NAMEanvil - Postfix session count and request rate control
SYNOPSISanvil [generic Postfix daemon options]
DESCRIPTIONThe 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 CONTROLTo 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 CONTROLTo 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 CONTROLTo 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 CONTROLThe 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
SECURITYThe 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.
DIAGNOSTICSProblems 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.
BUGSSystems 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 PARAMETERSOn 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 ALSOsmtpd(8), Postfix SMTP server postconf(5), configuration parameters master(5), generic daemon options
README FILESUse "postconf readme_directory" or "postconf html_directory" to locate this information. TUNING_README, performance tuning
LICENSEThe Secure Mailer license must be distributed with this software.
HISTORYThe 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 ANVIL(8)