Permissive Traffic Policy Mode

Permissive traffic policy mode in OSM is a mode where SMI traffic policy enforcement is bypassed. In this mode, OSM automatically discovers services that are a part of the service mesh and programs traffic policy rules on each Envoy proxy sidecar to be able to communicate with these services.

When to use permissive traffic policy mode

Since permissive traffic policy mode bypasses SMI traffic policy enforcement, it is suitable for use when connectivity between applications within the service mesh should flow as before the applications were enrolled into the mesh. This mode is suitable in environments where explicitly defining traffic policies for connectivity between applications is not feasible.

A common use case to enable permissive traffic policy mode is to support gradual onboarding of applications into the mesh without breaking application connectivity. Traffic routing between application services is automatically set up by OSM controller through service discovery. Wildcard traffic policies are set up on each Envoy proxy sidecar to allow traffic flow to services within the mesh.

The alternative to permissive traffic policy mode is SMI traffic policy mode, where traffic between applications is denied by default and explicit SMI traffic policies are necessary to allow application connectivity. When policy enforcement is necessary, SMI traffic policy mode must be used instead.

Configuring permissive traffic policy mode

Permissive traffic policy mode can be enabled or disabled at the time of OSM install, or after OSM has been installed.

Enabling permissive traffic policy mode

Enabling permissive traffic policy mode implicitly disables SMI traffic policy mode.

During OSM install:

osm install --enable-permissive-traffic-policy=true

After OSM has been installed:

osm mesh upgrade --enable-permissive-traffic-policy=true

Disabling permissive traffic policy mode

Disabling permissive traffic policy mode implicitly enables SMI traffic policy mode.

During OSM install:

osm install --enable-permissive-traffic-policy=false

After OSM has been installed:

osm mesh upgrade --enable-permissive-traffic-policy=false

How it works

When permissive traffic policy mode is enabled, OSM controller discovers all services that are a part of the mesh and programs wildcard traffic routing rules on each Envoy proxy sidecar to reach every other service in the mesh. Additionally, each proxy fronting workloads that are associated with a service is configured to accept all traffic destined to the service. Depending on the application protocol of the service (HTTP, TCP, gRPC etc.), appropriate traffic routing rules are configured on the Envoy sidecar to allow all traffic for that particular type.

Sample demo

HTTP traffic in permissive mode

The following demo shows an HTTP curl client making HTTP requests to the httpbin service using permissive traffic policy mode.

  1. Install OSM with permissive traffic policy mode enabled.

    osm install --enable-permissive-traffic-policy=true
    
  2. Deploy the httpbin service into the httpbin namespace after enrolling its namespace to the mesh. The httpbin service runs on port 14001.

    # Create the httpbin namespace
    kubectl create namespace httpbin
    
    # Add the namespace to the mesh
    osm namespace add httpbin
    
    # Deploy httpbin service in the httpbin namespace
    kubectl apply -f docs/example/manifests/samples/httpbin/httpbin.yaml -n httpbin
    

    Confirm the httpbin service and pods are up and running.

    $ kubectl get svc -n httpbin
    NAME      TYPE        CLUSTER-IP     EXTERNAL-IP   PORT(S)     AGE
    httpbin   ClusterIP   10.96.198.23   <none>        14001/TCP   20s
    
    $ kubectl get pods -n httpbin
    NAME                     READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
    httpbin-5b8b94b9-lt2vs   2/2     Running   0          20s
    
  3. Deploy the curl client into the curl namespace after enrolling its namespace to the mesh.

    # Create the curl namespace
    kubectl create namespace curl
    
    # Add the namespace to the mesh
    osm namespace add curl
    
    # Deploy curl client in the curl namespace
    kubectl apply -f docs/example/manifests/samples/curl/curl.yaml -n curl
    

    Confirm the curl client pod is up and running.

    $ kubectl get pods -n curl
    NAME                    READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
    curl-54ccc6954c-9rlvp   2/2     Running   0          20s
    
  4. Confirm the curl client is able to access the httpbin service on port 14001.

    $ kubectl exec -n curl -ti "$(kubectl get pod -n curl -l app=curl -o jsonpath='{.items[0].metadata.name}')" -c curl -- curl -I http://httpbin.httpbin:14001
    HTTP/1.1 200 OK
    server: envoy
    date: Mon, 15 Mar 2021 22:45:23 GMT
    content-type: text/html; charset=utf-8
    content-length: 9593
    access-control-allow-origin: *
    access-control-allow-credentials: true
    x-envoy-upstream-service-time: 2
    

    A 200 OK response indicates the HTTP request from the curl client to the httpbin service was successful.

  5. Confirm the HTTP requests fail when permissive traffic policy mode is disabled.

    # Assumes OSM is installed in the osm-system namespace
    kubectl patch ConfigMap osm-config -n osm-system -p '{"data":{"permissive_traffic_policy_mode":"false"}}' --type=merge
    
    $ kubectl exec -n curl -ti "$(kubectl get pod -n curl -l app=curl -o jsonpath='{.items[0].metadata.name}')" -c curl -- curl -I http://httpbin.httpbin:14001
    curl: (7) Failed to connect to httpbin.httpbin port 14001: Connection refused
    command terminated with exit code 7
    

Envoy configurations

In permissive mode, OSM controller programs wildcard routes for client applications to communicate with services. Following are the envoy inbound and outbound filter and route configuration snippets from the curl and httpbin sidecar proxies.

