Tag Archives: Product News

New Consent and Bot Management features for Cloudflare Zaraz

Post Syndicated from Yo'av Moshe original https://blog.cloudflare.com/new-consent-and-bot-management-features-for-cloudflare-zaraz


Managing consent online can be challenging. After you’ve figured out the necessary regulations, you usually need to configure some Consent Management Platform (CMP) to load all third-party tools and scripts on your website in a way that respects these demands. Cloudflare Zaraz manages the loading of all of these third-party tools, so it was only natural that in April 2023 we announced the Cloudflare Zaraz CMP: the simplest way to manage consent in a way that seamlessly integrates with your third-party tools manager.

As more and more third-party tool vendors are required to handle consent properly, our CMP has evolved to integrate with these new technologies and standardization efforts. Today, we’re happy to announce that the Cloudflare Zaraz CMP is now compatible with the Interactive Advertising Bureau Transparency and Consent Framework (IAB TCF) requirements, and fully supports Google’s Consent Mode v2 signals. Separately, we’ve taken efforts to improve the way Cloudflare Zaraz handles traffic coming from online bots.

IAB TCF Compatibility

Earlier this year, Google announced that websites that would like to use AdSense and other advertising solutions in the European Economic Area (EEA), the UK, and Switzerland, will be required to use a CMP that is approved by IAB Europe, an association for digital marketing and advertising. Their Transparency and Consent Framework sets guidelines for how CMPs should operate. Since March 2024, the Cloudflare Zaraz CMP is compliant with these guidelines, and Zaraz users in Europe can use Google’s advertising products without any restrictions.

Since the IAB TCF requirements can make the consent modal a little complex for users, we have made this compliance mode an opt-in feature. See the official documentation for information on how to enable it.

Google Consent Mode v2

Another new requirement from Google was the need to send “Consent Signals”. These signals are part of what is also known as “Consent Mode”, and later, Consent Mode v2. Together with each event sent to Google Analytics and Google Ads, they tell the Google servers about the consent status of the current visitor – did they agree to have their data used for personalized advertising? Did they accept cookies? These and other questions are answered by Consent Mode v2, telling the Google servers how to treat the data it receives.

Consent Mode v2 usually requires setting two values for each consent category – a default value and an updated one. The default value represents the consent status (granted or denied) a certain category (e.g. using cookies) has before the user has submitted their personal preferences. Usually, and especially within the EU, the default value would be `denied`. Once the user submits their preferences, Consent Mode v2 sends an additional “updated” value that represents the choice the user made.

Implementing Consent Mode v2 is quick and easy with Cloudflare Zaraz, although the specific implementation depends on your CMP. Examples, including integration with the Cloudflare Zaraz CMP, are available in our official documentation.

We believe that better standardization around online consent benefits everyone, and we are glad to be working on tools that respect users’ privacy and improve online user experience.

Bot Management

We also recently integrated better Bot Management support within Cloudflare Zaraz. You often want crawlers to be able to access your website, but you don’t want them to trigger your analytics and conversion pixels. Using the Bot Management feature in the Cloudflare Zaraz Settings page allows you to fine tune which requests will make it to Cloudflare Zaraz and which ones will be skipped. Since Zaraz pricing is based on the total number of Zaraz Events, this can also be useful if you want more control over your Cloudflare Zaraz costs, ensuring you will not be paying for events triggered by bots. Like all other Cloudflare Zaraz features, these new features are also available to users on all plans, including the free plan. For us, it is part of making sure that everyone can benefit from a faster, safer, and more private way to manage third parties online. If you haven’t started using Cloudflare Zaraz already, now is a great time. Go to the Cloudflare dashboard and set it up in just a few clicks.

Meta Llama 3 available on Cloudflare Workers AI

Post Syndicated from Michelle Chen original https://blog.cloudflare.com/meta-llama-3-available-on-cloudflare-workers-ai


Workers AI

Workers AI’s initial launch in beta included support for Llama 2, as it was one of the most requested open source models from the developer community. Since that initial launch, we’ve seen developers build all kinds of innovative applications including knowledge sharing chatbots, creative content generation, and automation for various workflows.  

At Cloudflare, we know developers want simplicity and flexibility, with the ability to build with multiple AI models while optimizing for accuracy, performance, and cost, among other factors. Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for developers to use their models of choice without having to worry about the complexities of hosting or deploying models.

As soon as we learned about the development of Llama 3 from our partners at Meta, we knew developers would want to start building with it as quickly as possible. Workers AI’s serverless inference platform makes it extremely easy and cost effective to start using the latest large language models (LLMs). Meta’s commitment to developing and growing an open AI-ecosystem makes it possible for customers of all sizes to use AI at scale in production. All it takes is a few lines of code to run inference to Llama 3:

export interface Env {
  // If you set another name in wrangler.toml as the value for 'binding',
  // replace "AI" with the variable name you defined.
  AI: any;
}

export default {
  async fetch(request: Request, env: Env) {
    const response = await env.AI.run('@cf/meta/llama-3-8b-instruct', {
        messages: [
{role: "user", content: "What is the origin of the phrase Hello, World?"}
	 ]
      }
    );

    return new Response(JSON.stringify(response));
  },
};

Built with Meta Llama 3

Llama 3 offers leading performance on a wide range of industry benchmarks. You can learn more about the architecture and improvements on Meta’s blog post. Cloudflare Workers AI supports Llama 3 8B, including the instruction fine-tuned model.

Meta’s testing shows that Llama 3 is the most advanced open LLM today on evaluation benchmarks such as MMLU, GPQA, HumanEval, GSM-8K, and MATH. Llama 3 was trained on an increased number of training tokens (15T), allowing the model to have a better grasp on language intricacies. Larger context windows doubles the capacity of Llama 2, and allows the model to better understand lengthy passages with rich contextual data. Although the model supports a context window of 8k, we currently only support 2.8k but are looking to support 8k context windows through quantized models soon. As well, the new model introduces an efficient new tiktoken-based tokenizer with a vocabulary of 128k tokens, encoding more characters per token, and achieving better performance on English and multilingual benchmarks. This means that there are 4 times as many parameters in the embedding and output layers, making the model larger than the previous Llama 2 generation of models.

Under the hood, Llama 3 uses grouped-query attention (GQA), which improves inference efficiency for longer sequences and also renders their 8B model architecturally equivalent to Mistral-7B. For tokenization, it uses byte-level byte-pair encoding (BPE), similar to OpenAI’s GPT tokenizers. This allows tokens to represent any arbitrary byte sequence — even those without a valid utf-8 encoding. This makes the end-to-end model much more flexible in its representation of language, and leads to improved performance.

Along with the base Llama 3 models, Meta has released a suite of offerings with tools such as Llama Guard 2, Code Shield, and CyberSec Eval 2, which we are hoping to release on our Workers AI platform shortly.

Try it out now

Meta Llama 3 8B is available in the Workers AI Model Catalog today! Check out the documentation here and as always if you want to share your experiences or learn more, join us in the Developer Discord.

Improving authoritative DNS with the official release of Foundation DNS

Post Syndicated from Hannes Gerhart original https://blog.cloudflare.com/foundation-dns-launch


We are very excited to announce the official release of Foundation DNS, with new advanced nameservers, even more resilience, and advanced analytics to meet the complex requirements of our enterprise customers. Foundation DNS is one of Cloudflare’s largest leaps forward in our authoritative DNS offering since its launch in 2010, and we know our customers are interested in an enterprise-ready authoritative DNS service with the highest level of performance, reliability, security, flexibility, and advanced analytics.

Starting today, every new enterprise contract that includes authoritative DNS will have access to the Foundation DNS feature set and existing enterprise customers will have Foundation DNS features made available to them over the course of this year. If you are an existing enterprise customer already using our authoritative DNS services, and you’re interested in getting your hands on Foundation DNS earlier, just reach out to your account team, and they can enable it for you. Let’s get started…

Why is DNS so important?

From an end user perspective, DNS makes the Internet usable. DNS is the phone book of the Internet which translates hostnames like www.cloudflare.com into IP addresses that our browsers, applications, and devices use to connect to services. Without DNS, users would have to remember IP addresses like 108.162.193.147 or 2606:4700:58::adf5:3b93 every time they wanted to visit a website on their mobile device or desktop – imagine having to remember something like that instead of just www.cloudflare.com. DNS is used in every end user application on the Internet, from social media to banking to healthcare portals. People’s usage of the Internet is entirely reliant on DNS.

From a business perspective, DNS is the very first step in reaching websites and connecting to applications. Devices need to know where to connect in order to reach services, authenticate users, and provide the information being requested. Resolving DNS queries quickly can be the difference between a website or application being perceived as responsive or not and can have a real impact on user experience.

When DNS outages occur, the impacts are obvious. Imagine your go-to ecommerce site not loading, just like what happened with the outage Dyn experienced in 2016, which took down multiple popular ecommerce sites among others. Or, if you are part of a company, and customers aren’t able to reach your website to purchase the goods or services you are selling, a DNS outage will literally lose you money. DNS is often taken for granted, but make no mistake, you’ll notice it when it’s not working properly. Thankfully, if you use Cloudflare Authoritative DNS, these are problems you don’t worry about very much.

There is always room for improvement

Cloudflare has been providing authoritative DNS services for over a decade. Our authoritative DNS service hosts millions of domains across many different top level domains (TLDs). We have customers of all sizes, from single domains with just a few records to customers with tens of millions of records spread across multiple domains. Our enterprise customers, rightfully, demand the highest level of performance, reliability, security, and flexibility from our DNS service, along with detailed analytics. While our customers love our authoritative DNS, we recognize there is always room for improvement in some of those categories. To that end, we set off to make some major improvements to our DNS architecture, with new features as well as structural changes. We are proudly calling this improved offering Foundation DNS.

Meet Foundation DNS

As our new enterprise authoritative DNS offering, Foundation DNS was designed to enhance the reliability, security, flexibility, and analytics of our existing authoritative DNS service. Before we dive into all the specifics of Foundation DNS, here is a quick summary of what Foundation DNS brings to our authoritative DNS offering:

  • Advanced nameservers bring DNS reliability to the next level.
  • New zone-level DNS settings provide more flexible configuration of DNS specific settings.
  • Unique DNSSEC keys per account and zone provide additional security and flexibility for DNSSEC.
  • GraphQL-based DNS analytics provide even more insights into your DNS queries.
  • A new release process ensures enterprise customers have the utmost stability and reliability.
  • Simpler DNS pricing with more generous quotas for DNS-only zones and DNS records.

Now, let’s dive deeper into each of these new Foundation DNS features:

Advanced nameservers

With Foundation DNS, we’re introducing advanced nameservers with a specific focus on enhancing reliability for your enterprise. You might be familiar with our standard authoritative nameservers which come as a pair per zone and use names within the cloudflare.com domain. Here’s an example:

$ dig mycoolwebpage.xyz ns +noall +answer 
mycoolwebpage.xyz.	86400	IN	NS	kelly.ns.cloudflare.com.
mycoolwebpage.xyz.	86400	IN	NS	christian.ns.cloudflare.com.

Now, let’s look at the same zone using Foundation DNS advanced nameservers:

$ dig mycoolwebpage.xyz ns +noall +answer 
mycoolwebpage.xyz.	86400	IN	NS	blue.foundationdns.com.
mycoolwebpage.xyz.	86400	IN	NS	blue.foundationdns.net.
mycoolwebpage.xyz.	86400	IN	NS	blue.foundationdns.org.

Advanced nameservers improve reliability in a few different ways. The first improvement comes from the Foundation DNS authoritative servers being spread across multiple TLDs. This provides protection from larger scale DNS outages and DDoS attacks that could potentially affect DNS infrastructure further up the tree, including TLD name servers. Foundation DNS authoritative nameservers are now located across multiple branches of the global DNS tree structure, further insulating our customers from these potential outages and attacks.

You might also have noticed that there is an additional nameserver listed with Foundation DNS. While this is an improvement, it’s not for the reason you might think it is. If we resolve each one of these nameservers to their respective IP addresses, we can make this a little easier to understand. Let’s do that here starting with our standard nameservers:

$ dig kelly.ns.cloudflare.com. +noall +answer
kelly.ns.cloudflare.com. 86353  IN      A       108.162.194.91
kelly.ns.cloudflare.com. 86353  IN      A       162.159.38.91
kelly.ns.cloudflare.com. 86353  IN      A       172.64.34.91

$ dig christian.ns.cloudflare.com. +noall +answer
christian.ns.cloudflare.com. 86353 IN   A       108.162.195.247
christian.ns.cloudflare.com. 86353 IN   A       162.159.44.247
christian.ns.cloudflare.com. 86353 IN   A       172.64.35.247

There are six total IP addresses for the two nameservers. As it turns out, this is all DNS resolvers actually care about when querying authoritative nameservers. DNS resolvers usually don’t track the actual domain names of authoritative servers; they simply maintain an unordered list of IP addresses that they can use to resolve queries for a given domain. So with our standard authoritative nameservers, we give resolvers six IP addresses to use to resolve DNS queries. Now, let’s look at the IP addresses for our Foundation DNS advanced nameservers:

$ dig blue.foundationdns.com. +noall +answer
blue.foundationdns.com. 300     IN      A       108.162.198.1
blue.foundationdns.com. 300     IN      A       162.159.60.1
blue.foundationdns.com. 300     IN      A       172.64.40.1

$ dig blue.foundationdns.net. +noall +answer
blue.foundationdns.net. 300     IN      A       108.162.198.1
blue.foundationdns.net. 300     IN      A       162.159.60.1
blue.foundationdns.net. 300     IN      A       172.64.40.1

$ dig blue.foundationdns.org. +noall +answer
blue.foundationdns.org. 300     IN      A       108.162.198.1
blue.foundationdns.org. 300     IN      A       162.159.60.1
blue.foundationdns.org. 300     IN      A       172.64.40.1

Would you look at that! Foundation DNS provides the same IP addresses for each of the authoritative nameservers that we provide to a zone. So in this case, we have only provided three IP addresses for resolvers to use to resolve DNS queries. And you might be wondering,“isn’t six better than three? Isn’t this a downgrade?” It turns out more isn’t always better. Let’s talk about why.

You are probably aware of Cloudflare’s use of Anycast and, as you might assume, our DNS services leverage Anycast to ensure that our authoritative DNS servers are available globally and as close as possible to users and resolvers across the Internet. Our standard nameservers are all advertised out of every Cloudflare data center by a single Anycast group. If we zoom in on Europe, you can see that in a standard nameserver deployment, both nameservers are advertised from every data center.

We can take those six IP addresses from our standard nameservers above and perform a lookup for their “hostname.bind” TXT record which will show us the airport code or physical location of the closest data center where our DNS queries are being resolved from. This output helps explain the reason why more isn’t always better.

$ dig @108.162.194.91 ch txt hostname.bind +short
"LHR"

$ dig @162.159.38.91 ch txt hostname.bind +short
"LHR"

$ dig @172.64.34.91 ch txt hostname.bind +short
"LHR"

$ dig @108.162.195.247 ch txt hostname.bind +short
"LHR"

$ dig @162.159.44.247 ch txt hostname.bind +short
"LHR"

$ dig @172.64.35.247 ch txt hostname.bind +short
"LHR"

As you can see, when queried from near London, all six of those IP addresses route to the same London (LHR) data center. Meaning that when a resolver in London is resolving DNS queries for a domain using Cloudflare’s standard authoritative DNS, no matter which nameserver IP address is being queried, they are always connecting to the same physical location.

You might be asking, “So what? What does that mean to me?” Let’s look at an example. If you wanted to resolve a domain using Cloudflare standard nameservers from London, and I am using a public resolver that is also located in London, the resolver will always connect to the Cloudflare LHR data center regardless of which nameserver it’s trying to reach. It doesn’t have any other option, because of Anycast.

Because of Anycast, should the LHR data center go offline completely, all the traffic intended for LHR would be routed to other nearby data centers and resolvers would continue to function normally. However, in the unlikely scenario where the LHR data center was online, but our DNS services aren’t able to respond to DNS queries, the resolver would have no way to resolve these DNS queries since they can’t reach out to any other data center. We could have 100 IP addresses, and it would not help us in this scenario. Eventually, cached responses will expire, and the domain will eventually stop being resolved.

