HTTP Edge Server Specification

This document specifies the behavior of the server that accepts submissions from any HTTP client e.g. Firefox telemetry.

The original implementation of the HTTP Edge Server was tracked in Bug 1129222.

General Data Flow

HTTP submissions come in from the wild, hit a load balancer, then the HTTP Edge Server described in this document. Data is accepted via a POST/PUT request from clients, and forwarded to the Data Pipeline, where any further processing, analysis, and storage will be handled.

Submission payloads are expected to be optionally-gzipped JSON documents described by a JSONSchema.

Server Request/Response

GET Request

Accept GET on /status, returning OK if all is well. This can be used to check the health of web servers.

GET Response codes

  • 200 - OK. /status and all's well
  • 404 - Any GET other than /status
  • 500 - All is not well

POST/PUT Request

Treat POST and PUT the same. Accept POST or PUT to URLs of the form:

/submit/<namespace>/<docType>/<docVersion>/<docId>

A specific example submission URL looks like:

/submit/eng-workflow/hgpush/1/2c3a0767-d84a-4d02-8a92-fa54a3376049

With the following components:

  • namespace - an identifier used for grouping a set of related document types. Typically this represents an application that produces data.
  • docType - a short descriptive name of the document type. Examples include event, crash, or baseline
  • docVersion - a numeric value indicating the version of the schema for this docType
  • docId - a UUID identifying the exact submission. If the same docId is seen more than once, it will be discarded as a duplicate.

The combination of namespace, docType and docVersion together identify a specific schema to be used for validating submissions to the above endpoint.

If a schema is not present in the [schemas repository] corresponding to this combination, the submission will be considered an error and will not proceed to the data lake.

Special handling for Firefox Desktop Telemetry

Firefox Desktop Telemetry uses a slightly different URL scheme:

/submit/telemetry/docId/docType/appName/appVersion/appUpdateChannel/appBuildID

A specific example:

/submit/telemetry/ce39b608-f595-4c69-b6a6-f7a436604648/main/Firefox/61.0a1/nightly/20180328030202

Here the namespace is fixed as "telemetry", and there is no docVersion in the URL. This means that incoming JSON documents must be parsed to determine the schema version to apply for validation. This logic is part of the downstream [decoder] job.

POST/PUT Response codes

  • 200 - OK. Request accepted into the pipeline.
  • 400 - Bad request, for example an un-encoded space in the URL.
  • 404 - not found - POST/PUT to an unknown namespace
  • 405 - wrong request type (anything other than POST/PUT)
  • 411 - missing content-length header
  • 413 - request body too large (Note that if we have badly-behaved clients that retry on 4XX, we may opt to send back 202 on body/path too long).
  • 414 - request path too long (See above)
  • 500 - internal error

Supported HTTP Headers

The following headers will be passed through the pipeline and made available as metadata.

  • Date - The client-supplied timestamp of the incoming request. Used for computing client clock skew.
  • DNT - The "Do Not Track" header.
  • X-PingSender-Version - The version of Pingsender used to send this ping (if applicable).
  • X-Debug-ID - An optional tag used to make data available to the [Glean Debug View].

Other Considerations

Compression

Compression of submission payloads is optional but recommended.

The supported compression scheme is gzip.

We do not decompress or validate the content of submissions at the edge, the server will reply with a success code even if a message is badly formed.

Badly formed data is still accepted and made available for monitoring, recovery, analysis, and analysis purposes.

Bad Messages

Since the actual message is not examined by the edge server the only failures that occur are defined by the response status codes above. Messages are only forwarded to the pipeline when a response code of 200 is returned to the client.

GeoIP Lookups

No GeoIP lookup is performed by the edge server. If a client IP is available the the decoder performs the lookup and then discards the IP before the message hits long-term storage.

Data Retention

The edge server only stores data while waiting for it to be accepted to PubSub, spilling to local disk in the case of a PubSub outage.

This means that in the normal case, data is not retained on the edge at all. In the case of errors writing to PubSub, data is retained until the service is restored and messages can be flushed to the queue. Based on past outages, this is typically a few hours or less.