For more information about the feature, see Rate limit.

What data gets stored

The rate limiter stores information for limiting requests in the backing database, including the following information. For an example of how to check the data that gets stored, see Review data in Redis.

  • The generated unique key for the request
  • The associated count against the rate limit

The configuration data of the Gloo custom resources are stored by the management server in its backing database.

Backing storage options

Review the following options for setting up backing storage with Redis®* 1 instances.

OptionUse caseBenefitsDrawbacks
Default: Built-in local RedisProof of concept and staging environments in single clusters
  • The Redis instance is deployed for you as part of the default Gloo Mesh Gateway installation
  • Fast read/write speed as the database is local to the management server
  • Updatable via Gloo Platform Helm chart
  • Redis GUI- and CLI-based tools help you monitor data
  • Only as highly available as your cluster setup
  • Has the same disaster recovery as your cluster setup
  • Might not meet your organization’s compliance requirements
Bring your own RedisProduction-level, multicluster environments
  • Enhanced high availability and disaster recovery (HA/DR)
  • Service level agreement (SLA) from your provider
  • Meet your organization’s compliance requirements
  • Redis GUI- and CLI-based tools help you monitor data
  • More complicated setup
  • Not covered by Solo support (contact your external Redis provider)

Shared or separate instances

In Gloo Mesh Gateway, many components use Redis to store data. Several of these components must share the same instance in order to function properly, as follows:

  • Management server, UI, and insights engine (which is also used as part of the OTel pipeline).
  • External auth service and developer portal server.
  • Rate limiter, which is often shared with the external auth service and portal server, but does not have to be.

If you enable the default, Solo-provided, local Redis options, these Redis instances are created separately.

If you bring your own Redis, you can choose to share the Redis instances or not. For internal compliance or security purposes, you might want separate Redis instances for each of these use cases. As such, the following guide assumes a separate deployment, and uses separate secrets. However, you can also share a single external Redis instance and update the names accordingly.

Default local Redis

When you install Gloo Mesh Gateway, a local Redis instance redis is set up in the add-ons namespace of the workload cluster. The rate limiting server automatically reads and writes to this Redis instance.

  1. When you install or upgrade Gloo Mesh Gateway, include the following Helm values to enable the local Redis instance.

      enabled: true
        # Enable the creation of the local Redis deployment and service.
        enabled: true
  2. Optional: Further configure the default Redis deployment values, such as to modify the image pull policy. For more information, check the Helm reference for the redis component.

  3. Verify that data is stored in the local Redis instance.

Bring your own Redis

Instead of using the built-in local Redis instance, you can achieve higher availability, disaster recovery, and enhanced control and security by bringing your own Redis cluster.

When you install Gloo Mesh Gateway, you can choose to use add-ons such as rate limiter, external auth, or portal (for Gloo Mesh Gateway). These add-ons often share the same backing Redis database. Even if you want to use the same Redis database for all of these add-ons, you must configure the Redis details for each add-on separately in the Helm installation. This guide shows how to configure the details for the rate limiter.

Step 1: Choose a Redis provider

You can choose between a local or externally hosted Redis instance.

  • For a local instance: Install the Redis instance in the same cluster as the component that the Redis backs. For example, for the Gloo management server, install the Redis instance in the management cluster. For an add-on, install the Redis instance in the same workload as the rate limiter, external auth service, or portal server.
  • For an external cloud instance: Create an instance outside your cluster environment, such as Redis Enterprise or a cloud provider service like AWS ElastiCache.

Step 2: Configure your Redis instance

To create or use an existing Redis instance, make sure that you can connect to your Redis instance from the Gloo management cluster. These steps can vary by provider, but the following guidelines are common.

  • Local instances: The Gloo management server and Redis instances must be able to communicate. For example, you might deploy them in the same Kubernetes namespace.
  • Cloud instances: Often, you must configure networking settings such as the following:
    • Create the Kubernetes cluster and the Redis instance in the same virtual private network (VPC).
    • Create the Kubernetes cluster and the Redis instance in the same security group.
    • Make sure that the security group allows inbound and outbound connections between the cluster and Redis instance.
    • If the cluster is behind a firewall, you might need to add the public IP address of the Redis cluster to your allowlist.
  • Provider-specific considerations: Continue reading for requirements per Cloud provider.

AWS ElastiCache

When setting up your AWS ElastiCache instance, consider the following deployment options:

  • Use a high availability (HA) setup consisting of at least 1 primary and 1 replica instance.
  • Use non-clustered mode. Cluster mode is currently not supported.
  • Set up multiple availability zones (multi-AZ) with auto-failover enabled.
  • Set the maxmemory-policy directive to noeviction. For more information about eviction policies, see the Redis docs.
  • Use node types with TLS Offloading and Enhanced I/O Multiplexing.
  • Although optional, enabling TLS is recommended.
  • Monitor performance metrics including CPU utilization, memory usage, network throughput, and cache hit ratio.
  • Based on the size of your environment, increase the type of node instances. For more information, see Size and memory system requirements.