Foundation DNS advanced nameservers are changing the way we use Anycast by leveraging two Anycast groups, which breaks the previous paradigm of every authoritative nameserver IP being advertised from every data center. Using two Anycast groups means that Foundation DNS authoritative nameservers actually have different physical locations from one another, rather than all being advertised from each data center. Here is how that same region would look using two Anycast groups:

Let’s go back and finish our comparison of six authoritative IP addresses for standard authoritative DNS vs three IP addresses for Foundation DNS now that it’s understood that Foundation DNS is using two Anycast groups for advertising nameservers. Let’s see where Foundation DNS servers are being advertised from for our example:

$ dig @108.162.198.1 ch txt hostname.bind +short
"LHR"

$ dig @162.159.60.1 ch txt hostname.bind +short
"LHR"

$ dig @172.64.40.1 ch txt hostname.bind +short
"MAN"

Look at that! One of our three nameserver IP addresses is being advertised out of a different data center, Manchester (MAN), making Foundation DNS more reliable and resilient for the previously mentioned outage scenario. It’s worth mentioning that in some cities, Cloudflare operates out of multiple data centers which will result in all three queries returning the same airport code. While we guarantee that at least one of those IP addresses is being advertised out of a different data center, we understand some customers may want to test for themselves. In those cases, an additional query can show that IP addresses are being advertised out of different data centers.

$ dig @108.162.198.1 +nsid | grep NSID:
; NSID: 39 34 6d 33 39 ("94m39")

In the “94m30” returned in the response, the number before the “m” represents the data center that answered the query. As long as that number is different in one of the three responses, you know that one of your Foundation DNS authoritative nameservers is being advertised out of a different physical location.

With Foundation DNS leveraging two Anycast groups, the previous outage scenario is handled seamlessly. DNS resolvers monitor requests to all the authoritative nameservers returned for a given domain, but primarily use the nameserver that is providing the fastest responses.

With this configuration, DNS resolvers are able to send requests to two different Cloudflare data centers, so, should a failure happen at one physical location, queries are then automatically sent to the second data center where they can be properly resolved.

Foundation DNS advanced nameservers are a big step forward in reliability for our enterprise customers. We welcome our enterprise customers to enable advanced nameservers for existing zones today. Migrating to Foundation DNS won’t involve any downtime either because even after Foundation DNS advanced nameservers are enabled for a zone, the previous standard authoritative DNS nameservers will continue to function and respond to queries for the zone. Customers don’t need to plan for a cutover or other service-impacting event to migrate to Foundation DNS advanced nameservers.

New zone-level DNS settings

Historically, we have received regular requests from our enterprise customers to adjust specific DNS settings that were not exposed via our API or dashboard, such as enabling secondary DNS overrides. When customers wanted these settings adjusted, they had to reach out to their account teams, who would change the configurations. With Foundation DNS, we are exposing the most commonly requested settings via the API and dashboard to give our customers increased flexibility with their Cloudflare authoritative DNS solution.

Enterprise customers can now configure the following DNS settings on their zones:

Setting Zone Type Description
Foundation DNS advanced nameservers Primary and secondary zones Allows you to enable advanced nameservers on your zone.
Secondary DNS override Secondary zones Allows you to enable Secondary DNS Override on your zone in order to proxy HTTP/S traffic through Cloudflare.
Multi-provider DNS Primary and secondary zones Allows you to have multiple authoritative DNS providers while using Cloudflare as a primary nameserver.

Unique DNSSEC keys per account and zone

DNSSEC, which stands for Domain Name System Security Extensions, adds security to a domain or zone by providing a way to check that the response you receive for a DNS query is authentic and hasn’t been modified. DNSSEC prevents DNS cache poisoning (DNS spoofing) which helps ensure that DNS resolvers are responding to DNS queries with the correct IP addresses.

Since we launched Universal DNSSEC in 2015, we’ve made quite a few improvements, like adding support for pre-signed DNSSEC for secondary zones and multi-signer DNSSEC. By default, Cloudflare signs DNS records on the fly (live signing) as we respond to DNS queries. This allows Cloudflare to host a DNSSEC-secured domain while dynamically allocating IP addresses for the proxied origins. It also enables certain load balancing use cases since the IP addresses served in the DNS response in these cases change based on steering.

Cloudflare uses the Elliptic Curve algorithm ECDSA P-256, which is stronger than most RSA keys used today. It uses less CPU to generate signatures, making them more efficient to generate on the fly. Usually two keys are used as part of DNSSEC, the Zone Signing Key (ZSK) and the Key Signing Key (KSK). At the simplest level, the ZSK is used for signing the DNS records that are served in response to queries and the KSK is used to sign the DNSKEYs, including the ZSK to ensure its authenticity.

Today, Cloudflare uses a shared ZSK and KSK globally for all DNSSEC signing, and since we use such a strong cryptographic algorithm, we know how secure this key set is and as such, do not believe there is a need to regularly rotate the ZSK or KSK – at least for security reasons. There are customers, however, that have policies that require the rotation of these keys at certain intervals. Because of this, we’ve added the ability for our new Foundation DNS advanced nameservers to rotate both their ZSK and KSK as needed per account or per zone. This will first be available via the API and subsequently through the Cloudflare dashboard. So now, customers with strict policy requirements around their DNSSEC key rotation can meet those requirements with Cloudflare Foundation DNS.

GraphQL-based DNS analytics

For those who are not familiar with it, GraphQL is a query language for APIs and a runtime for executing those queries. It allows clients to request exactly what they need, no more, no less, enabling them to aggregate data from multiple sources through a single API call, and supports real-time updates through subscriptions.

As you might know, Cloudflare has had a GraphQL API for a while now, but as part of Foundation DNS we are adding a new DNS dataset to that API that is only available with our new Foundation DNS advanced nameservers.

The new DNS dataset in our GraphQL API can be used to fetch information about the DNS queries a zone has received. This faster and more powerful alternative to our current DNS Analytics API allows you to query data from large time periods quickly and efficiently without running into limits or timeouts. The GraphQL API is more flexible with regard to which queries it accepts, and exposes more information than the DNS Analytics API.

For example, you can run this query to fetch the mean and 90th percentile processing time of your queries, grouped by source IP address, in 15 minute buckets. A query like this would be useful to see which IPs are querying your records most often for a given time range:

{
  "query": "{
    viewer {
      zones(filter: { zoneTag: $zoneTag }) {
        dnsAnalyticsAdaptiveGroups(
          filter: $filter
          limit: 10
          orderBy: [datetime_ASC]
        ) {
          avg {
            processingTimeUs
          }
          quantiles {
            processingTimeUsP90
          }
          dimensions {
            datetimeFifteenMinutes
            sourceIP
          }
        }
      }
    }
  }",
  "variables": {
    "zoneTag": "<zone-tag>",
    "filter": {
      "datetime_geq": "2024-05-01T00:00:00Z",
      "datetime_leq": "2024-06-01T00:00:00Z"
    }
  }
}

Previously, a query like this wouldn’t have been possible for several reasons. The first is that we have added new fields like sourceIP, which allows us to filter data based on which client IP addresses (usually resolvers) are making DNS queries. The second is that the GraphQL API query is able to process and return data from much larger time ranges. A DNS zone with sufficiently large amounts of queries was previously only able to query across a few days of traffic, while the new GraphQL API can provide data for a period of up to 31 days. We are planning further enhancements to that range, as well as how far back historical data can be stored and queried.

The GraphQL API also allows us to add a new DNS analytics section to the Cloudflare dashboard. Customers will be able to track the most queried records, see which data centers are answering those queries, see how many queries are being made, and much more.

The new DNS dataset in our GraphQL API and the new DNS analytics page work together to help our DNS customers to monitor, analyze, and troubleshoot their Foundation DNS deployments.

New release process

Cloudflare’s Authoritative DNS product receives software updates roughly once a week. Cloudflare has a sophisticated release process that helps prevent regressions from affecting production traffic. While uncommon, it’s possible to have issues only surface once the new release is subject to the volume and uniqueness of production traffic.

Because our enterprise customers desire stability even more than new features, new releases will be subject to a two-week soak time with our standard nameservers before our Foundation DNS advanced nameservers are upgraded. After two weeks with no issues, the Foundation DNS advanced nameservers will be upgraded as well.

Zones using Foundation DNS advanced nameservers will see increased reliability as they are better protected against regressions in new software releases.

Simpler DNS pricing

Historically, Cloudflare has charged for Authoritative DNS based on monthly DNS queries and the number of domains in the account. Our enterprise DNS customers are often interested in DNS-only zones, which are DNS zones hosted in Cloudflare that do not use our reverse proxy (layer 7) services such as our CDN, WAF, or Bot Management. With Foundation DNS, we’re making pricing simpler for the vast majority of those customers by including 10,000 DNS only domains by default. This change means most customers will only pay for the number of DNS queries they consume.

We’re also including 1 million DNS records across all domains in an account. But that doesn’t mean we can’t support more. In fact, the biggest single zone on our platform has over 3.9 million records, while our largest DNS account is just shy of 30 million DNS records spread across multiple zones. With Cloudflare DNS, there is no trouble handling even the largest deployments.

There is more to come

We are just getting started. In the future, we will add more exclusive features to Foundation DNS. One example is a highly requested feature: per-record scoped API tokens and user permissions. This will allow you to configure permissions on an even more granular level. For example, you could specify that a particular member of your account is only allowed to create and manage records of the type TXT and MX, so they don’t accidentally delete or edit address records impacting web traffic to your domain. Another example would be to specify permissions based on subdomain to further restrict the scope of specific users.

If you’re an existing enterprise customer and want to use Foundation DNS, get in touch with your account team to provision Foundation DNS on your account.

Developer Week 2024 wrap-up

Post Syndicated from Phillip Jones original https://blog.cloudflare.com/developer-week-2024-wrap-up


Developer Week 2024 has officially come to a close. Each day last week, we shipped new products and functionality geared towards giving developers the components they need to build full-stack applications on Cloudflare.

Even though Developer Week is now over, we are continuing to innovate with the over two million developers who build on our platform. Building a platform is only as exciting as seeing what developers build on it. Before we dive into a recap of the announcements, to send off the week, we wanted to share how a couple of companies are using Cloudflare to power their applications:

We have been using Workers for image delivery using R2 and have been able to maintain stable operations for a year after implementation. The speed of deployment and the flexibility of detailed configurations have greatly reduced the time and effort required for traditional server management. In particular, we have seen a noticeable cost savings and are deeply appreciative of the support we have received from Cloudflare Workers.
FAN Communications

Milkshake helps creators, influencers, and business owners create engaging web pages directly from their phone, to simply and creatively promote their projects and passions. Cloudflare has helped us migrate data quickly and affordably with R2. We use Workers as a routing layer between our users’ websites and their images and assets, and to build a personalized analytics offering affordably. Cloudflare’s innovations have consistently allowed us to run infrastructure at a fraction of the cost of other developer platforms and we have been eagerly awaiting updates to D1 and Queues to sustainably scale Milkshake as the product continues to grow.
Milkshake

In case you missed anything, here’s a quick recap of the announcements and in-depth technical explorations that went out last week:

Summary of announcements

Monday

Announcement Summary
Making state easy with D1 GA, Hyperdrive, Queues and Workers Analytics Engine updates A core part of any full-stack application is storing and persisting data! We kicked off the week with announcements that help developers build stateful applications on top of Cloudflare, including making D1, Cloudflare’s SQL database and Hyperdrive, our database accelerating service, generally available.
Building D1: a Global Database D1, Cloudflare’s SQL database, is now generally available. With new support for 10GB databases, data export, and enhanced query debugging, we empower developers to build production-ready applications with D1 to meet all their relational SQL needs. To support Workers in global applications, we’re sharing a sneak peek of our design and API for D1 global read replication to demonstrate how developers scale their workloads with D1.
Why Workers environment variables contain live objects Bindings don’t just reduce boilerplate. They are a core design feature of the Workers platform which simultaneously improve developer experience and application security in several ways. Usually these two goals are in opposition to each other, but bindings elegantly solve for both at the same time.

Tuesday

Announcement Summary
Leveling up Workers AI: General Availability and more new capabilities We made a series of AI-related announcements, including Workers AI, Cloudflare’s inference platform becoming GA, support for fine-tuned models with LoRAs, one-click deploys from HuggingFace, Python support for Cloudflare Workers, and more.
Running fine-tuned models on Workers AI with LoRAs Workers AI now supports fine-tuned models using LoRAs. But what is a LoRA and how does it work? In this post, we dive into fine-tuning, LoRAs and even some math to share the details of how it all works under the hood.
Bringing Python to Workers using Pyodide and WebAssembly We introduced Python support for Cloudflare Workers, now in open beta. We’ve revamped our systems to support Python, from the Workers runtime itself to the way Workers are deployed to Cloudflare’s network. Learn about a Python Worker’s lifecycle, Pyodide, dynamic linking, and memory snapshots in this post.

Wednesday

Announcement Summary
R2 adds event notifications, support for migrations from Google Cloud Storage, and an infrequent access storage tier We announced three new features for Cloudflare R2: event notifications, support for migrations from Google Cloud Storage, and an infrequent access storage tier.
Data Anywhere with Pipelines, Event Notifications, and Workflows We’re making it easier to build scalable, reliable, data-driven applications on top of our global network, and so we announced a new Event Notifications framework; our take on durable execution, Workflows; and an upcoming streaming ingestion service, Pipelines.
Improving Cloudflare Workers and D1 developer experience with Prisma ORM Together, Cloudflare and Prisma make it easier than ever to deploy globally available apps with a focus on developer experience. To further that goal, Prisma ORM now natively supports Cloudflare Workers and D1 in Preview. With version 5.12.0 of Prisma ORM you can now interact with your data stored in D1 from your Cloudflare Workers with the convenience of the Prisma Client API. Learn more and try it out now.
How Picsart leverages Cloudflare’s Developer Platform to build globally performant services Picsart, one of the world’s largest digital creation platforms, encountered performance challenges in catering to its global audience. Adopting Cloudflare’s global-by-default Developer Platform emerged as the optimal solution, empowering Picsart to enhance performance and scalability substantially.

Thursday

Announcement Summary
Announcing Pages support for monorepos, wrangler.toml, database integrations and more! We launched four improvements to Pages that bring functionality previously restricted to Workers, with the goal of unifying the development experience between the two. Support for monorepos, wrangler.toml, new additions to Next.js support and database integrations!
New tools for production safety — Gradual Deployments, Stack Traces, Rate Limiting, and API SDKs Production readiness isn’t just about scale and reliability of the services you build with. We announced five updates that put more power in your hands – Gradual Deployments, Source mapped stack traces in Tail Workers, a new Rate Limiting API, brand-new API SDKs, and updates to Durable Objects – each built with mission-critical production services in mind.
What’s new with Cloudflare Media: updates for Calls, Stream, and Images With Cloudflare Calls in open beta, you can build real-time, serverless video and audio applications. Cloudflare Stream lets your viewers instantly clip from ongoing streams. Finally, Cloudflare Images now supports automatic face cropping and has an upload widget that lets you easily integrate into your application.
Cloudflare Calls: millions of cascading trees all the way down Cloudflare Calls is a serverless SFU and TURN service running at Cloudflare’s edge. It’s now in open beta and costs $0.05/ real-time GB. It’s 100% anycast WebRTC.

Friday

Announcement Summary
Browser Rendering API GA, rolling out Cloudflare Snippets, SWR, and bringing Workers for Platforms to all users Browser Rendering API is now available to all paid Workers customers with improved session management.
Cloudflare acquires Baselime to expand serverless application observability capabilities We announced that Cloudflare has acquired Baselime, a serverless observability company.
Cloudflare acquires PartyKit to allow developers to build real-time multi-user applications We announced that PartyKit, a trailblazer in enabling developers to craft ambitious real-time, collaborative, multiplayer applications, is now a part of Cloudflare. This acquisition marks a significant milestone in our journey to redefine the boundaries of serverless computing, making it more dynamic, interactive, and, importantly, stateful.
Blazing fast development with full-stack frameworks and Cloudflare Full-stack web development with Cloudflare is now faster and easier! You can now use your framework’s development server while accessing D1 databases, R2 object stores, AI models, and more. Iterate locally in milliseconds to build sophisticated web apps that run on Cloudflare. Let’s dev together!
We’ve added JavaScript-native RPC to Cloudflare Workers Cloudflare Workers now features a built-in RPC (Remote Procedure Call) system for use in Worker-to-Worker and Worker-to-Durable Object communication, with absolutely minimal boilerplate. We’ve designed an RPC system so expressive that calling a remote service can feel like using a library.
Community Update: empowering startups building on Cloudflare and creating an inclusive community We closed out Developer Week by sharing updates on our Workers Launchpad program, our latest Developer Challenge, and the work we’re doing to ensure our community spaces – like our Discord and Community forums – are safe and inclusive for all developers.

