[tor-dev] [Question to sysadmins and HS operators:] How should Hidden Services scale?

George Kadianakis desnacked at riseup.net
Sat Dec 21 18:51:49 UTC 2013

Forwarding Andrew's message here, since it was accidentally not sent to
the list:

Andrew said:

> On Fri, Dec 20, 2013 at 03:08:01AM -0800, desnacked at riseup.net wrote
1.7K bytes in 0
> lines about:
> : For this reason we started wondering whether DNS-round-robin-like
> : scalability is actually worth such trouble. AFAIK most big websites
> : use DNS round-robin, but is it necessary? What about application-layer
> : solutions like HAProxy? Do application-layer load balancing solutions
> : exist for other (stateful) protocols (IRC, XMPP, etc.)?
> In my experience in running large websites and services, we didn't use
> DNS round-robin. If large sites do it themselves, versus outsourcing it
> to a content delivery network, they look into anycast, geoip-based proxy
> servers, or load balancing proxy servers (3DNS/BigIP, NetScalar, etc)
> DNS round-robin is for smaller websites which want to simply spread the
> load across redundant servers--this is what tor does now.
> If scaling hidden services is going to be a large challenge and consume
> a lot of time, it sounds like making HS work more reliably and with
> stronger crypto is a better return on effort. The simple answer for
> scaling has been to copy around the private/public keys and host the
> same HS descriptors on multiple machines. I'm not sure we have seen a
> popular enough hidden service to warrant the need for massive scaling now.
> Maybe changing HAProxy to support .onion links is a fine option too.

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