Step 3: Get your Gloo environment details

  1. Save the details of your Gloo Mesh Gateway installation, including the Helm chart add-ons release name and namespace. Usually, this add-ons release is the same as for the rest of the product. Sometimes, especially in older versions, you might have a different add-ons release, such as gloo-mesh-addons. In the following example, the release name is gloo-platform and the namespace is gloo-mesh, but you can update your values accordingly.

      export GLOO_MESH_ADDONS_RELEASE_NAME=gloo-platform

    To get the values for your own release, run the following Helm command.

      helm list --all-namespaces
      NAME                 	NAMESPACE       	REVISION	UPDATED                             	STATUS  	CHART
    gloo-platform        	gloo-mesh       	1      	  2023-09-01 13:26:56.061102 -0400 EDT	deployed	gloo-platform-2.3.23
  2. Follow the Upgrade guide to get your Gloo Platform Helm installation configuration file.

Step 4: Set up Redis authentication

Choose how to authenticate with your Redis cluster. Depending on your Redis provider, you might be required to use a specific authentication method, such as TLS certificates or a username and password.


For TLS-encrypted communication with Redis, the steps vary by provider.

  1. Enable TLS encryption for your Redis instance.

    • For local instances, you might create your own certificates such as with openssl or cert-manager to make the public Certificate Authority (CA) certificate, ca.crt. Then, you create a secret with this CA certificate so that the Gloo client can establish trust for the TLS connection to the Redis server instance. Note that server-side credentials for a mutual TLS (mTLS) connection are currently not supported.
    • For cloud instances, the provider often manages the certificates for you. For example, AWS ElastiCache encrypts in-transit communication with their own public CA. Note: Most up-to-date apps include CA certificates that trust the AWS CA by default. However, if after setup, you notice timeouts and SSL_connect failed: certificate verify failed messages in the logs, your app might not have the CA certificates. Depending on your app, you can update the CA certificates such as by logging into the pod and running update-ca-certificates. For an example, see the Bring your own Redis deployment example in the verification guide.
  2. For local instances: Create a Kubernetes secret to store the TLS credentials in the same namespace as the rate limiter. Run the following command from the local directory where your TLS certificates and key were created. Update the filenames of the certificates as necessary. Note: If you do not have certificates, such as if you use a cloud provider like AWS ElastiCache, skip this step.

      kubectl apply -f - <<EOF
    apiVersion: v1
    kind: Secret
    type: Opaque
      name: "redis-certs-rl"
      labels: Helm
      ca.crt: $(cat ca.crt | base64 | tr -d '\n')
  3. Prepare the redis.certs section of the Helm values file that you previously retrieved.

Password authentication

For a username and password auth, complete the following steps.

  1. Enable password auth for your Redis instance.

  2. Save the following values as environment variables.

    • Username: If your Redis instance does not have a username, use default.
    • Password: Note the password string.
      export REDIS_UN=default
    export REDIS_PW=<password>
  3. Create a Kubernetes secret to store the credentials in the same namespace as the management server.

      kubectl apply -f- <<EOF
    apiVersion: v1
    kind: Secret
    type: Opaque
       name: redis-auth-secrets-rl
       labels: Helm
      #If Redis doesn't have an explicit username, specify ‘default’.
      username: "$REDIS_UN"
      password: "$REDIS_PW"
  4. Prepare the redis.auth section of the Helm values file that you previously retrieved.

          # Enable authentication for Redis with the username and password in the referenced secret.
          enabled: true
          # The name of the secret in the same namespace as the add-ons.
          secretName: redis-auth-secrets-rl
          # The key name in the data section of the Kubernetes secret
          # that has the password.
          passwordKey: password
          # The key name in the data section of the Kubernetes secret
          # that has the username.
          usernameKey: username

Step 5: Configure other Redis settings

Complete the redis section of your Helm values file. For more settings, see the Helm reference.

  1. To use your own Redis instance, disable the default Solo-provided Redis.

        # The default deployment of Redis for the add-on.
        # Set to false to bring your own Redis instance.
        enabled: false
  2. Include the address to use to connect to your Redis cluster.