Continue the conversation

Thank you for being a part of Developer Week! Want to continue the conversation and share what you’re building? Join us on Discord. To get started building on Workers, check out our developer documentation.

Cloudflare acquires Baselime to expand serverless application observability capabilities

Post Syndicated from Boris Tane original https://blog.cloudflare.com/cloudflare-acquires-baselime-expands-observability-capabilities


Today, we’re thrilled to announce that Cloudflare has acquired Baselime.

The cloud is changing. Just a few years ago, serverless functions were revolutionary. Today, entire applications are built on serverless architectures, from compute to databases, storage, queues, etc. — with Cloudflare leading the way in making it easier than ever for developers to build, without having to think about their architecture. And while the adoption of serverless has made it simple for developers to run fast, it has also made one of the most difficult problems in software even harder: how the heck do you unravel the behavior of distributed systems?

When I started Baselime 2 years ago, our goal was simple: enable every developer to build, ship, and learn from their serverless applications such that they can resolve issues before they become problems.

Since then, we built an observability platform that enables developers to understand the behaviour of their cloud applications. It’s designed for high cardinality and dimensionality data, from logs to distributed tracing with OpenTelemetry. With this data, we automatically surface insights from your applications, and enable you to quickly detect, troubleshoot, and resolve issues in production.

In parallel, Cloudflare has been busy the past few years building the next frontier of cloud computing: the connectivity cloud. The team is building primitives that enable developers to build applications with a completely new set of paradigms, from Workers to D1, R2, Queues, KV, Durable Objects, AI, and all the other services available on the Cloudflare Developers Platform.

This synergy makes Cloudflare the perfect home for Baselime. Our core mission has always been to simplify and innovate around observability for the future of the cloud, and Cloudflare’s ecosystem offers the ideal ground to further this cause. With Cloudflare, we’re positioned to deeply integrate into a platform that tens of thousands of developers trust and use daily, enabling them to quickly build, ship, and troubleshoot applications. We believe that every Worker, Queue, KV, Durable Object, AI call, etc. should have built-in observability by default.

That’s why we’re incredibly excited about the potential of what we can build together and the impact it will have on developers around the world.

To give you a preview into what’s ahead, I wanted to dive deeper into the 3 core concepts we followed while building Baselime.

High Cardinality and Dimensionality

Cardinality and dimensionality are best described using examples. Imagine you’re playing a board game with a deck of cards. High cardinality is like playing a game where every card is a unique character, making it hard to remember or match them. And high dimensionality is like each card has tons of details like strength, speed, magic, aura, etc., making the game’s strategy complex because there’s so much to consider.

This also applies to the data your application emits. For example, when you log an HTTP request that makes database calls.

  • High cardinality means that your logs can have a unique userId or requestId (which can take millions of distinct values). Those are high cardinality fields.
  • High dimensionality means that your logs can have thousands of possible fields. You can record each HTTP header of your request and the details of each database call. Any log can be a key-value object with thousands of individual keys.

The ability to query on high cardinality and dimensionality fields is key to modern observability. You can surface all errors or requests for a specific user, compute the duration of each of those requests, and group by location. You can answer all of those questions with a single tool.

OpenTelemetry

OpenTelemetry provides a common set of tools, APIs, SDKs, and standards for instrumenting applications. It is a game-changer for debugging and understanding cloud applications. You get to see the big picture: how fast your HTTP APIs are, which routes are experiencing the most errors, or which database queries are slowest. You can also get into the details by following the path of a single request or user across your entire application.

Baselime is OpenTelemetry native, and it is built from the ground up to leverage OpenTelemetry data. To support this, we built a set of OpenTelemetry SDKs compatible with several serverless runtimes.

Cloudflare is building the cloud of tomorrow and has developed workerd, a modern JavaScript runtime for Workers. With Cloudflare, we are considering embedding OpenTelemetry directly in the Workers’ runtime. That’s one more reason we’re excited to grow further at Cloudflare, enabling more developers to understand their applications, even in the most unconventional scenarios.

Developer Experience

Observability without action is just storage. I have seen too many developers pay for tools to store logs and metrics they never use, and the key reason is how opaque these tools are.

The crux of the issue in modern observability isn’t the technology itself, but rather the developer experience. Many tools are complex, with a significant learning curve. This friction reduces the speed at which developers can identify and resolve issues, ultimately affecting the reliability of their applications. Improving developer experience is key to unlocking the full potential of observability.

We built Baselime to be an exploratory solution that surfaces insights to you rather than requiring you to dig for them. For example, we notify you in real time when errors are discovered in your application, based on your logs and traces. You can quickly search through all of your data with full-text search, or using our powerful query engine, which makes it easy to correlate logs and traces for increased visibility, or ask our AI debugging assistant for insights on the issue you’re investigating.

It is always possible to go from one insight to another, asking questions about the state of your app iteratively until you get to the root cause of the issue you are troubleshooting.

Cloudflare has always prioritised the developer experience of its developer platform, especially with Wrangler, and we are convinced it’s the right place to solve the developer experience problem of observability.

What’s next?

Over the next few months, we’ll work to bring the core of Baselime into the Cloudflare ecosystem, starting with OpenTelemetry, real-time error tracking, and all the developer experience capabilities that make a great observability solution. We will keep building and improving observability for applications deployed outside Cloudflare because we understand that observability should work across providers.

But we don’t want to stop there. We want to push the boundaries of what modern observability looks like. For instance, directly connecting to your codebase and correlating insights from your logs and traces to functions and classes in your codebase. We also want to enable more AI capabilities beyond our debugging assistant. We want to deeply integrate with your repositories such that you can go from an error in your logs and traces to a Pull Request in your codebase within minutes.

We also want to enable everyone building on top of Large Language Models to do all your LLM observability directly within Cloudflare, such that you can optimise your prompts, improve latencies and reduce error rates directly within your cloud provider. These are just a handful of capabilities we can now build with the support of the Cloudflare platform.

Thanks

We are incredibly thankful to our community for its continued support, from day 0 to today. With your continuous feedback, you’ve helped us build something we’re incredibly proud of.

To all the developers currently using Baselime, you’ll be able to keep using the product and will receive ongoing support. Also, we are now making all the paid Baselime features completely free.

Baselime products remain available to sign up for while we work on integrating with the Cloudflare platform. We anticipate sunsetting the Baselime products towards the end of 2024 when you will be able to observe all of your applications within the Cloudflare dashboard. If you’re interested in staying up-to-date on our work with Cloudflare, we will release a signup link in the coming weeks!

We are looking forward to continuing to innovate with you.

Browser Rendering API GA, rolling out Cloudflare Snippets, SWR, and bringing Workers for Platforms to all users

Post Syndicated from Tanushree Sharma original https://blog.cloudflare.com/browser-rendering-api-ga-rolling-out-cloudflare-snippets-swr-and-bringing-workers-for-platforms-to-our-paygo-plans


Browser Rendering API is now available to all paid Workers customers with improved session management

In May 2023, we announced the open beta program for the Browser Rendering API. Browser Rendering allows developers to programmatically control and interact with a headless browser instance and create automation flows for their applications and products.

At the same time, we launched a version of the Puppeteer library that works with Browser Rendering. With that, developers can use a familiar API on top of Cloudflare Workers to create all sorts of workflows, such as taking screenshots of pages or automatic software testing.

Today, we take Browser Rendering one step further, taking it out of beta and making it available to all paid Workers’ plans. Furthermore, we are enhancing our API and introducing a new feature that we’ve been discussing for a long time in the open beta community: session management.

Session Management

Session management allows developers to reuse previously opened browsers across Worker’s scripts. Reusing browser sessions has the advantage that you don’t need to instantiate a new browser for every request and every task, drastically increasing performance and lowering costs.

Before, to keep a browser instance alive and reuse it, you’d have to implement complex code using Durable Objects. Now, we’ve simplified that for you by keeping your browsers running in the background and extending the Puppeteer API with new session management methods that give you access to all of your running sessions, activity history, and active limits.

Here’s how you can list your active sessions:

const sessions = await puppeteer.sessions(env.RENDERING);
console.log(sessions);
[
   {
      "connectionId": "2a2246fa-e234-4dc1-8433-87e6cee80145",
      "connectionStartTime": 1711621704607,
      "sessionId": "478f4d7d-e943-40f6-a414-837d3736a1dc",
      "startTime": 1711621703708
   },
   {
      "sessionId": "565e05fb-4d2a-402b-869b-5b65b1381db7",
      "startTime": 1711621703808
   }
]

We have added a Worker script example on how to use session management to the Developer Documentation.

Analytics and logs

Observability is an essential part of any Cloudflare product. You can find detailed analytics and logs of your Browser Rendering usage in the dashboard under your account’s Worker & Pages section.

Browser Rendering is now available to all customers with a paid Workers plan. Each account is limited to running two new browsers per minute and two concurrent browsers at no cost during this period. Check our developers page to get started.

We are rolling out access to Cloudflare Snippets

Powerful, programmable, and free of charge, Snippets are the best way to perform complex HTTP request and response modifications on Cloudflare. What was once too advanced to achieve using Rules products is now possible with Snippets. Since the initial announcement during Developer Week 2022, the promise of extending out-of-the-box Rules functionality by writing simple JavaScript code is keeping the Cloudflare community excited.

During the first 3 months of 2024 alone, the amount of traffic going through Snippets increased over 7x, from an average of 2,200 requests per second in early January to more than 17,000 in March.

However, instead of opening the floodgates and letting millions of Cloudflare users in to test (and potentially break) Snippets in the most unexpected ways, we are going to pace ourselves and opt for a phased rollout, much like the newly released Gradual Rollouts for Workers.

In the next few weeks, 5% of Cloudflare users will start seeing “Snippets” under the Rules tab of the zone-level menu in their dashboard. If you happen to be part of the first 5%, snip into action and try out how fast and powerful Snippets are even for advanced use cases like dynamically changing the date in headers or A / B testing leveraging the `math.random` function. Whatever you use Snippets for, just keep one thing in mind: this is still an alpha, so please do not use Snippets for production traffic just yet.

Until then, keep your eyes out for the new Snippets tab in the Cloudflare dashboard and learn more how powerful and flexible Snippets are at the developer documentation in the meantime.

Coming soon: asynchronous revalidation with stale-while-revalidate

One of the features most requested by our customers is the asynchronous revalidation with stale-while-revalidate (SWR) cache directive, and we will be bringing this to you in the second half of 2024.  This functionality will be available by design as part of our new CDN architecture that is being built using Rust with performance and memory safety at top of mind.

Currently, when a client requests a resource, such as a web page or an image, Cloudflare checks to see if the asset is in cache and provides a cached copy if available. If the file is not in the cache or has expired and become stale, Cloudflare connects to the origin server to check for a fresh version of the file and forwards this fresh version to the end user. This wait time adds latency to these requests and impacts performance.

Stale-while-revalidate is a cache directive that allows the expired or stale version of the asset to be served to the end user while simultaneously allowing Cloudflare to check the origin to see if there’s a fresher version of the resource available. If an updated version exists, the origin forwards it to Cloudflare, updating the cache in the process. This mechanism allows the client to receive a response quickly from the cache while ensuring that it always has access to the most up-to-date content. Stale-while-revalidate strikes a balance between serving content efficiently and ensuring its freshness, resulting in improved performance and a smoother user experience.

Customers who want to be part of our beta testers and “cache” in on the fun can register here, and we will let you know when the feature is ready for testing!

Coming on April 16, 2024: Workers for Platforms for our pay-as-you-go plan

Today, we’re excited to share that on April 16th, Workers for Platforms will be available to all developers through our new $25 pay-as-you-go plan!

Workers for Platforms is changing the way we build software – it gives you the ability to embed personalization and customization directly into your product. With Workers for Platforms, you can deploy custom code on behalf of your users or let your users directly deploy their own code to your platform, without you or your users having to manage any infrastructure. You can use Workers for Platforms with all the exciting announcements that have come out this Developer Week – it supports all the bindings that come with Workers (including Workers AI, D1 and Durable Objects) as well as Python Workers.  

Here’s what some of our customers – ranging from enterprises to startups – are building on Workers for Platforms:

  • Shopify Oxygen is a hosting platform for their Remix-based eCommerce framework Hydrogen, and it’s built on Workers for Platforms! The Hydrogen/Oxygen combination gives Shopify merchants control over their buyer experience without the restrictions of generic storefront templates.
  • Grafbase is a data platform for developers to create a serverless GraphQL API that unifies data sources across a business under one endpoint. They use Workers for Platforms to give their developers the control and flexibility to deploy their own code written in JavaScript/TypeScript or WASM.
  • Triplit is an open-source database that syncs data between server and browser in real-time. It allows users to build low latency, real-time applications with features like relational querying, schema management and server-side storage built in. Their query and sync engine is built on top of Durable Objects, and they’re using Workers for Platforms to allow their customers to package custom Javascript alongside their Triplit DB instance.

Tools for observability and platform level controls

Workers for Platforms doesn’t just allow you to deploy Workers to your platform – we also know how important it is to have observability and control over your users’ Workers. We have a few solutions that help with this:

  • Custom Limits: Set CPU time or subrequest caps on your users’ Workers. Can be used to set limits in order to control your costs on Cloudflare and/or shape your own pricing and packaging model. For example, if you run a freemium model on your platform, you can lower the CPU time limit for customers on your free tier.
  • Tail Workers: Tail Worker events contain metadata about the Worker, console.log() messages, and capture any unhandled exceptions. They can be used to provide your developers with live logging in order to monitor for errors and troubleshoot in real time.
  • Outbound Workers: Get visibility into all outgoing requests from your users’ Workers. Outbound Workers sit between user Workers and the fetch() requests they make, so you get full visibility over the request before it’s sent out to the Internet.

Pricing

We wanted to make sure that Workers for Platforms was affordable for hobbyists, solo developers, and indie developers. Workers for Platforms is part of a new $25 pay-as-you-go plan, and it includes the following:

Included Amounts
Requests 20 million requests/month
+$0.30 per additional million
CPU time 60 million CPU milliseconds/month
+$0.02 per additional million CPU milliseconds
Scripts 1000 scripts
+0.02 per additional script/month

Workers for Platforms will be available to purchase on April 16, 2024!

The Workers for Platforms will be available to purchase under the Workers for Platforms tab on the Cloudflare Dashboard on April 16, 2024.

In the meantime, to learn more about Workers for Platforms, check out our starter project and developer documentation.

Cloudflare Calls: millions of cascading trees all the way down

Post Syndicated from Renan Dincer original https://blog.cloudflare.com/cloudflare-calls-anycast-webrtc


Following its initial announcement in September 2022, Cloudflare Calls is now in open beta and available in your Cloudflare Dashboard. Cloudflare Calls lets developers build real-time audio/video apps using WebRTC, and it abstracts away the complexity by turning the Cloudflare network into a singular SFU. In this post, we dig into how we make this possible.

WebRTC growing pains

WebRTC is the only way to send UDP traffic out of a web browser – everything else uses TCP.

As a developer, you need a UDP-based transport layer for applications demanding low latency and real-time feedback, such as audio/video conferencing and interactive gaming. This is because unlike WebSocket and other TCP-based solutions, UDP is not subject to head-of-line blocking, a frequent topic on the Cloudflare Blog.

When building a new video conferencing app, you typically start with a peer-to-peer web application using WebRTC, where clients exchange data directly. This approach is efficient for small-scale demos, but scalability issues arise as the number of participants increases. This is because the amount of data each client must transmit grows substantially, following an almost exponential increase relative to the number of participants, as each client needs to send data to n-1 other clients.

Selective Forwarding Units (SFUs) play pivotal roles in scaling WebRTC applications. An SFU functions by receiving multiple media or data flows from participants and deciding which streams should be forwarded to other participants, thus acting as a media stream routing hub. This mechanism significantly reduces bandwidth requirements and improves scalability by managing stream distribution based on network conditions and participant needs. Even though it hasn’t always been this way from when video calling on computers first became popular, SFUs are often found in the cloud, rather than home computers of clients, because of superior connectivity offered in a data center.

