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ANVIL

Section: Maintenance Commands (8)
Index Return to Main Contents
 

NAME

anvil - Postfix session count and request rate control  

SYNOPSIS

anvil [generic Postfix daemon options]
 

DESCRIPTION

The Postfix anvil(8) server maintains statistics about client connection counts or client request rates. This information can be used to defend against clients that hammer a server with either too many simultaneous sessions, or with too many successive requests within a configurable time interval. This server is designed to run under control by the Postfix master(8) server.

In the following text, ident specifies a (service, client) combination. The exact syntax of that information is application-dependent; the anvil(8) server does not care.  

CONNECTION COUNT/RATE CONTROL



To register a new connection send the following request to
the anvil(8) server:

    request=connect
    ident=string

The anvil(8) server answers with the number of simultaneous connections and the number of connections per unit time for the (service, client) combination specified with ident:

    status=0
    count=number
    rate=number

To register a disconnect event send the following request to the anvil(8) server:

    request=disconnect
    ident=string

The anvil(8) server replies with:

    status=0
 

MESSAGE RATE CONTROL



To register a message delivery request send the following
request to the anvil(8) server:

    request=message
    ident=string

The anvil(8) server answers with the number of message delivery requests per unit time for the (service, client) combination specified with ident:

    status=0
    rate=number
 

RECIPIENT RATE CONTROL



To register a recipient request send the following request
to the anvil(8) server:

    request=recipient
    ident=string

The anvil(8) server answers with the number of recipient addresses per unit time for the (service, client) combination specified with ident:

    status=0
    rate=number
 

TLS SESSION NEGOTIATION RATE CONTROL



The features described in this section are available with
Postfix 2.3 and later.

To register a request for a new (i.e. not cached) TLS session send the following request to the anvil(8) server:

    request=newtls
    ident=string

The anvil(8) server answers with the number of new TLS session requests per unit time for the (service, client) combination specified with ident:

    status=0
    rate=number

To retrieve new TLS session request rate information without updating the counter information, send:

    request=newtls_report
    ident=string

The anvil(8) server answers with the number of new TLS session requests per unit time for the (service, client) combination specified with ident:

    status=0
    rate=number
 

SECURITY



The anvil(8) server does not talk to the network or to local
users, and can run chrooted at fixed low privilege.

The anvil(8) server maintains an in-memory table with information about recent clients requests. No persistent state is kept because standard system library routines are not sufficiently robust for update-intensive applications.

Although the in-memory state is kept only temporarily, this may require a lot of memory on systems that handle connections from many remote clients. To reduce memory usage, reduce the time unit over which state is kept.  

DIAGNOSTICS

Problems and transactions are logged to syslogd(8).

Upon exit, and every anvil_status_update_time seconds, the server logs the maximal count and rate values measured, together with (service, client) information and the time of day associated with those events. In order to avoid unnecessary overhead, no measurements are done for activity that isn't concurrency limited or rate limited.  

BUGS

Systems behind network address translating routers or proxies appear to have the same client address and can run into connection count and/or rate limits falsely.

In this preliminary implementation, a count (or rate) limited server process can have only one remote client at a time. If a server process reports multiple simultaneous clients, state is kept only for the last reported client.

The anvil(8) server automatically discards client request information after it expires. To prevent the anvil(8) server from discarding client request rate information too early or too late, a rate limited service should always register connect/disconnect events even when it does not explicitly limit them.  

CONFIGURATION PARAMETERS



On low-traffic mail systems, changes to main.cf are
picked up automatically as anvil(8) processes run for
only a limited amount of time. On other mail systems, use
the command "postfix reload" to speed up a change.

The text below provides only a parameter summary. See postconf(5) for more details including examples.

anvil_rate_time_unit (60s)
The time unit over which client connection rates and other rates are calculated.
anvil_status_update_time (600s)
How frequently the anvil(8) connection and rate limiting server logs peak usage information.
config_directory (see 'postconf -d' output)
The default location of the Postfix main.cf and master.cf configuration files.
daemon_timeout (18000s)
How much time a Postfix daemon process may take to handle a request before it is terminated by a built-in watchdog timer.
ipc_timeout (3600s)
The time limit for sending or receiving information over an internal communication channel.
max_idle (100s)
The maximum amount of time that an idle Postfix daemon process waits for an incoming connection before terminating voluntarily.
max_use (100)
The maximal number of incoming connections that a Postfix daemon process will service before terminating voluntarily.
process_id (read-only)
The process ID of a Postfix command or daemon process.
process_name (read-only)
The process name of a Postfix command or daemon process.
syslog_facility (mail)
The syslog facility of Postfix logging.
syslog_name (see 'postconf -d' output)
The mail system name that is prepended to the process name in syslog records, so that "smtpd" becomes, for example, "postfix/smtpd".
 

SEE ALSO

smtpd(8), Postfix SMTP server
postconf(5), configuration parameters
master(5), generic daemon options
 

README FILES



Use "postconf readme_directory" or
"postconf html_directory" to locate this information.

TUNING_README, performance tuning
 

LICENSE



The Secure Mailer license must be distributed with this software.
 

HISTORY



The anvil service is available in Postfix 2.2 and later.
 

AUTHOR(S)

Wietse Venema
IBM T.J. Watson Research
P.O. Box 704
Yorktown Heights, NY 10598, USA


 

Index

NAME
SYNOPSIS
DESCRIPTION
CONNECTION COUNT/RATE CONTROL
MESSAGE RATE CONTROL
RECIPIENT RATE CONTROL
TLS SESSION NEGOTIATION RATE CONTROL
SECURITY
DIAGNOSTICS
BUGS
CONFIGURATION PARAMETERS
SEE ALSO
README FILES
LICENSE
HISTORY
AUTHOR(S)


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