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Version: 13.x (Current)

Envoy Use Case: Timeouts

Envoy provides many different options to manage the timeouts of your application, both at HTTP connection manager and route level:

  • HTTP connection manager (stream timeouts):
    • request_timeout
    • request_headers_timeout
    • stream_idle_timeout
    • max_stream_duration
  • Route timeouts:
    • timeout
    • idle_timeout
    • per_try_timeout
    • per_try_idle_timeout

In our Envoy API Gateway configuration, the request timeout is handled via the stream_idle_timeout and the idle_timeout properties, since we need to deal with streaming responses. Therefore, in this guide we will focus on how to configure these fields. If you want to know more about the other timeouts listed above, you are encouraged to visit the official Envoy documentation on this matter.

To prioritize the afore-mentioned properties, the request_timeout and route timeout have been disabled by default. On the other hand, request_headers_timeout is set to 30 seconds.

Change the listener's stream_idle_timeout

The stream_idle_timeout of our Envoy API Gateway defaults to 60 seconds. To change this value, you can use the extension to patch arbitrary listeners properties. The following example sets this timeout to 5 minutes for the frontend listener:

- listener_name: frontend
'filter_chains.0.filters.0.typed_config.stream_idle_timeout': '300s'

Change the route's idle_timeout

The idle_timeout property overwrites the stream_idle_timeout defined at the HTTP connection manager level. As a consequence, you can customize your stream timeout per route without touching the global settings.

To tune this timeout for a route, you will need to add the endpoint via extension, as illustrated here. Let's assume you want to increase to 2 minutes the timeout of a specific frontend route. The endpoint extension will look as follows:

- listener_name: frontend
- name: ':method'
google_re2: {}
regex: ^(GET)$
prefix: /endpoint/route/
timeout: 0s
idle_timeout: 120s
prefix_rewrite: /route/
cluster: my-upstream

By setting timeout to 0s, we are disabling the default request timeout of the route (which would be equal to 15 seconds if left unset). Then, through the idle_timeout property, we are overwriting the stream_idle_timeout for this route and increasing it to 120 seconds.


Similarly to the timeout property, if you want to disable the stream_idle_timeout for a specific route, you can set the corresponding idle_timeout to 0s.