A modern audio/video application thus quickly becomes complicated with the addition of this server side element. Since all clients connect to this central SFU server, there are numerous things to consider when you’re architecting and scaling a real-time application:

  • How close is the SFU server location(s) to the end user clients, how is a client assigned to a server?
  • Where is the SFU hosted, and if it’s hosted in the cloud, what are the egress costs from VMs?
  • How many participants can fit in a “room”? Are all participants sending and receiving data? With cameras on? Audio only?
  • Some SFUs require the use of custom SDKs. Which platforms do these run on and are they compatible with the application you’re trying to build?
  • Monitoring/reliability/other issues that come with running infrastructure

Some of these concerns, and the complexity of WebRTC infrastructure in general, has made the community look in different directions. However, it is clear that in 2024, WebRTC is alive and well with plenty of new and old uses. AI startups build characters that converse in real time, cars leverage WebRTC to stream live footage of their cameras to smartphones, and video conferencing tools are going strong.

WebRTC has been interesting to us for a while. Cloudflare Stream implemented WHIP and WHEP WebRTC video streaming protocols in 2022, which remain the lowest latency way to broadcast video. OBS Studio implemented WHIP broadcasting support as have a variety of software and hardware vendors alongside Cloudflare. In late 2022, we launched Cloudflare Calls in closed beta. When we blogged about it back then, we were very impressed with how WebRTC fared, and spoke to many customers about their pain points as well as creative ideas the existing browser APIs can foster. We also saw other WebRTC-based apps like Clubhouse rise in popularity and Twitter Spaces play a role in popular culture. Today, we see real-time applications of a different sort. Many AI projects have impressive demos with voice/video interactions. All of these apps are built with the same WebRTC APIs and system architectures.

We are confident that Cloudflare Calls is a new kind of WebRTC infrastructure you should try. When we set out to build Cloudflare Calls, we had a few ideas that we weren’t sure would work, but were worth trying:

  • Build every WebRTC component on Anycast with a single IP address for DTLS, ICE, STUN, SRTP, SCTP, etc.
  • Don’t force an SDK – WebRTC APIs by themselves are enough, and allow for the most novel uses to shine, because best developers always find ways to hit the limits of SDKs.
  • Deploy in all 310+ cities Cloudflare operates in – use every Cloudflare server, not just a subset
  • Exchange offer and answer over HTTP between Cloudflare and the WebRTC client. This way there is only a single PeerConnection to manage.

Now we know this is all possible, because we made it happen, and we think it’s the best experience a developer can get with pure WebRTC.

Is Cloudflare Calls a real SFU?

Cloudflare is in the business of having computers in numerous places. Historically, our core competency was operating a caching HTTP reverse proxy, and we are very good at this. With Cloudflare Calls, we asked ourselves “how can we build a large distributed system that brings together our global network to form one giant stateful system that feels like a single machine?”

When using Calls, every PeerConnection automatically connects to the closest Cloudflare data center instead of a single server. Rather than connecting every client that needs to communicate with each other to a single server, anycast spreads out connections as much as possible to minimize last mile latency sourced from your ISP between your client and Cloudflare.

It’s good to minimize last mile latency because after the data enters Cloudflare’s control, the underlying media can be managed carefully and routed through the Cloudflare backbone. This is crucial for WebRTC applications where millisecond delays can significantly impact user experience. To give you a sense about latency between Cloudflare’s data centers and end-users, about 95% of the Internet connected population is within 50ms of a Cloudflare data center. As I write this, I am about 20ms away, but in the past, I have been lucky enough to be connected to a **great** home Wi-Fi network less than 1ms away in Manhattan. “But you are just one user!” you might be thinking, so here is a chart from Cloudflare Radar showing recent global latency measurements:

This setup allows more opportunities for packets lost to be replied with retransmissions closer to users, more opportunities for bandwidth adjustments.

Eliminating SFU region selection

A traditional challenge in WebRTC infrastructure involves the manual selection of Selective Forwarding Units (SFUs) based on geographic location to minimize latency. Some systems solve this problem by selecting a location for the SFU after the first user joins the “room”. This makes routing inefficient when the rest of the participants in the conversation are clustered elsewhere. The anycast architecture of Calls eliminates this issue. When a client initiates a connection, BGP dynamically determines the closest data center. Each selected server only becomes responsible for the PeerConnection of the clients closest to it.

One might see this is actually a simpler way of managing servers, as there is no need to maintain a layer of WebRTC load balancing for traffic or CPU capacity between servers. However, anycast has its own challenges, and we couldn’t take a laissez-faire approach.

Steps to establishing a PeerConnection

One of the challenging parts in assigning a server to a client PeerConnection is supporting dual stack networking for backwards compatibility with clients that only support the old version of the Internet Protocol, IPv4.

Cloudflare Calls uses a single IP address per protocol, and our L4 load balancer directs packets to a single server per client by using the 4-tuple {client IP, client port, destination IP, destination port} hashing. This means that every ICE connectivity check packet arrives at different servers: one for IPv4 and one for IPv6.

ICE is not the only protocol used for WebRTC; there is also STUN and TURN for connectivity establishment. Actual media bits are encrypted using DTLS, which carries most of the data during a session.

DTLS packets don’t have any identifiers in them that would indicate they belong to a specific connection (unlike QUIC’s connection ID field), so every server should be able to handle DTLS packets and get the necessary certificates to be able to decrypt them for processing. DTLS encryption is negotiated at the SDP layer using the HTTPS API.

The HTTPS API for Calls also lands on a different server than DTLS and ICE connectivity checks. Since DTLS packets need information from the SDP exchanged using the HTTPS API, and ICE connectivity checks depend on the HTTPS API for userFragment and password fields in the connectivity check packets, it would be very useful for all of these to be available in one server. Yet in our setup, they’re not.

Fippo and Gustavo of WebRTCHacks complained (gracefully noted) about slow replies to ICE connectivity checks in their great article as they were digging into our WHIP implementation right around our announcement in 2022:

Looking at the Wireshark dumps we see a surprisingly large amount of time pass between the first STUN request and the first STUN response – it was 1.8 seconds in the screenshot below.

In other tests, it was shorter, but still 600ms long.

After that, the DTLS packets do not get an immediate response, requiring multiple attempts. This ultimately leads to a call setup time of almost three seconds – way above the global average of 800ms Fippo has measured previously (for the complete handshake, 200ms for the DTLS handshake). For Cloudflare with their extensive network, we expected this to be way below that average.

Gustavo and Fippo observed our solution to this problem of different parts of the WebRTC negotiation landing on different servers. Since Cloudflare Calls unbundles the WebRTC protocol to make the entire network act like a single computer, at this critical moment, we need to form consensus across the network. We form consensus by configuring every server to handle any incoming PeerConnection just in time. When a packet arrives, if the server doesn’t know about it, it quickly learns about the negotiated parameters from another server, such as the ufrag and the DTLS fingerprint from the SDP, and responds with the appropriate response.

Getting faster

Even though we’ve sped up the process of forming consensus across the Cloudflare network, any delays incurred can still have weird side effects. For example, up until a few months ago, delays of a few hundred milliseconds caused slow connections in Chrome.

A connectivity check packet delayed by a few hundred milliseconds signals to Chrome that this is a high latency network, even though every other STUN message after that was replied to in less than 5-10ms. Chrome thus delays sending a USE-CANDIDATE attribute in the responses for a few seconds, degrading the user experience.

Fortunately, Chrome also sends DTLS ClientHello before USE-CANDIDATE (behavior we’ve seen only on Chrome), so to help speed up Chrome, Calls uses DTLS packets in place of STUN packets with USE-CANDIDATE attributes.

After solving this issue with Chrome, PeerConnections globally now take about 100-250ms to get connected. This includes all consensus management, STUN packets, and a complete DTLS handshake.

Sessions and Tracks are the building blocks of Cloudflare’s SFU, not rooms

Once a PeerConnection is established to Cloudflare, we call this a Session. Many media Tracks or DataChannels can be published using a single Session, which returns a unique ID for each. These then can be subscribed to over any other PeerConnection anywhere around the world using the unique ID. The tracks can be published or subscribed anytime during the lifecycle of the PeerConnection.

In the background, Cloudflare takes care of scaling through a fan-out architecture with cascading trees that are unique per track. This structure works by creating a hierarchy of nodes where the root node distributes the stream to intermediate nodes, which then fan out to end-users. This significantly reduces the bandwidth required at the source and ensures scalability by distributing the load across the network. This simple but powerful architecture allows developers to build anything from 1:1 video calls to large 1:many or many:many broadcasting scenarios with Calls.

There is no “room” concept in Cloudflare Calls. Each client can add as many tracks into a PeerConnection as they’d like. The limit is the bandwidth available between Cloudflare and the client, which is practically limited by the client side every time. The signaling or the concept of a “room” is left to the application developer, who can choose to pull as many tracks as they’d like from the tracks they have pushed elsewhere into a PeerConnection. This allows developers to move participants into breakout rooms and then back into a plenary room, and then 1:1 rooms while keeping the same PeerConnection and MediaTracks active.

Cloudflare offers an unopinionated approach to bandwidth management, allowing for greater control in customizing logic to suit your business needs. There is no active bandwidth management or restriction on the number of tracks. The WebRTC Stats API provides a standardized way to access data on packet loss and possible congestion, enabling you to incorporate client-side logic based on this information. For instance, if poor Wi-Fi connectivity leads to degraded service, your front-end could inform the user through a notice and automatically reduce the number of video tracks for that client.

“NACK shield” at the edge

The Internet can’t guarantee timely and orderly delivery of packets, leading to the necessity of retransmission mechanisms, particularly in protocols like TCP. This ensures data eventually reaches its destination, despite possible delays. Real-time systems, however, need special consideration of these delays. A packet that is delayed past its deadline for rendering on the screen is worthless, but a packet that is lost can be recovered if it can be retransmitted within a very short period of time, on the order of milliseconds. This is where NACKs come to play.

A WebRTC client receiving data constantly checks for packet loss. When one or more packets don’t arrive at the expected time or a sequence number discontinuity is seen on the receiving buffer, a special NACK packet is sent back to the source in order to ask for a packet retransmission.

In a peer-to-peer topology, if it receives a NACK packet, the source of the data has to retransmit packets for every participant. When an SFU is used, the SFU could send NACKs back to source, or keep a complex buffer for each client to handle retransmissions.

This gets more complicated with Cloudflare Calls, since both the publisher and the subscriber connect to Cloudflare, likely to different servers and also probably in different locations. In addition, there is a possibility of other Cloudflare data centers in the middle, either through Argo, or just as part of scaling to many subscribers on the same track.

It is common for SFUs to backpropagate NACK packets back to the source, losing valuable time to recover packets. Calls goes beyond this and can handle NACK packets in the location closest to the user, which decreases overall latency. The latency advantage gives more chance for the packet to be recovered compared to a centralized SFU or no NACK handling at all.

Since there is possibly a number of Cloudflare data centers between clients, packet loss within the Cloudflare network is also possible. We handle this by generating NACK packets in the network. With each hop that is taken with the packets, the receiving end can generate NACK packets. These packets are then recovered or backpropagated to the publisher to be recovered.

Cloudflare Calls does TURN over Anycast too

Separately from the SFU, Calls also offers a TURN service. TURN relays act as relay points for traffic between WebRTC clients like the browser and SFUs, particularly in scenarios where direct communication is obstructed by NATs or firewalls. TURN maintains an allocation of public IP addresses and ports for each session, ensuring connectivity even in restrictive network environments.

Cloudflare Calls’ TURN service supports a few ports to help with misbehaving middleboxes and firewalls:

  • TURN-over-UDP over port 3748 (standard), and also port 53
  • TURN-over-TCP over ports 3748 and 80
  • TURN-over-TLS over ports 5349 and 443

TURN works the same way as Calls, available over anycast and always connecting to the closest datacenter.

Pricing and how to get started

Cloudflare Calls is now in open beta and available in your Cloudflare Dashboard. Depending on your use case, you can set up an SFU application and/or a TURN service with only a few clicks.

To kick off its open beta phase, Calls is available at no cost for a limited time. Starting May 15, 2024, customers will receive the first terabyte each month for free, with any usage beyond that charged at $0.05 per real-time gigabyte. Beta customers will be provided at least 30 days to upgrade from the free beta to a paid subscription. Additionally, there are no charges for in-bound traffic to Cloudflare. For volume pricing, talk to your account manager.

Cloudflare Calls is ideal if you are building new WebRTC apps. If you have existing SFUs or TURN infrastructure, you may still consider using Calls alongside your existing infrastructure. Building a bridge to Calls from other places is not difficult as Cloudflare Calls supports standard WebRTC APIs and acts like just another WebRTC peer.

We understand that getting started with a new platform is difficult, so we’re also open sourcing our internal video conferencing app, Orange Meets. Orange Meets supports small and large conference calls by maintaining room state in Workers Durable Objects. It has screen sharing, client-side noise-canceling, and background blur. It is written with TypeScript and React and is available on GitHub.

We’re hiring

We think the current state of Cloudflare Calls enables many use cases. Calls already supports publishing and subscribing to media tracks and DataChannels. Soon, it will support features like simulcasting.

But we’re just scratching the surface and there is so much more to build on top of this foundation.

If you are passionate about WebRTC (and other real-time protocols!!), the Media Platform team building the Calls product at Cloudflare is hiring and would love to talk to you.

R2 adds event notifications, support for migrations from Google Cloud Storage, and an infrequent access storage tier

Post Syndicated from Matt DeBoard original https://blog.cloudflare.com/r2-events-gcs-migration-infrequent-access


We’re excited to announce three new features for Cloudflare R2, our zero egress fee object storage platform:

Event Notifications Open Beta

The lifecycle of data often doesn’t stop immediately after upload to an R2 bucket – event data may need to be transformed and loaded into a data warehouse, media files may need to go through a post-processing step, etc. We’re releasing event notifications for R2 in open beta to enable building applications and workflows driven by your changing data.

Event notifications work by sending messages to your queue each time there is a change to your data. These messages are then received by a consumer Worker where you can then define any subsequent action that needs to be taken.

To get started enabling event notifications on your R2 bucket, you can run the following Wrangler command (replacing bucket_name and queue_name with your bucket and queue names respectively):

wrangler r2 bucket notification create <bucket_name> --event-type object-create --queue <queue_name>

For more information on how to set up event notifications on your R2 buckets today and limitations during beta, please refer to the documentation.

Super Slurper for Google Cloud Storage

Super Slurper can now migrate data from Google Cloud Storage (GCS) to Cloudflare R2. We released Super Slurper last year with the goal of making one-time comprehensive data migrations fast, reliable, and easy: there’s no need to spin up migration VMs and implement complicated retry logic. Since then, thousands of developers have used Super Slurper to migrate petabytes of data from AWS S3 to R2. Now Google Cloud Storage customers can migrate data to Cloudflare R2 to benefit from Cloudflare’s zero egress fees, whether you are permanently moving data to another provider or not.

To get started migrating data from GCS:

  1. From the Cloudflare dashboard, select R2 > Data Migration.
  2. Select Migrate files.
  3. Select Google Cloud Storage for the source bucket provider.
  4. Enter your bucket name and associated credentials and select Next.
  5. Enter your R2 bucket name and associated credentials and select Next.
  6. After you finish reviewing the details of your migration, select Migrate files.

You can view the status of your migration job at any time on the dashboard. For more information on how to use Super Slurper, please refer to the documentation here.

Infrequent Access Private Beta

We’re excited to introduce the private beta of our new Infrequent Access storage class. For use cases that involve data that isn’t frequently accessed (long tail user-generated content, logs, etc), Infrequent Access gives you the ability to pay less for storage while maintaining performance and durability.

Here’s an example of how you can upload an object to your R2 bucket with the new Infrequent Access storage class using Workers:

# wrangler.toml
[[r2_buckets]]
binding = 'MY_BUCKET'
bucket_name = '<YOUR_BUCKET_NAME>'

# index.ts
export default {
   async fetch(request: Request, env: Env): Promise<Response> {
      if (request.method === "PUT") {
         await env.MY_BUCKET.put("myobject", request.body, storageClass: "InfrequentAccess");
         return new Response("Put object successfully!");
      }
      return new Response("Not a PUT!");
   }
}

In addition to uploading objects directly to Infrequent Access, you can define an object lifecycle policy to move data to Infrequent Access after a period of time goes by and you no longer need to access your data as often. In the future, we plan to automatically optimize storage classes for data so you can avoid manually creating rules and better adapt to changing data access patterns.