  1. Outbound Envoy configuration on the curl client pod:

    Outbound HTTP filter chain corresponding to the httpbin service:

    {
     "name": "outbound-mesh-http-filter-chain:httpbin/httpbin",
     "filter_chain_match": {
      "prefix_ranges": [
       {
        "address_prefix": "10.96.198.23",
        "prefix_len": 32
       }
      ],
      "destination_port": 14001
     },
     "filters": [
      {
       "name": "envoy.filters.network.http_connection_manager",
       "typed_config": {
        "@type": "type.googleapis.com/envoy.extensions.filters.network.http_connection_man
    HttpConnectionManager",
        "stat_prefix": "http",
        "rds": {
         "config_source": {
          "ads": {},
          "resource_api_version": "V3"
         },
         "route_config_name": "rds-outbound"
        },
        "http_filters": [
         {
          "name": "envoy.filters.http.rbac"
         },
         {
          "name": "envoy.filters.http.router"
         }
        ],
        ...
       }
      }
     ]
    }
    

    Outbound route configuration:

    "route_config": {
      "@type": "type.googleapis.com/envoy.config.route.v3.RouteConfiguration",
      "name": "rds-outbound",
      "virtual_hosts": [
       {
        "name": "outbound_virtual-host|httpbin.httpbin",
        "domains": [
         "httpbin.httpbin",
         "httpbin.httpbin.svc",
         "httpbin.httpbin.svc.cluster",
         "httpbin.httpbin.svc.cluster.local",
         "httpbin.httpbin:14001",
         "httpbin.httpbin.svc:14001",
         "httpbin.httpbin.svc.cluster:14001",
         "httpbin.httpbin.svc.cluster.local:14001"
        ],
        "routes": [
         {
          "match": {
           "headers": [
            {
             "name": ":method",
             "safe_regex_match": {
              "google_re2": {},
              "regex": ".*"
             }
            }
           ],
           "safe_regex": {
            "google_re2": {},
            "regex": ".*"
           }
          },
          "route": {
           "weighted_clusters": {
            "clusters": [
             {
              "name": "httpbin/httpbin",
              "weight": 100
             }
            ],
            "total_weight": 100
           }
          }
         }
        ]
       }
      ]
    }
    
  2. Inbound Envoy configuration on the httpbin service pod:

    Inbound HTTP filter chain corresponding to the httpbin service:

    {
     "name": "inbound-mesh-http-filter-chain:httpbin/httpbin:80",
     "filter_chain_match": {
      "destination_port": 80,
      "transport_protocol": "tls",
      "application_protocols": [
       "osm"
      ],
      "server_names": [
       "httpbin.httpbin.svc.cluster.local"
      ]
     },
     "filters": [
      {
       "name": "envoy.filters.network.http_connection_manager",
       "typed_config": {
        "@type": "type.googleapis.com/envoy.extensions.filters.network.http_connection_manager.v3.HttpConnectionManager",
        "stat_prefix": "http",
        "rds": {
         "config_source": {
          "ads": {},
          "resource_api_version": "V3"
         },
         "route_config_name": "rds-inbound"
        },
        "http_filters": [
         {
          "name": "envoy.filters.http.rbac"
         },
         {
          "name": "envoy.filters.http.router"
         }
        ]
       }
      }
     ],
     "transport_socket": {
      ...
     }
    }
    

    Inbound route configuration:

    "route_config": {
      "@type": "type.googleapis.com/envoy.config.route.v3.RouteConfiguration",
      "name": "rds-inbound",
      "virtual_hosts": [
       {
        "name": "inbound_virtual-host|httpbin.httpbin",
        "domains": [
         "httpbin",
         "httpbin.httpbin",
         "httpbin.httpbin.svc",
         "httpbin.httpbin.svc.cluster",
         "httpbin.httpbin.svc.cluster.local",
         "httpbin:14001",
         "httpbin.httpbin:14001",
         "httpbin.httpbin.svc:14001",
         "httpbin.httpbin.svc.cluster:14001",
         "httpbin.httpbin.svc.cluster.local:14001"
        ],
        "routes": [
         {
          "match": {
           "headers": [
            {
             "name": ":method",
             "safe_regex_match": {
              "google_re2": {},
              "regex": ".*"
             }
            }
           ],
           "safe_regex": {
            "google_re2": {},
            "regex": ".*"
           }
          },
          "route": {
           "weighted_clusters": {
            "clusters": [
             {
              "name": "httpbin/httpbin-local",
              "weight": 100
             }
            ],
            "total_weight": 100
           }
          },
          "typed_per_filter_config": {
           "envoy.filters.http.rbac": {
            ...
           }
          }
         }
        ]
       }
      ],
      "validate_clusters": false
    }