    • For local instances, this value is typically the Kubernetes service name that the management server can access, such as gloo-mesh-redis.gloo-mesh.
    • For a cloud instance, this value is typically the primary endpoint, such as for AWS ElastiCache or for Google Cloud Memorystore.
    • You can omit the port, which defaults to 6379.
        # Provide the host to your external Redis database, such as AWS ElastiCache or Google Cloud Memorystore.
        # Note that this field does not require the port, which defaults to 6379.
    	   hostname: ""
  3. Optionally override the index to connect to a specific database in the Redis cluster.

          # Database in the Redis cluster to connect to.
          db: 0

Step 6: Upgrade the Helm installation

Continue with the Upgrade guide to reinstall Gloo Mesh Gateway with your own Redis instance. Include the Helm values file that you prepared in the previous steps.

The following example Helm values file shows a simple installation with the Redis section filled out for an AWS ElastiCache instance for the rate limiter.

  enabled: true
    # Disable the default local Redis instance.
    enabled: false
    # Provide the host to your external Redis database, such as AWS ElastiCache or Google Cloud Memorystore.
    # Note that this field does not require the port, which defaults to 6379.
	hostname: ""
    # Optionally set to true if your Redis instance runs in clustered mode.
    clustered: false
    # Optionally enable authentication for Redis with the username and password in the referenced secret.
    # The 'secretName', 'passwordKey', and 'usernameKey' are set to the default values,
    # which you must update if you changed these in your secret.
      enabled: true
      secretName: redis-auth-secrets-rl
      passwordKey: password
      usernameKey: username
    # Setting certs to false because you don't have your own certs to use for the TLS connection.
      enabled: false
    # Configure the Redis service to use a TLS connection with the TLS certs that you provide.
      socket: tls

Verify the connection

Before you begin verifying the connection, populate the Redis instance with data. For example, you can follow the Basic rate limit policy guide to send responses. In Redis, you can use the monitor command to notice as the counters increase towards the rate limit.

To review the data that is stored in Redis, you can connect to the local Redis instance. If you bring your own Redis, you must use those connection values. For more information, see your Redis provider docs, such as Amazon ElastiCache or Google Cloud Memorystore.

Choose between using the Redis CLI or RedisInsights.

Redis CLI

You can use the Redis CLI that is built into your deployment to review the data in your database.

  1. Install Redis in your cluster so that you can use the redis-cli to connect to your Redis instance.

  2. From your terminal, log in to the Redis pod and open a Redis CLI shell.

  3. Run Redis CLI commands, such as monitor or keys. For more information, see the Redis docs.

    Example response of data populated by the management server:

      keys *
    1) "$CLUSTER_NAME~apps~v1~Deployment"
    2) "reports#$CLUSTER_NAME#httpbin#$CLUSTER_NAME"
    3) "$"
    4) "reports#$CLUSTER_NAME#gloo-mesh#globalcccfde00-e4a9-4867-b6c0-5df8601f6e1e"
    5) "$"
    6) "reports#idx"
    7) "reports#$CLUSTER_NAME#store#$CLUSTER_NAME"
    8) "gloo.mesh.key.set"

    Example response of rate limit counters:

    1681223733.198361 [0] "INCRBY" "tree||generic_key^gloo-mesh.rl-server-config-gloo-mesh-$CLUSTER_NAME-rate-limiter|generic_key^counter|1718236800" "1"

    Example response of API keys for the external auth service and portal server add-ons. Note that the API key name and value are hashed based on the apiKeyStorage.secretKey that you configured when setting up the add-ons.

      keys *
    1) "1bbe3f25-5a2a-4797-8ac0-d59c7480377a"
    2) "abcmHk2Iwcy3VL+NNswyrs3B4YIEx39BG84jzwcoWB8="
    get "1bbe3f25-5a2a-4797-8ac0-d59c7480377a"
    get "abcmHk2Iwcy3VL+NNswyrs3B4YIEx39BG84jzwcoWB8="


RedisInsights is a desktop application that you can install for UI- and CLI-based interactions. For more information, see the Redis docs.

  1. Install RedisInsights. The steps vary depending on where you want to install the app.
  2. Enable port forwarding on the Redis deployment. Update the namespace and deployment to match the Redis instance in your cluster.
      kubectl port-forward -n gloo-mesh deploy/gloo-mesh-redis 6379
  3. Launch the RedisInsights app.
  4. Click + Add Redis Database and enter in your localhost and port details, which by default are
  5. Click the database that you just added.
  6. Use the UI or CLI to explore the data. For example, you can click the Browser tab (the key icon) and toggle the Key view to explore all of the keys in the database instance, as shown in the following screenshot.
RedisInsights view of all keys in the database

  1. * Redis is a registered trademark of Redis Ltd. Any rights therein are reserved to Redis Ltd. Any use by, Inc. is for referential purposes only and does not indicate any sponsorship, endorsement or affiliation between Redis and ↩︎