For data stored in the Infrequent Access storage class, the pricing components will be similar to what you’re used to with R2: storage, Class A operations (writes, lists), Class B operations (reads), and data retrieval (processing). Data retrieval is charged per GB when data in the Infrequent Access storage class is retrieved and is what allows us to provide storage at a lower price. It reflects the additional computational resources required to fetch data from underlying storage optimized for less frequent access. And when the time comes, and you do need to use your data, there are still no egress fees.

Component Price
Storage $0.01 / GB-month
Class A Operations $9.00 / million requests
Class B Operations $0.90 / million requests
Data Retrieval (Processing) $0.01 / GB
Egress (or Data Transfer) $0 – No Charge

Are you interested in participating in the private beta for Infrequent Access?

Join the private beta waitlist to get access.

Have any feedback?

We would love to hear from you! To share your feedback about R2 and our data migration services, please join the Cloudflare Developer Discord. If you’re interested in learning more about R2, get started by visiting R2’s developer documentation or see how much you could save with our pricing calculator.

Welcome to Developer Week 2024

Post Syndicated from Rita Kozlov original https://blog.cloudflare.com/welcome-to-developer-week-2024


It’s time to ship. For us (that’s what Innovation Weeks are all about!), and also for our developers.

Shipping itself is always fun, but getting there is not always easy. Bringing something from idea to life requires many stars to align. That’s what this week is all about — helping developers, including the two million developers already building on our platform, bring their ideas to life.

The full-stack cloud

Building applications requires assembling many different components.

The frontend, the face of the application, must be intuitive, responsive, and visually appealing to engage users effectively. Behind the scenes, you need a backend to handle data processing, storage, and retrieval, ensuring smooth functionality and performance. On top of all that, in the past year AI has entered the chat, so to speak, and increasingly every application requires an element of AI, making it a crucial part of the stack.

The job of a good platform is to provide all these components, and any others you will need, to you, the developer.

Just as there’s nothing more frustrating than coming home from the grocery store and realizing you left out an ingredient, realizing a platform is missing a major component or piece of functionality is no different.

We view providing the tooling that developers need as a critical part of our job as a platform, which is why with every Developer Week, we make it our mission to provide you with more and more pieces you may need. This week is no different — you can expect us to announce more tools and primitives from the frontend to backend to AI.

However, our job doesn’t stop there. If a good platform provides the components, a great platform goes a step further than that.

The job of a great platform is not only to provide the components, but make sure they play well with each other in a way that makes your job as a developer easier. Our vision for the developer platform is exactly that: to anticipate not just the tools you need but also think about how they work with each other, and how they integrate into your development flow.

This week, you will see announcements and deep dives that expound on our vision for an integrated platform: pulling back the curtain on the way we expose services in Workers through bindings for an integrated developer experience, talking about our vision for a unified data platform, updating you on framework support, and more.

The connectivity cloud

While we’re excited for you to build on us as much as possible, we also realize that development projects are rarely greenfield. If you’ve been at this for a long time, chances are a large portion of your application already lives somewhere, whether on another cloud, or on-prem.

That’s why we’re constantly making it easier for you to connect to existing infrastructure or other providers, and working hard to make sure you can still reap the benefits of building on Cloudflare by making your application feel fast and global, regardless of where your backend is.

And vice versa, if your data is on us, but you need to access it from other providers, it’s not our job to keep it hostage in a captivity cloud by charging a tariff for egress.

The experimentation cloud

Before you start assembling components, or even coming up with a plan or a spec for it, there’s an important but overlooked step to the development process — experimentation.

Experimentation can take many forms. Experimentation can be in the form of prototyping an MVP before you spend months developing a product or a feature. If you’ve found yourself rewriting your entire personal website just to try out a new tool or framework, that’s also experimentation.

It’s easy to overlook experimentation as a part of the process, but innovation doesn’t happen without it, which is why it’s something we always want to encourage and support as a part of our platform.

That’s why offering a generous free tier is something that’s been a part of our DNA since the very beginning, and something you can expect to forever be a staple of our platform.

The demo to production cloud

Alright, you’ve got all the tools you need, you’ve had a chance to experiment, and at some point… it’s time to ship.

Shipping is exciting, but shipping is also vulnerable and scary. You’re exposing the thing you’ve been working hard on to the world to criticize. You’re exposing your code to a world of untested edge cases and abuse. You’re exposing your colleagues who are on call to the possibility of getting paged at 1 AM due to the code you released.

Of course, the wrong answer is not shipping.

The right answer is having a platform that supports you and holds your hand through the scary parts. This means a platform that can seamlessly scale from zero to sixty. A platform gives you the tools to test your code, and release it gradually to the world to help you gain confidence. Or a platform provides the observability you need when you are trying to figure out what’s gone wrong at 1 AM.

That’s why this week, you can look forward to some announcements from us that we hope will help you sleep better.

The demo to production cloud — for inference

We talked about some of the scary parts of deploying to production, and while all these apply to AI as well, building AI applications today, especially in production, presents its own unique set of challenges.

Almost every day you see a new AI demo go viral — from Sora to Devin, it’s easy and inspiring to imagine our world completely changed by AI. But if you’ve started actually playing with and implementing AI use cases, you know the harsh reality of making AI truly work. It requires a lot of trial and error to get the results you want — choosing a model, RAG, fine-tuning…

And that’s before you even go to production.

That’s when you encounter the real challenge — provisioning enough capacity to stay up, without over-provisioning and overpaying. This is the exact challenge we set out to solve from the early days of Workers — helping developers not worry about infrastructure, just the application they want to build.

With the recent rise of AI, we’ve noticed many of these challenges return. Thankfully, managing loads and infrastructure is what we’re good at here at Cloudflare. It’s what we’ve had practice at for over a decade of running our platform. It’s all just one giant scheduler.

Our vision for our AI platform is to help solve the exact challenges in deploying AI workloads that we’ve been helping developers solve for, well, any other type of workload. Whether you’re deploying directly on us with Workers AI, or another provider, we’ll help provide the tools you need to access the models you need, without overpaying for idle compute.

Don’t worry, it’s all going to be fine.

So what can you expect this week?

No one in my family can keep a secret — my sister cannot get me a birthday present without spoiling it the week before. For me, the anticipation and the look of surprise is part of the fun! My coworkers seem to have clued into this.

While I won’t give away too much, we’ve already teased out a few things last week (you can find some hints here, here and here), as well as in this blog post if you read closely (because as it turns out, I too, can’t help myself).

See you tomorrow!

Our series of announcements starts on Monday, April 1st. We look forward to sharing them with you here on our blog, and discussing them with you on Discord and X.

Introducing WARP Connector: paving the path to any-to-any connectivity

Post Syndicated from Abe Carryl original https://blog.cloudflare.com/introducing-warp-connector-paving-the-path-to-any-to-any-connectivity-2


In the ever-evolving domain of enterprise security, CISOs and CIOs have to tirelessly build new enterprise networks and maintain old ones to achieve performant any-to-any connectivity. For their team of network architects, surveying their own environment to keep up with changing needs is half the job. The other is often unearthing new, innovative solutions which integrate seamlessly into the existing landscape. This continuous cycle of construction and fortification in the pursuit of secure, flexible infrastructure is exactly what Cloudflare’s SASE offering, Cloudflare One, was built for.

Cloudflare One has progressively evolved based on feedback from customers and analysts.,  Today, we are thrilled to introduce the public availability of the Cloudflare WARP Connector, a new tool that makes bidirectional, site-to-site, and mesh-like connectivity even easier to secure without the need to make any disruptive changes to existing network infrastructure.

Bridging a gap in Cloudflare’s Zero Trust story

Cloudflare’s approach has always been focused on offering a breadth of products, acknowledging that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for network connectivity. Our vision is simple: any-to-any connectivity, any way you want it.

Prior to the WARP Connector, one of the easiest ways to connect your infrastructure to Cloudflare, whether that be a local HTTP server, web services served by a Kubernetes cluster, or a private network segment, was through the Cloudflare Tunnel app connector, cloudflared. In many cases this works great, but over time customers began to surface a long tail of use cases which could not be supported based on the underlying architecture of cloudflared. This includes situations where customers utilize VOIP phones, necessitating a SIP server to establish outgoing connections to user’s softphones, or a CI/CD server sending notifications to relevant stakeholders for each stage of the CI/CD pipelines. Later in this blog post, we explore these use cases in detail.

As clouflared proxies at Layer 4 of the OSI model, its design was optimized specifically to proxy requests to origin services — it was not designed to be an active listener to handle requests from origin services. This design trade-off means that cloudflared needs to source NAT all requests it proxies to the application server. This setup is convenient for scenarios where customers don’t need to update routing tables to deploy cloudflared in front of their original services. However, it also means that customers can’t see the true source IP of the client sending the requests. This matters in scenarios where a network firewall is logging all the network traffic, as the source IP of all the requests will be cloudflared’s IP address, causing the customer to lose visibility into the true client source.

Build or borrow

To solve this problem, we identified two potential solutions: start from scratch by building a new connector, or borrow from an existing connector, likely in either cloudflared or WARP.

The following table provides an overview of the tradeoffs of the two approaches:

Features

Build in cloudflared

Borrow from WARP 

Bidirectional traffic flows

As described in the earlier section, limitations of Layer 4 proxying.

This does proxying at 

Layer 3, because of which it can act as default gateway for that subnet, enabling it to support traffic flows from both directions.

User experience

For Cloudflare One customers, they have to work with two distinct products (cloudflared and WARP) to connect their services and users.

For Cloudflare One customers, they just have to get familiar with a single product to connect their users as well as their networks.

Site-to-site connectivity between branches, data centers (on-premise and cloud) and headquarters.

Not recommended

For sites where running  agents on each device is not feasible, this could easily connect the sites to users running WARP clients in other sites/branches/data centers. This would work seamlessly where the underlying tunnels are all the same.

Visibility into true source IP

It does source NATting.

Since it acts as the default gateway, it preserves the true source IP address for any traffic flow.

High availability

Inherently reliable by design and supports replicas for failover scenarios.

Reliability specifications are very different for a default gateway use case vs endpoint device agent. Hence, there is opportunity to innovate here. 

Introducing WARP Connector

Starting today, the introduction of WARP Connector opens up new possibilities: server initiated (SIP/VOIP) flows; site-to-site connectivity, connecting branches, headquarters, and cloud platforms; and even mesh-like networking with WARP-to-WARP. Under the hood, this new connector is an extension of warp-client that can act as a virtual router for any subnet within the network to on/off-ramp traffic through Cloudflare.

By building on WARP, we were able to take advantage of its design, where it creates a virtual network interface on the host to logically subdivide the physical interface (NIC) for the purpose of routing IP traffic. This enables us to send bidirectional traffic through the WireGuard/MASQUE tunnel that’s maintained between the host and Cloudflare edge. By virtue of this architecture, customers also get the added benefit of visibility into the true source IP of the client.

WARP Connector can be easily deployed on the default gateway without any additional routing changes. Alternatively, static routes can be configured for specific CIDRs that need to be routed via WARP Connector, and the static routes can be configured on the default gateway or on every host in that subnet.

Private network use cases

Here we’ll walk through a couple of key reasons why you may want to deploy our new connector, but remember that this solution can support numerous services, such as Microsoft’s System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM), Active Directory server updates, VOIP and SIP traffic, and developer workflows with complex CI/CD pipeline interaction. It’s also important to note this connector can either be run alongside cloudflared and Magic WAN, or can be a standalone remote access and site-to-site connector to the Cloudflare Global network.

Softphone and VOIP servers

For users to establish a voice or video call over a VOIP software service, typically a SIP server within the private network brokers the connection using the last known IP address of the end-user. However, if traffic is proxied anywhere along the path, this often results in participants only receiving partial voice or data signals. With the WARP Connector, customers can now apply granular policies to these services for secure access, fortifying VOIP infrastructure within their Zero Trust framework.

Securing access to CI/CD pipeline

An organization’s DevOps ecosystem is generally built out of many parts, but a CI/CD server such as Jenkins or Teamcity is the epicenter of all development activities. Hence, securing that CI/CD server is critical. With the WARP Connector and WARP Client, organizations can secure the entire CI/CD pipeline and also streamline it easily.

Let’s look at a typical CI/CD pipeline for a Kubernetes application. The environment is set up as depicted in the diagram above, with WARP clients on the developer and QA laptops and a WARP Connector securely connecting the CI/CD server and staging servers on different networks:

  1. Typically, the CI/CD pipeline is triggered when a developer commits their code change, invoking a webhook on the CI/CD server.
  2. Once the images are built, it’s time to deploy the code, which is typically done in stages: test, staging and production.
  3. Notifications are sent to the developer and QA engineer to notify them when the images are ready in the test/staging environments.
  4. QA engineers receive the notifications via webhook from the CI/CD servers to kick-start their monitoring and troubleshooting workflow.

With WARP Connector, customers can easily connect their developers to the tools in the DevOps ecosystem by keeping the ecosystem private and not exposing it to the public. Once the DevOps ecosystem is securely connected to Cloudflare, granular security policies can be easily applied to secure access to the CI/CD pipeline.

True source IP address preservation

Organizations running Microsoft AD Servers or non-web application servers often need to identify the true source IP address for auditing or policy application. If these requirements exist, WARP Connector simplifies this, offering solutions without adding NAT boundaries. This can be useful to rate-limit unhealthy source IP addresses, for ACL-based policies within the perimeter, or to collect additional diagnostics from end-users.

Getting started with WARP Connector

As part of this launch, we’re making some changes to the Cloudflare One Dashboard to better highlight our different network on/off ramp options. As of today, a new “Network” tab will appear on your dashboard. This will be the new home for the Cloudflare Tunnel UI.

We are also introducing the new “Routes” tab next to “Tunnels”. This page will present an organizational view of customer’s virtual networks, Cloudflare Tunnels, and routes associated with them. This new page helps answer a customer’s questions pertaining to their network configurations, such as: “Which Cloudflare Tunnel has the route to my host 192.168.1.2 ” or “If a route for CIDR 192.168.2.1/28 exists, how can it be accessed” or “What are the overlapping CIDRs in my environment and which VNETs do they belong to?”. This is extremely useful for customers who have very complex enterprise networks that use the Cloudflare dashboard for troubleshooting connectivity issues.

Embarking on your WARP Connector journey is straightforward. Currently deployable on Linux hosts, users can select “create a Tunnel” and pick from either cloudflared or WARP to deploy straight from the dashboard. Follow our developer documentation to get started in a few easy steps. In the near future we will be adding support for more platforms where WARP Connectors can be deployed.

What’s next?

Thank you to all of our private beta customers for their invaluable feedback. Moving forward, our immediate focus in the coming quarters is on simplifying deployment, mirroring that of cloudflared, and enhancing high availability through redundancy and failover mechanisms.

Stay tuned for more updates as we continue our journey in innovating and enhancing the Cloudflare One platform. We’re excited to see how our customers leverage WARP Connector to transform their connectivity and security landscape.

Log Explorer: monitor security events without third-party storage

Post Syndicated from Jen Sells original https://blog.cloudflare.com/log-explorer


Today, we are excited to announce beta availability of Log Explorer, which allows you to investigate your HTTP and Security Event logs directly from the Cloudflare Dashboard. Log Explorer is an extension of Security Analytics, giving you the ability to review related raw logs. You can analyze, investigate, and monitor for security attacks natively within the Cloudflare Dashboard, reducing time to resolution and overall cost of ownership by eliminating the need to forward logs to third party security analysis tools.

Background

Security Analytics enables you to analyze all of your HTTP traffic in one place, giving you the security lens you need to identify and act upon what matters most: potentially malicious traffic that has not been mitigated. Security Analytics includes built-in views such as top statistics and in-context quick filters on an intuitive page layout that enables rapid exploration and validation.

In order to power our rich analytics dashboards with fast query performance, we implemented data sampling using Adaptive Bit Rate (ABR) analytics. This is a great fit for providing high level aggregate views of the data. However, we received feedback from many Security Analytics power users that sometimes they need access to a more granular view of the data — they need logs.

Logs provide critical visibility into the operations of today’s computer systems. Engineers and SOC analysts rely on logs every day to troubleshoot issues, identify and investigate security incidents, and tune the performance, reliability, and security of their applications and infrastructure. Traditional metrics or monitoring solutions provide aggregated or statistical data that can be used to identify trends. Metrics are wonderful at identifying THAT an issue happened, but lack the detailed events to help engineers uncover WHY it happened. Engineers and SOC Analysts rely on raw log data to answer questions such as:

  • What is causing this increase in 403 errors?
  • What data was accessed by this IP address?
  • What was the user experience of this particular user’s session?

