1. HTTPS requests to the RightScale API servers, such as us-3.rightscale.com
  2. HTTPS requests to the island load balancers (such as island1.rightscale.com) to download attachments.
  3. Websocket requests to the RightScale routers.
  4. HTTPS requests to the RightScale TSS servers, such as tss-3.rightscale.com.

The websockets protocol is built on top of HTTPS and from the perspective of the proxy server it is an HTTPS connection that is kept open indefinitely. Requests are periodically sent on the websocket (every 5 minutes). In order to accommodate the websocket connection, make sure the inactivity timeout is at least 15 minutes and read timeouts are as high as possible.

SSL/TLS Intercept Proxy Notes:

SSL/TLS interception proxy works by negotiating two sessions:

  1. Acts as the client on the server side
  2. Acts as server on the client side
  3. Generates new server key pair on client side

When properly configured the SSL/TLS intercept proxy should be somewhat transparent to RightLink and should not impact RightLink communication. The details for properly implementing and configuring SSL/TLS intercept proxies vary by manufacturer and as such these details are beyond the scope of this brief document -please refer to your manufacturer's specific documents on implementation and configuration. In general, the best practice guidelines for implementing and configuring SSL/TLS intercept proxies are outlined below.

  • Transitive root/x.509 trusts should be established without any certificate validation flaws
  • Key pair caching and indexing should be working correctly for both first visit and subsequent visits
  • Websockets should be supported
  • Failure modes should be properly planned and accounted for such as passthrough in the case that the proxy goes down. If not passthrough then the intercept proxy becomes the single point of failure. Each failure mode: passthrough, fail close, friendly error has some trade offs.
  • Updating/Patching procedures should be planned and defined, and should include using a test ssl intercept proxy appliance when applying patches and updates vs. applying updates and patches to a live production proxy appliance.
  • All Testing passes e.g. Qualys SSL/TLS security scanner or others

Usage

Enabling a Running Instance

To use a proxy when enabling a running instance, pass the -x proxy_url and -y no_proxy options to the rightlink.enable.sh script on Linux or to the rightlink.enable.ps1 script on Windows as shown in the following example. For further details, see Enable Running Instances for Linux or Windows.

  curl -s https://rightlink.rightscale.com/rll/10.6.0/rightlink.enable.sh | sudo bash -s -- -l -k "e22f8d37...456"
  -t "RightLink 10.6.0 Linux Base" -n "Test Server" -d "RightLink Enabled Test" -c "amazon"
  -x "http://basicuser:basicpass@1.2.3.4:3126" -y "dontproxy.com"
  $wc = New-Object System.Net.WebClient
  $wc.DownloadFile("https://rightlink.rightscale.com/rll/10.6.0/rightlink.enable.ps1", "$pwd\rightlink.enable.ps1")
  Powershell -ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted -File rightlink.enable.ps1 -refreshToken "e22f8d37...456"
  -serverTemplateName "RightLink 10.6.0 Windows Base" -serverName "Test Server" -deploymentName "RightLink Enabled Test"
  -cloudType "amazon" -Proxy "http://basicuser:basicpass@1.2.3.4:3126" -NoProxy "dontproxy.com"

Installing at Boot and Custom Image

To use a proxy for a RightLink agent installed at boot via cloud-init for Linux or cloud-native agents for Windows you may set tags on your RightScale Server of the form rs_agent:http_proxy=url and rs_agent:http_no_proxy=url list. For example, set these tags on your Server before launch:

  rs_agent:http_proxy=http://basicuser:basicpass@1.2.3.4:3128
  rs_agent:http_no_proxy=example.com,myserver.com

These tags will also work for images with Cloud-init and RightLink pre-installed for Linux or RightLink pre-installed for Windows.

Some additional options exist to optionally proxy username/password from a RightScale Credential so its not exposed as a tag. For a full list of http_proxy related tags see list of rightscale tags.

In a VPC or Private Network

In a network with very limited outbound access, install-at-boot scenarios become a bit more complicated. Bootstrapping relies on cloud-init downloading and running an install script.

  • If a proxy server must be used in the VPC or private network to gain access to the URL containing the rightlink install script, then use the rs_agent:mime_shellscript tag on Linux and rs_agent:powershell_url tag on Windows. Both these tags will add the proxy information from the rs_agent:http_proxy tag into the runtime environment before downloading.
  • It is no longer recommended to use rs_agent:mime_include_url. This tag instructs cloud-init to download and run the script, however it has a couple issues: 1. On GCE it doesn't always work due to a race condition with the network setup and a lack of retries 2. On Linux, Cloud-init by default in not proxy aware (https://bugs.launchpad.net/cloud-init/+bug/1089405?comments=all).

In addition to the above solutions, there are a number of network level solutions to allow outbound access:

  1. Create a rule to allow outbound access to rightlink.rightscale.com for your network.
  2. Create a custom image for Linux or Windows with RightLink 10 pre-installed.
  3. Create a proxy to rightlink.rightscale.com in your private network and have the rs_agent:mime_shellscript or rs_agent:powershell_url tag reference that instead.