Traditionally, these engineers and analysts would stand up a collection of various monitoring tools in order to capture logs and get this visibility. With more organizations using multiple clouds, or a hybrid environment with both cloud and on-premise tools and architecture, it is crucial to have a unified platform to regain visibility into this increasingly complex environment.  As more and more companies are moving towards a cloud native architecture, we see Cloudflare’s connectivity cloud as an integral part of their performance and security strategy.

Log Explorer provides a lower cost option for storing and exploring log data within Cloudflare. Until today, we have offered the ability to export logs to expensive third party tools, and now with Log Explorer, you can quickly and easily explore your log data without leaving the Cloudflare Dashboard.

Log Explorer Features

Whether you’re a SOC Engineer investigating potential incidents, or a Compliance Officer with specific log retention requirements, Log Explorer has you covered. It stores your Cloudflare logs for an uncapped and customizable period of time, making them accessible natively within the Cloudflare Dashboard. The supported features include:

  • Searching through your HTTP Request or Security Event logs
  • Filtering based on any field and a number of standard operators
  • Switching between basic filter mode or SQL query interface
  • Selecting fields to display
  • Viewing log events in tabular format
  • Finding the HTTP request records associated with a Ray ID

Narrow in on unmitigated traffic

As a SOC analyst, your job is to monitor and respond to threats and incidents within your organization’s network. Using Security Analytics, and now with Log Explorer, you can identify anomalies and conduct a forensic investigation all in one place.

Let’s walk through an example to see this in action:

On the Security Analytics dashboard, you can see in the Insights panel that there is some traffic that has been tagged as a likely attack, but not mitigated.

Clicking the filter button narrows in on these requests for further investigation.

In the sampled logs view, you can see that most of these requests are coming from a common client IP address.

You can also see that Cloudflare has flagged all of these requests as bot traffic. With this information, you can craft a WAF rule to either block all traffic from this IP address, or block all traffic with a bot score lower than 10.

Let’s say that the Compliance Team would like to gather documentation on the scope and impact of this attack. We can dig further into the logs during this time period to see everything that this attacker attempted to access.

First, we can use Log Explorer to query HTTP requests from the suspect IP address during the time range of the spike seen in Security Analytics.

We can also review whether the attacker was able to exfiltrate data by adding the OriginResponseBytes field and updating the query to show requests with OriginResponseBytes > 0. The results show that no data was exfiltrated.

Find and investigate false positives

With access to the full logs via Log Explorer, you can now perform a search to find specific requests.

A 403 error occurs when a user’s request to a particular site is blocked. Cloudflare’s security products use things like IP reputation and WAF attack scores based on ML technologies in order to assess whether a given HTTP request is malicious. This is extremely effective, but sometimes requests are mistakenly flagged as malicious and blocked.

In these situations, we can now use Log Explorer to identify these requests and why they were blocked, and then adjust the relevant WAF rules accordingly.

Or, if you are interested in tracking down a specific request by Ray ID, an identifier given to every request that goes through Cloudflare, you can do that via Log Explorer with one query.

Note that the LIMIT clause is included in the query by default, but has no impact on RayID queries as RayID is unique and only one record would be returned when using the RayID filter field.

How we built Log Explorer

With Log Explorer, we have built a long-term, append-only log storage platform on top of Cloudflare R2. Log Explorer leverages the Delta Lake protocol, an open-source storage framework for building highly performant, ACID-compliant databases atop a cloud object store. In other words, Log Explorer combines a large and cost-effective storage system – Cloudflare R2 – with the benefits of strong consistency and high performance. Additionally, Log Explorer gives you a SQL interface to your Cloudflare logs.

Each Log Explorer dataset is stored on a per-customer level, just like Cloudflare D1, so that your data isn’t placed with that of other customers. In the future, this single-tenant storage model will give you the flexibility to create your own retention policies and decide in which regions you want to store your data.

Under the hood, the datasets for each customer are stored as Delta tables in R2 buckets. A Delta table is a storage format that organizes Apache Parquet objects into directories using Hive’s partitioning naming convention. Crucially, Delta tables pair these storage objects with an append-only, checkpointed transaction log. This design allows Log Explorer to support multiple writers with optimistic concurrency.

Many of the products Cloudflare builds are a direct result of the challenges our own team is looking to address. Log Explorer is a perfect example of this culture of dogfooding. Optimistic concurrent writes require atomic updates in the underlying object store, and as a result of our needs, R2 added a PutIfAbsent operation with strong consistency. Thanks, R2! The atomic operation sets Log Explorer apart from Delta Lake solutions based on Amazon Web Services’ S3, which incur the operational burden of using an external store for synchronizing writes.

Log Explorer is written in the Rust programming language using open-source libraries, such as delta-rs, a native Rust implementation of the Delta Lake protocol, and Apache Arrow DataFusion, a very fast, extensible query engine. At Cloudflare, Rust has emerged as a popular choice for new product development due to its safety and performance benefits.

What’s next

We know that application security logs are only part of the puzzle in understanding what’s going on in your environment. Stay tuned for future developments including tighter, more seamless integration between Analytics and Log Explorer, the addition of more datasets including Zero Trust logs, the ability to define custom retention periods, and integrated custom alerting.

Please use the feedback link to let us know how Log Explorer is working for you and what else would help make your job easier.

How to get it

We’d love to hear from you! Let us know if you are interested in joining our Beta program by completing this form and a member of our team will contact you.

Pricing will be finalized prior to a General Availability (GA) launch.

Tune in for more news, announcements and thought-provoking discussions! Don’t miss the full Security Week hub page.

General availability for WAF Content Scanning for file malware protection

Post Syndicated from Radwa Radwan original https://blog.cloudflare.com/waf-content-scanning-for-malware-detection


File upload is a common feature in many web applications. Applications may allow users to upload files like images of flood damage to file an insurance claim, PDFs like resumes or cover letters to apply for a job, or other documents like receipts or income statements. However, beneath the convenience lies a potential threat, since allowing unrestricted file uploads can expose the web server and your enterprise network to significant risks related to security, privacy, and compliance.

Cloudflare recently introduced WAF Content Scanning, our in-line malware file detection and prevention solution to stop malicious files from reaching the web server, offering our Enterprise WAF customers an additional line of defense against security threats.

Today, we’re pleased to announce that the feature is now generally available. It will be automatically rolled out to existing WAF Content Scanning customers before the end of March 2024.

In this blog post we will share more details about the new version of the feature, what we have improved, and reveal some of the technical challenges we faced while building it. This feature is available to Enterprise WAF customers as an add-on license, contact your account team to get it.

What to expect from the new version?

The feedback from the early access version has resulted in additional improvements. The main one is expanding the maximum size of scanned files from 1 MB to 15 MB. This change required a complete redesign of the solution’s architecture and implementation. Additionally, we are improving the dashboard visibility and the overall analytics experience.

Let’s quickly review how malware scanning operates within our WAF.

Behind the scenes

WAF Content Scanning operates in a few stages: users activate and configure it, then the scanning engine detects which requests contain files, the files are sent to the scanner returning the scan result fields, and finally users can build custom rules with these fields. We will dig deeper into each step in this section.

Activate and configure

Customers can enable the feature via the API, or through the Settings page in the dashboard (Security → Settings) where a new section has been added for incoming traffic detection configuration and enablement. As soon as this action is taken, the enablement action gets distributed to the Cloudflare network and begins scanning incoming traffic.

Customers can also add a custom configuration depending on the file upload method, such as a base64 encoded file in a JSON string, which allows the specified file to be parsed and scanned automatically.

In the example below, the customer wants us to look at JSON bodies for the key “file” and scan them.

This rule is written using the wirefilter syntax.

Engine runs on traffic and scans the content

As soon as the feature is activated and configured, the scanning engine runs the pre-scanning logic, and identifies content automatically via heuristics. In this case, the engine logic does not rely on the Content-Type header, as it’s easy for attackers to manipulate. When relevant content or a file has been found, the engine connects to the antivirus (AV) scanner in our Zero Trust solution to perform a thorough analysis and return the results of the scan. The engine uses the scan results to propagate useful fields that customers can use.

Integrate with WAF

For every request where a file is found, the scanning engine returns various fields, including:

cf.waf.content_scan.has_malicious_obj,
cf.waf.content_scan.obj_sizes,
cf.waf.content_scan.obj_types, 
cf.waf.content_scan.obj_results

The scanning engine integrates with the WAF where customers can use those fields to create custom WAF rules to address various use cases. The basic use case is primarily blocking malicious files from reaching the web server. However, customers can construct more complex logic, such as enforcing constraints on parameters such as file sizes, file types, endpoints, or specific paths.

In-line scanning limitations and file types

One question that often comes up is about the file types we detect and scan in WAF Content Scanning. Initially, addressing this query posed a challenge since HTTP requests do not have a definition of a “file”, and scanning all incoming HTTP requests does not make sense as it adds extra processing and latency. So, we had to decide on a definition to spot HTTP requests that include files, or as we call it, “uploaded content”.

The WAF Content Scanning engine makes that decision by filtering out certain content types identified by heuristics. Any content types not included in a predefined list, such as text/html, text/x-shellscript, application/json, and text/xml, are considered uploaded content and are sent to the scanner for examination. This allows us to scan a wide range of content types and file types without affecting the performance of all requests by adding extra processing. The wide range of files we scan includes:

  • Executable (e.g., .exe, .bat, .dll, .wasm)
  • Documents (e.g., .doc, .docx, .pdf, .ppt, .xls)
  • Compressed (e.g., .7z, .gz, .zip, .rar)
  • Image (e.g., .jpg, .png, .gif, .webp, .tif)
  • Video and audio files within the 15 MB file size range.

The file size scanning limit of 15 Megabytes comes from the fact that the in-line file scanning as a feature is running in real time, which offers safety to the web server and instant access to clean files, but also impacts the whole request delivery process. Therefore, it’s crucial to scan the payload without causing significant delays or interruptions; namely increased CPU time and latency.

Scaling the scanning process to 15 MB

In the early design of the product, we built a system that could handle requests with a maximum body size of 1 MB, and increasing the limit to 15 MB had to happen without adding any extra latency. As mentioned, this latency is not added to all requests, but only to the requests that have uploaded content. However, increasing the size with the same design would have increased the latency by 15x for those requests.

In this section, we discuss how we previously managed scanning files embedded in JSON request bodies within the former architecture as an example, and why it was challenging to expand the file size using the same design, then compare the same example with the changes made in the new release to overcome the extra latency in details.

Old architecture used for the Early Access release

In order for customers to use the content scanning functionality in scanning files embedded in JSON request bodies, they had to configure a rule like:

lookup_json_string(http.request.body.raw, “file”)

This means we should look in the request body but only for the “file” key, which in the image below contains a base64 encoded string for an image.

When the request hits our Front Line (FL) NGINX proxy, we buffer the request body. This will be in an in-memory buffer, or written to a temporary file if the size of the request body exceeds the NGINX configuration of client_body_buffer_size. Then, our WAF engine executes the lookup_json_string function and returns the base64 string which is the content of the file key. The base64 string gets sent via Unix Domain Sockets to our malware scanner, which does MIME type detection and returns a verdict to the file upload scanning module.

This architecture had a bottleneck that made it hard to expand on: the expensive latency fees we had to pay. The request body is first buffered in NGINX and then copied into our WAF engine, where rules are executed. The malware scanner will then receive the execution result — which, in the worst scenario, is the entire request body — over a Unix domain socket. This indicates that once NGINX buffers the request body, we send and buffer it in two other services.

New architecture for the General Availability release

In the new design, the requirements were to scan larger files (15x larger) while not compromising on performance. To achieve this, we decided to bypass our WAF engine, which is where we introduced the most latency.

In the new architecture, we made the malware scanner aware of what is needed to execute the rule, hence bypassing the Ruleset Engine (RE). For example, the configuration “lookup_json_string(http.request.body.raw, “file”)”, will be represented roughly as:

{
   Function: lookup_json_string
   Args: [“file”]
}

This is achieved by walking the Abstract Syntax Tree (AST) when the rule is configured, and deploying the sample struct above to our global network. The struct’s values will be read by the malware scanner, and rule execution and malware detection will happen within the same service. This means we don’t need to read the request body, execute the rule in the Ruleset Engine (RE) module, and then send the results over to the malware scanner.

The malware scanner will now read the request body from the temporary file directly, perform the rule execution, and return the verdict to the file upload scanning module.

The file upload scanning module populates these fields, so they can be used to write custom rules and take actions. For example:

all(cf.waf.content_scan.obj_results[*] == "clean")

This module also enriches our logging pipelines with these fields, which can then be read in Log Push, Edge Log Delivery, Security Analytics, and Firewall Events in the dashboard. For example, this is the security log in the Cloudflare dashboard (Security → Analytics) for a web request that triggered WAF Content Scanning:

WAF content scanning detection visibility

Using the concept of incoming traffic detection, WAF Content Scanning enables users to identify hidden risks through their traffic signals in the analytics before blocking or mitigating matching requests. This reduces false positives and permits security teams to make decisions based on well-informed data. Actually, this isn’t the only instance in which we apply this idea, as we also do it for a number of other products, like WAF Attack Score and Bot Management.

We have integrated helpful information into our security products, like Security Analytics, to provide this data visibility. The Content Scanning tab, located on the right sidebar, displays traffic patterns even if there were no WAF rules in place. The same data is also reflected in the sampled requests, and you can create new rules from the same view.

On the other hand, if you want to fine-tune your security settings, you will see better visibility in Security Events, where these are the requests that match specific rules you have created in WAF.

Last but not least, in our Logpush datastream, we have included the scan fields that can be selected to send to any external log handler.

What’s next?

Before the end of March 2024, all current and new customers who have enabled WAF Content Scanning will be able to scan uploaded files up to 15 MB. Next, we’ll focus on improving how we handle files in the rules, including adding a dynamic header functionality. Quarantining files is also another important feature we will be adding in the future. If you’re an Enterprise customer, reach out to your account team for more information and to get access.

Collect all your cookies in one jar with Page Shield Cookie Monitor

Post Syndicated from Zhiyuan Zheng original https://blog.cloudflare.com/collect-all-your-cookies-in-one-jar


Cookies are small files of information that a web server generates and sends to a web browser. For example, a cookie stored in your browser will let a website know that you are already logged in, so instead of showing you a login page, you would be taken to your account page welcoming you back.

Though cookies are very useful, they are also used for tracking and advertising, sometimes with repercussions for user privacy. Cookies are a core tool, for example, for all advertising networks. To protect users, privacy laws may require website owners to clearly specify what cookies are being used and for what purposes, and, in many cases, to obtain a user’s consent before storing those cookies in the user’s browser. A key example of this is the ePrivacy Directive.

Herein lies the problem: often website administrators, developers, or compliance team members don’t know what cookies are being used by their website. A common approach for gaining a better understanding of cookie usage is to set up a scanner bot that crawls through each page, collecting cookies along the way. However, many websites requiring authentication or additional security measures do not allow for these scans, or require custom security settings to allow the scanner bot access.

To address these issues, we developed Page Shield Cookie Monitor, which provides a full single dashboard view of all first-party cookies being used by your websites. Over the next few weeks, we are rolling out Page Shield Cookie Monitor to all paid plans, no configuration or scanners required if Page Shield is enabled.

HTTP cookies

HTTP cookies are designed to allow persistence for the stateless HTTP protocol. A basic example of cookie usage is to identify a logged-in user. The browser submits the cookie back to the website whenever you access it again, letting the website know who you are, providing you a customized experience. Cookies are implemented as HTTP headers.

Cookies can be classified as first-party or third-party.

First-party cookies are normally set by the website owner1, and are used to track state against the given website. The logged in example above falls into this category. First party cookies are normally restricted and sent to the given website only and won’t be visible by other sites.

Third-party cookies, on the other hand, are often set by large advertising networks, social networks, or other large organizations that want to track user journeys across the web (across domains). For example, some websites load advertisement objects from a different domain that may set a third-party cookie associated with that advertising network.

Cookies are used for tracking

Growing concerns around user privacy has led browsers to start blocking third-party cookies by default. Led by Firefox and Safari a few years back, Google Chrome, which currently has the largest browser market share, and whose parent company owns Google Ads, the dominant advertising network, started restricting third-party cookies beginning in January of this year.

However, this does not mean the end of tracking users for advertising purposes; the technology has advanced allowing tracking to continue based on first-party cookies. Facebook Pixel, for example, started offering to set first-party cookies alongside third-party cookies in 2018 when being embedded in a website, in order “to be more accurate in measurement and reporting”.

Scanning for cookies?

To inventory all the cookies used when your website is accessed, you can open up any modern browser’s developer console and review which cookie is being set and sent back per HTTP request. However, collecting cookies with this approach won’t be practical unless your website is rather static, containing few external snippets.

Screen capture of Chrome’s developer console listing cookies being set and sent back when visiting a website.

To resolve this, a cookie scanner can be used to automate cookie collection. Depending on your security setup, additional configurations are sometimes required in order to let the scanner bots pass through protection and/or authentication. This may open up a potential attack surface, which isn’t ideal.

Introducing Page Shield Cookie Monitor

With Page Shield enabled, all the first-party cookies, whether set by your website or by external snippets, are collected and displayed in one place, no scanner required. With the click of a button, the full list can be exported in CSV format for further inventory processing.

If you run multiple websites like a marketing website and an admin console that require different cookie strategies, you can simply filter the list based on either domain or path, under the same view. This includes the websites that require authentication such as the admin console.

Dashboard showing a table of cookies seen, including key details such as cookie name, domain and path, and which host set the cookie.

To examine a particular cookie, clicking on its name takes you to a dedicated page that includes all the cookie attributes. Furthermore, similar to Script Monitor and Connection Monitor, we collect the first seen and last seen time and pages for easier tracking of your website’s behavior.

Detailed view of a captured cookie in the dashboard, including all cookie attributes as well as under which host and path this cookie has been set.

Last but not least, we are adding one more alert type specifically for newly seen cookies. When subscribed to this alert, we will notify you through either email or webhook as soon as a new cookie is detected with all the details mentioned above. This allows you to trigger any workflow required, such as inventorying this new cookie for compliance.

How Cookie Monitor works

Let’s imagine you run an e-commerce website example.com. When a user logs in to view their ongoing orders, your website would send a header with key Set-Cookie, and value to identify each user’s login activity:

  • login_id=ABC123; Domain=.example.com

To analyze visitor behaviors, you make use of Google Analytics that requires embedding a code snippet in all web pages. This snippet will set two more cookies after the pages are loaded in the browser:

  • _ga=GA1.2; Domain=.example.com;
  • _ga_ABC=GS1.3; Domain=.example.com;

As these two cookies from Google Analytics are considered first-party given their domain attribute, they are automatically included together with the logged-in cookie sent back to your website. The final cookie sent back for a logged-in user would be Cookie: login_id=ABC123; _ga=GA1.2; _ga_ABC=GS1.3 with three cookies concatenated into one string, even though only one of them is directly consumed by your website.

If your website happens to be proxied through Cloudflare already, we will observe one Set-Cookie header with cookie name of login_id during response, while receiving three cookies back: login_id, _ga, and _ga_ABC. Comparing one cookie set with three returned cookies, the overlapping login_id cookie is then tagged as set by your website directly. The same principle applies to all the requests passing through Cloudflare, allowing us to build an overview of all the first-party cookies used by your websites.

All cookies in one jar

Inventorying all cookies set through using your websites is a first step towards protecting your users’ privacy, and Page Shield makes this step just one click away. Sign up now to be notified when Page Shield Cookie Monitor becomes available!

1Technically, a first-party cookie is a cookie scoped to the given domain only (so not cross domain). Such a cookie can also be set by a third party snippet used by the website to the given domain.

Magic Cloud Networking simplifies security, connectivity, and management of public clouds

Post Syndicated from Steve Welham original https://blog.cloudflare.com/introducing-magic-cloud-networking


Today we are excited to announce Magic Cloud Networking, supercharged by Cloudflare’s recent acquisition of Nefeli Networks’ innovative technology. These new capabilities to visualize and automate cloud networks will give our customers secure, easy, and seamless connection to public cloud environments.

Public clouds offer organizations a scalable and on-demand IT infrastructure without the overhead and expense of running their own datacenter. Cloud networking is foundational to applications that have been migrated to the cloud, but is difficult to manage without automation software, especially when operating at scale across multiple cloud accounts. Magic Cloud Networking uses familiar concepts to provide a single interface that controls and unifies multiple cloud providers’ native network capabilities to create reliable, cost-effective, and secure cloud networks.

Nefeli’s approach to multi-cloud networking solves the problem of building and operating end-to-end networks within and across public clouds, allowing organizations to securely leverage applications spanning any combination of internal and external resources. Adding Nefeli’s technology will make it easier than ever for our customers to connect and protect their users, private networks and applications.

Why is cloud networking difficult?

Compared with a traditional on-premises data center network, cloud networking promises simplicity:

  • Much of the complexity of physical networking is abstracted away from users because the physical and ethernet layers are not part of the network service exposed by the cloud provider.
  • There are fewer control plane protocols; instead, the cloud providers deliver a simplified software-defined network (SDN) that is fully programmable via API.
  • There is capacity — from zero up to very large — available instantly and on-demand, only charging for what you use.

However, that promise has not yet been fully realized. Our customers have described several reasons cloud networking is difficult:

  • Poor end-to-end visibility: Cloud network visibility tools are difficult to use and silos exist even within single cloud providers that impede end-to-end monitoring and troubleshooting.
  • Faster pace: Traditional IT management approaches clash with the promise of the cloud: instant deployment available on-demand. Familiar ClickOps and CLI-driven procedures must be replaced by automation to meet the needs of the business.
  • Different technology: Established network architectures in on-premises environments do not seamlessly transition to a public cloud. The missing ethernet layer and advanced control plane protocols were critical in many network designs.
  • New cost models: The dynamic pay-as-you-go usage-based cost models of the public clouds are not compatible with established approaches built around fixed cost circuits and 5-year depreciation. Network solutions are often architected with financial constraints, and accordingly, different architectural approaches are sensible in the cloud.
  • New security risks: Securing public clouds with true zero trust and least-privilege demands mature operating processes and automation, and familiarity with cloud-specific policies and IAM controls.
  • Multi-vendor: Oftentimes enterprise networks have used single-vendor sourcing to facilitate interoperability, operational efficiency, and targeted hiring and training. Operating a network that extends beyond a single cloud, into other clouds or on-premises environments, is a multi-vendor scenario.

Nefeli considered all these problems and the tensions between different customer perspectives to identify where the problem should be solved.

Trains, planes, and automation

Consider a train system. To operate effectively it has three key layers:

  • tracks and trains
  • electronic signals
  • a company to manage the system and sell tickets.

A train system with good tracks, trains, and signals could still be operating below its full potential because its agents are unable to keep up with passenger demand. The result is that passengers cannot plan itineraries or purchase tickets.

The train company eliminates bottlenecks in process flow by simplifying the schedules, simplifying the pricing, providing agents with better booking systems, and installing automated ticket machines. Now the same fast and reliable infrastructure of tracks, trains, and signals can be used to its full potential.

Solve the right problem

In networking, there are an analogous set of three layers, called the networking planes:

  • Data Plane: the network paths that transport data (in the form of packets) from source to destination.
  • Control Plane: protocols and logic that change how packets are steered across the data plane.
  • Management Plane: the configuration and monitoring interfaces for the data plane and control plane.

In public cloud networks, these layers map to:

  • Cloud Data Plane: The underlying cables and devices are exposed to users as the Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) or Virtual Network (VNet) service that includes subnets, routing tables, security groups/ACLs and additional services such as load-balancers and VPN gateways.
  • Cloud Control Plane: In place of distributed protocols, the cloud control plane is a software defined network (SDN) that, for example, programs static route tables. (There is limited use of traditional control plane protocols, such as BGP to interface with external networks and ARP to interface with VMs.)
  • Cloud Management Plane: An administrative interface with a UI and API which allows the admin to fully configure the data and control planes. It also provides a variety of monitoring and logging capabilities that can be enabled and integrated with 3rd party systems.

Like our train example, most of the problems that our customers experience with cloud networking are in the third layer: the management plane.

Nefeli simplifies, unifies, and automates cloud network management and operations.

Avoid cost and complexity

One common approach to tackle management problems in cloud networks is introducing Virtual Network Functions (VNFs), which are virtual machines (VMs) that do packet forwarding, in place of native cloud data plane constructs. Some VNFs are routers, firewalls, or load-balancers ported from a traditional network vendor’s hardware appliances, while others are software-based proxies often built on open-source projects like NGINX or Envoy. Because VNFs mimic their physical counterparts, IT teams could continue using familiar management tooling, but VNFs have downsides:

  • VMs do not have custom network silicon and so instead rely on raw compute power. The VM is sized for the peak anticipated load and then typically runs 24x7x365. This drives a high cost of compute regardless of the actual utilization.
  • High-availability (HA) relies on fragile, costly, and complex network configuration.
  • Service insertion — the configuration to put a VNF into the packet flow — often forces packet paths that incur additional bandwidth charges.
  • VNFs are typically licensed similarly to their on-premises counterparts and are expensive.
  • VNFs lock in the enterprise and potentially exclude them benefitting from improvements in the cloud’s native data plane offerings.

For these reasons, enterprises are turning away from VNF-based solutions and increasingly looking to rely on the native network capabilities of their cloud service providers. The built-in public cloud networking is elastic, performant, robust, and priced on usage, with high-availability options integrated and backed by the cloud provider’s service level agreement.

In our train example, the tracks and trains are good. Likewise, the cloud network data plane is highly capable. Changing the data plane to solve management plane problems is the wrong approach. To make this work at scale, organizations need a solution that works together with the native network capabilities of cloud service providers.

Nefeli leverages native cloud data plane constructs rather than third party VNFs.

Introducing Magic Cloud Networking

The Nefeli team has joined Cloudflare to integrate cloud network management functionality with Cloudflare One. This capability is called Magic Cloud Networking and with it, enterprises can use the Cloudflare dashboard and API to manage their public cloud networks and connect with Cloudflare One.

End-to-end

Just as train providers are focused only on completing train journeys in their own network, cloud service providers deliver network connectivity and tools within a single cloud account. Many large enterprises have hundreds of cloud accounts across multiple cloud providers. In an end-to-end network this creates disconnected networking silos which introduce operational inefficiencies and risk.

Imagine you are trying to organize a train journey across Europe, and no single train company serves both your origin and destination. You know they all offer the same basic service: a seat on a train. However, your trip is difficult to arrange because it involves multiple trains operated by different companies with their own schedules and ticketing rates, all in different languages!

Magic Cloud Networking is like an online travel agent that aggregates multiple transportation options, books multiple tickets, facilitates changes after booking, and then delivers travel status updates.

Through the Cloudflare dashboard, you can discover all of your network resources across accounts and cloud providers and visualize your end-to-end network in a single interface. Once Magic Cloud Networking discovers your networks, you can build a scalable network through a fully automated and simple workflow.

Resource inventory shows all configuration in a single and responsive UI

Taming per-cloud complexity

Public clouds are used to deliver applications and services. Each cloud provider offers a composable stack of modular building blocks (resources) that start with the foundation of a billing account and then add on security controls. The next foundational layer, for server-based applications, is VPC networking. Additional resources are built on the VPC network foundation until you have compute, storage, and network infrastructure to host the enterprise application and data. Even relatively simple architectures can be composed of hundreds of resources.

The trouble is, these resources expose abstractions that are different from the building blocks you would use to build a service on prem, the abstractions differ between cloud providers, and they form a web of dependencies with complex rules about how configuration changes are made (rules which differ between resource types and cloud providers). For example, say I create 100 VMs, and connect them to an IP network. Can I make changes to the IP network while the VMs are using the network? The answer: it depends.

Magic Cloud Networking handles these differences and complexities for you. It configures native cloud constructs such as VPN gateways, routes, and security groups to securely connect your cloud VPC network to Cloudflare One without having to learn each cloud’s incantations for creating VPN connections and hubs.

Continuous, coordinated automation

Returning to our train system example, what if the railway maintenance staff find a dangerous fault on the railroad track? They manually set the signal to a stop light to prevent any oncoming trains using the faulty section of track. Then, what if, by unfortunate coincidence, the scheduling office is changing the signal schedule, and they set the signals remotely which clears the safety measure made by the maintenance crew? Now there is a problem that no one knows about and the root cause is that multiple authorities can change the signals via different interfaces without coordination.

The same problem exists in cloud networks: configuration changes are made by different teams using different automation and configuration interfaces across a spectrum of roles such as billing, support, security, networking, firewalls, database, and application development.

Once your network is deployed, Magic Cloud Networking monitors its configuration and health, enabling you to be confident that the security and connectivity you put in place yesterday is still in place today. It tracks the cloud resources it is responsible for, automatically reverting drift if they are changed out-of-band, while allowing you to manage other resources, like storage buckets and application servers, with other automation tools. And, as you change your network, Cloudflare takes care of route management, injecting and withdrawing routes globally across Cloudflare and all connected cloud provider networks.

Magic Cloud Networking is fully programmable via API, and can be integrated into existing automation toolchains.

The interface warns when cloud network infrastructure drifts from intent

Ready to start conquering cloud networking?

We are thrilled to introduce Magic Cloud Networking as another pivotal step to fulfilling the promise of the Connectivity Cloud. This marks our initial stride in empowering customers to seamlessly integrate Cloudflare with their public clouds to get securely connected, stay securely connected, and gain flexibility and cost savings as they go.

Join us on this journey for early access: learn more and sign up here.

Simplifying how enterprises connect to Cloudflare with Express Cloudflare Network Interconnect

Post Syndicated from Ben Ritter original https://blog.cloudflare.com/announcing-express-cni


We’re excited to announce the largest update to Cloudflare Network Interconnect (CNI) since its launch, and because we’re making CNIs faster and easier to deploy, we’re calling this Express CNI. At the most basic level, CNI is a cable between a customer’s network router and Cloudflare, which facilitates the direct exchange of information between networks instead of via the Internet. CNIs are fast, secure, and reliable, and have connected customer networks directly to Cloudflare for years. We’ve been listening to how we can improve the CNI experience, and today we are sharing more information about how we’re making it faster and easier to order CNIs, and connect them to Magic Transit and Magic WAN.

Interconnection services and what to consider

Interconnection services provide a private connection that allows you to connect your networks to other networks like the Internet, cloud service providers, and other businesses directly. This private connection benefits from improved connectivity versus going over the Internet and reduced exposure to common threats like Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks.

Cost is an important consideration when evaluating any vendor for interconnection services. The cost of an interconnection is typically comprised of a fixed port fee, based on the capacity (speed) of the port, and the variable amount of data transferred. Some cloud providers also add complex inter-region bandwidth charges.

Other important considerations include the following:

  • How much capacity is needed?
  • Are there variable or fixed costs associated with the port?
  • Is the provider located in the same colocation facility as my business?
  • Are they able to scale with my network infrastructure?
  • Are you able to predict your costs without any unwanted surprises?
  • What additional products and services does the vendor offer?

Cloudflare does not charge a port fee for Cloudflare Network Interconnect, nor do we charge for inter-region bandwidth. Using CNI with products like Magic Transit and Magic WAN may even reduce bandwidth spending with Internet service providers. For example, you can deliver Magic Transit-cleaned traffic to your data center with a CNI instead of via your Internet connection, reducing the amount of bandwidth that you would pay an Internet service provider for.

To underscore the value of CNI, one vendor charges nearly \$20,000 a year for a 10 Gigabit per second (Gbps) direct connect port. The same 10 Gbps CNI on Cloudflare for one year is $0. Their cost also does not include any costs related to the amount of data transferred between different regions or geographies, or outside of their cloud. We have never charged for CNIs, and are committed to making it even easier for customers to connect to Cloudflare, and destinations beyond on the open Internet.

3 Minute Provisioning

Our first big announcement is a new, faster approach to CNI provisioning and deployment. Starting today, all Magic Transit and Magic WAN customers can order CNIs directly from their Cloudflare account. The entire process is about 3 clicks and takes less than 3 minutes (roughly the time to make coffee). We’re going to show you how simple it is to order a CNI.

The first step is to find out whether Cloudflare is in the same data center or colocation facility as your routers, servers, and network hardware. Let’s navigate to the new “Interconnects” section of the Cloudflare dashboard, and order a new Direct CNI.

Search for the city of your data center, and quickly find out if Cloudflare is in the same facility. I’m going to stand up a CNI to connect my example network located in Ashburn, VA.

It looks like Cloudflare is in the same facility as my network, so I’m going to select the location where I’d like to connect.

As of right now, my data center is only exchanging a few hundred Megabits per second of traffic on Magic Transit, so I’m going to select a 1 Gigabit per second interface, which is the smallest port speed available. I can also order a 10 Gbps link if I have more than 1 Gbps of traffic in a single location. Cloudflare also supports 100 Gbps CNIs, but if you have this much traffic to exchange with us, we recommend that you coordinate with your account team.

After selecting your preferred port speed, you can name your CNI, which will be referenceable later when you direct your Magic Transit or Magic WAN traffic to the interconnect. We are given the opportunity to verify that everything looks correct before confirming our CNI order.

Once we click the “Confirm Order” button, Cloudflare will provision an interface on our router for your CNI, and also assign IP addresses for you to configure on your router interface. Cloudflare will also issue you a Letter of Authorization (LOA) for you to order a cross connect with the local facility. Cloudflare will provision a port on our router for your CNI within 3 minutes of your order, and you will be able to ping across the CNI as soon as the interface line status comes up.

After downloading the Letter of Authorization (LOA) to order a cross connect, we’ll navigate back to our Interconnects area. Here we can see the point to point IP addressing, and the CNI name that is used in our Magic Transit or Magic WAN configuration. We can also redownload the LOA if needed.

Simplified Magic Transit and Magic WAN onboarding

Our second major announcement is that Express CNI dramatically simplifies how Magic Transit and Magic WAN customers connect to Cloudflare. Getting packets into Magic Transit or Magic WAN in the past with a CNI required customers to configure a GRE (Generic Routing Encapsulation) tunnel on their router. These configurations are complex, and not all routers and switches support these changes. Since both Magic Transit and Magic WAN protect networks, and operate at the network layer on packets, customers rightly asked us, “If I connect directly to Cloudflare with CNI, why do I also need a GRE tunnel for Magic Transit and Magic WAN?”

Starting today, GRE tunnels are no longer required with Express CNI. This means that Cloudflare supports standard 1500-byte packets on the CNI, and there’s no need for complex GRE or MSS adjustment configurations to get traffic into Magic Transit or Magic WAN. This significantly reduces the amount of configuration required on a router for Magic Transit and Magic WAN customers who can connect over Express CNI. If you’re not familiar with Magic Transit, the key takeaway is that we’ve reduced the complexity of changes you must make on your router to protect your network with Cloudflare.

What’s next for CNI?

We’re excited about how Express CNI simplifies connecting to Cloudflare’s network. Some customers connect to Cloudflare through our Interconnection Platform Partners, like Equinix and Megaport, and we plan to bring the Express CNI features to our partners too.

We have upgraded a number of our data centers to support Express CNI, and plan to upgrade many more over the next few months. We are rapidly expanding the number of global locations that support Express CNI as we install new network hardware. If you’re interested in connecting to Cloudflare with Express CNI, but are unable to find your data center, please let your account team know.

If you’re on an existing classic CNI today, and you don’t need Express CNI features, there is no obligation to migrate to Express CNI. Magic Transit and Magic WAN customers have been asking for BGP support to control how Cloudflare routes traffic back to their networks, and we expect to extend BGP support to Express CNI first, so keep an eye out for more Express CNI announcements later this year.

Get started with Express CNI today

As we’ve demonstrated above, Express CNI makes it fast and easy to connect your network to Cloudflare. If you’re a Magic Transit or Magic WAN customer, the new “Interconnects” area is now available on your Cloudflare dashboard. To deploy your first CNI, you can follow along with the screenshots above, or refer to our updated interconnects documentation.

Zero Trust WARP: tunneling with a MASQUE

Post Syndicated from Dan Hall original https://blog.cloudflare.com/zero-trust-warp-with-a-masque


Slipping on the MASQUE

In June 2023, we told you that we were building a new protocol, MASQUE, into WARP. MASQUE is a fascinating protocol that extends the capabilities of HTTP/3 and leverages the unique properties of the QUIC transport protocol to efficiently proxy IP and UDP traffic without sacrificing performance or privacy

At the same time, we’ve seen a rising demand from Zero Trust customers for features and solutions that only MASQUE can deliver. All customers want WARP traffic to look like HTTPS to avoid detection and blocking by firewalls, while a significant number of customers also require FIPS-compliant encryption. We have something good here, and it’s been proven elsewhere (more on that below), so we are building MASQUE into Zero Trust WARP and will be making it available to all of our Zero Trust customers — at WARP speed!

This blog post highlights some of the key benefits our Cloudflare One customers will realize with MASQUE.

Before the MASQUE

Cloudflare is on a mission to help build a better Internet. And it is a journey we’ve been on with our device client and WARP for almost five years. The precursor to WARP was the 2018 launch of 1.1.1.1, the Internet’s fastest, privacy-first consumer DNS service. WARP was introduced in 2019 with the announcement of the 1.1.1.1 service with WARP, a high performance and secure consumer DNS and VPN solution. Then in 2020, we introduced Cloudflare’s Zero Trust platform and the Zero Trust version of WARP to help any IT organization secure their environment, featuring a suite of tools we first built to protect our own IT systems. Zero Trust WARP with MASQUE is the next step in our journey.

The current state of WireGuard

WireGuard was the perfect choice for the 1.1.1.1 with WARP service in 2019. WireGuard is fast, simple, and secure. It was exactly what we needed at the time to guarantee our users’ privacy, and it has met all of our expectations. If we went back in time to do it all over again, we would make the same choice.

But the other side of the simplicity coin is a certain rigidity. We find ourselves wanting to extend WireGuard to deliver more capabilities to our Zero Trust customers, but WireGuard is not easily extended. Capabilities such as better session management, advanced congestion control, or simply the ability to use FIPS-compliant cipher suites are not options within WireGuard; these capabilities would have to be added on as proprietary extensions, if it was even possible to do so.

Plus, while WireGuard is popular in VPN solutions, it is not standards-based, and therefore not treated like a first class citizen in the world of the Internet, where non-standard traffic can be blocked, sometimes intentionally, sometimes not. WireGuard uses a non-standard port, port 51820, by default. Zero Trust WARP changes this to use port 2408 for the WireGuard tunnel, but it’s still a non-standard port. For our customers who control their own firewalls, this is not an issue; they simply allow that traffic. But many of the large number of public Wi-Fi locations, or the approximately 7,000 ISPs in the world, don’t know anything about WireGuard and block these ports. We’ve also faced situations where the ISP does know what WireGuard is and blocks it intentionally.

This can play havoc for roaming Zero Trust WARP users at their local coffee shop, in hotels, on planes, or other places where there are captive portals or public Wi-Fi access, and even sometimes with their local ISP. The user is expecting reliable access with Zero Trust WARP, and is frustrated when their device is blocked from connecting to Cloudflare’s global network.

Now we have another proven technology — MASQUE — which uses and extends HTTP/3 and QUIC. Let’s do a quick review of these to better understand why Cloudflare believes MASQUE is the future.

Unpacking the acronyms

HTTP/3 and QUIC are among the most recent advancements in the evolution of the Internet, enabling faster, more reliable, and more secure connections to endpoints like websites and APIs. Cloudflare worked closely with industry peers through the Internet Engineering Task Force on the development of RFC 9000 for QUIC and RFC 9114 for HTTP/3. The technical background on the basic benefits of HTTP/3 and QUIC are reviewed in our 2019 blog post where we announced QUIC and HTTP/3 availability on Cloudflare’s global network.

Most relevant for Zero Trust WARP, QUIC delivers better performance on low-latency or high packet loss networks thanks to packet coalescing and multiplexing. QUIC packets in separate contexts during the handshake can be coalesced into the same UDP datagram, thus reducing the number of receive and system interrupts. With multiplexing, QUIC can carry multiple HTTP sessions within the same UDP connection. Zero Trust WARP also benefits from QUIC’s high level of privacy, with TLS 1.3 designed into the protocol.

MASQUE unlocks QUIC’s potential for proxying by providing the application layer building blocks to support efficient tunneling of TCP and UDP traffic. In Zero Trust WARP, MASQUE will be used to establish a tunnel over HTTP/3, delivering the same capability as WireGuard tunneling does today. In the future, we’ll be in position to add more value using MASQUE, leveraging Cloudflare’s ongoing participation in the MASQUE Working Group. This blog post is a good read for those interested in digging deeper into MASQUE.

OK, so Cloudflare is going to use MASQUE for WARP. What does that mean to you, the Zero Trust customer?

Proven reliability at scale

Cloudflare’s network today spans more than 310 cities in over 120 countries, and interconnects with over 13,000 networks globally. HTTP/3 and QUIC were introduced to the Cloudflare network in 2019, the HTTP/3 standard was finalized in 2022, and represented about 30% of all HTTP traffic on our network in 2023.

We are also using MASQUE for iCloud Private Relay and other Privacy Proxy partners. The services that power these partnerships, from our Rust-based proxy framework to our open source QUIC implementation, are already deployed globally in our network and have proven to be fast, resilient, and reliable.

Cloudflare is already operating MASQUE, HTTP/3, and QUIC reliably at scale. So we want you, our Zero Trust WARP users and Cloudflare One customers, to benefit from that same reliability and scale.

Connect from anywhere

Employees need to be able to connect from anywhere that has an Internet connection. But that can be a challenge as many security engineers will configure firewalls and other networking devices to block all ports by default, and only open the most well-known and common ports. As we pointed out earlier, this can be frustrating for the roaming Zero Trust WARP user.

We want to fix that for our users, and remove that frustration. HTTP/3 and QUIC deliver the perfect solution. QUIC is carried on top of UDP (protocol number 17), while HTTP/3 uses port 443 for encrypted traffic. Both of these are well known, widely used, and are very unlikely to be blocked.

We want our Zero Trust WARP users to reliably connect wherever they might be.

Compliant cipher suites

MASQUE leverages TLS 1.3 with QUIC, which provides a number of cipher suite choices. WireGuard also uses standard cipher suites. But some standards are more, let’s say, standard than others.

NIST, the National Institute of Standards and Technology and part of the US Department of Commerce, does a tremendous amount of work across the technology landscape. Of interest to us is the NIST research into network security that results in FIPS 140-2 and similar publications. NIST studies individual cipher suites and publishes lists of those they recommend for use, recommendations that become requirements for US Government entities. Many other customers, both government and commercial, use these same recommendations as requirements.

Our first MASQUE implementation for Zero Trust WARP will use TLS 1.3 and FIPS compliant cipher suites.

How can I get Zero Trust WARP with MASQUE?

Cloudflare engineers are hard at work implementing MASQUE for the mobile apps, the desktop clients, and the Cloudflare network. Progress has been good, and we will open this up for beta testing early in the second quarter of 2024 for Cloudflare One customers. Your account team will be reaching out with participation details.

Continuing the journey with Zero Trust WARP

Cloudflare launched WARP five years ago, and we’ve come a long way since. This introduction of MASQUE to Zero Trust WARP is a big step, one that will immediately deliver the benefits noted above. But there will be more — we believe MASQUE opens up new opportunities to leverage the capabilities of QUIC and HTTP/3 to build innovative Zero Trust solutions. And we’re also continuing to work on other new capabilities for our Zero Trust customers.
Cloudflare is committed to continuing our mission to help build a better Internet, one that is more private and secure, scalable, reliable, and fast. And if you would like to join us in this exciting journey, check out our open positions.

Cloudflare launches AI Assistant for Security Analytics

Post Syndicated from Jen Sells original https://blog.cloudflare.com/security-analytics-ai-assistant


Imagine you are in the middle of an attack on your most crucial production application, and you need to understand what’s going on. How happy would you be if you could simply log into the Dashboard and type a question such as: “Compare attack traffic between US and UK” or “Compare rate limiting blocks for automated traffic with rate limiting blocks from human traffic” and see a time series chart appear on your screen without needing to select a complex set of filters?

Today, we are introducing an AI assistant to help you query your security event data, enabling you to more quickly discover anomalies and potential security attacks. You can now use plain language to interrogate Cloudflare analytics and let us do the magic.

What did we build?

One of the big challenges when analyzing a spike in traffic or any anomaly in your traffic is to create filters that isolate the root cause of an issue. This means knowing your way around often complex dashboards and tools, knowing where to click and what to filter on.

On top of this, any traditional security dashboard is limited to what you can achieve by the way data is stored, how databases are indexed, and by what fields are allowed when creating filters. With our Security Analytics view, for example, it was difficult to compare time series with different characteristics. For example, you couldn’t compare the traffic from IP address x.x.x.x with automated traffic from Germany without opening multiple tabs to Security Analytics and filtering separately. From an engineering perspective, it would be extremely hard to build a system that allows these types of unconstrained comparisons.

With the AI Assistant, we are removing this complexity by leveraging our Workers AI platform to build a tool that can help you query your HTTP request and security event data and generate time series charts based on a request formulated with natural language. Now the AI Assistant does the hard work of figuring out the necessary filters and additionally can plot multiple series of data on a single graph to aid in comparisons. This new tool opens up a new way of interrogating data and logs, unconstrained by the restrictions introduced by traditional dashboards.

Now it is easier than ever to get powerful insights about your application security by using plain language to interrogate your data and better understand how Cloudflare is protecting your business. The new AI Assistant is located in the Security Analytics dashboard and works seamlessly with the existing filters. The answers you need are just a question away.

What can you ask?

To demonstrate the capabilities of AI Assistant, we started by considering the questions that we ask ourselves every day when helping customers to deploy the best security solutions for their applications.

We’ve included some clickable examples in the dashboard to get you started.

You can use the AI Assistant to

  • Identify the source of a spike in attack traffic by asking: “Compare attack traffic between US and UK”
  • Identify root cause of 5xx errors by asking: “Compare origin and edge 5xx errors”
  • See which browsers are most commonly used by your users by asking:”Compare traffic across major web browsers”
  • For an ecommerce site, understand what percentage of users visit vs add items to their shopping cart by asking: “Compare traffic between /api/login and /api/basket”
  • Identify bot attacks against your ecommerce site by asking: “Show requests to /api/basket with a bot score less than 20”
  • Identify the HTTP versions used by clients by asking: “Compare traffic by each HTTP version”
  • Identify unwanted automated traffic to specific endpoints by asking: “Show POST requests to /admin with a Bot Score over 30”

You can start from these when exploring the AI Assistant.

How does it work?

Using Cloudflare’s powerful Workers AI global network inference platform, we were able to use one of the off-the-shelf large language models (LLMs) offered on the platform to convert customer queries into GraphQL filters. By teaching an AI model about the available filters we have on our Security Analytics GraphQL dataset, we can have the AI model turn a request such as “Compare attack traffic on /api and /admin endpoints”  into a matching set of structured filters:

```
[
  {“name”: “Attack Traffic on /api”, “filters”: [{“key”: “clientRequestPath”, “operator”: “eq”, “value”: “/api”}, {“key”: “wafAttackScoreClass”, “operator”: “eq”, “value”: “attack”}]},
  {“name”: “Attack Traffic on /admin”, “filters”: [{“key”: “clientRequestPath”, “operator”: “eq”, “value”: “/admin”}, {“key”: “wafAttackScoreClass”, “operator”: “eq”, “value”: “attack”}]}
]
```

Then, using the filters provided by the AI model, we can make requests to our GraphQL APIs, gather the requisite data, and plot a data visualization to answer the customer query.

By using this method, we are able to keep customer information private and avoid exposing any security analytics data to the AI model itself, while still allowing humans to query their data with ease. This ensures that your queries will never be used to train the model. And because Workers AI hosts a local instance of the LLM on Cloudflare’s own network, your queries and resulting data never leave Cloudflare’s network.

Future Development

We are in the early stages of developing this capability and plan to rapidly extend the capabilities of the Security Analytics AI Assistant. Don’t be surprised if we cannot handle some of your requests at the beginning. At launch, we are able to support basic inquiries that can be plotted in a time series chart such as “show me” or “compare” for any currently filterable fields.

However, we realize there are a number of use cases that we haven’t even thought of, and we are excited to release the Beta version of AI Assistant to all Business and Enterprise customers to let you test the feature and see what you can do with it. We would love to hear your feedback and learn more about what you find useful and what you would like to see in it next. With future versions, you’ll be able to ask questions such as “Did I experience any attacks yesterday?” and use AI to automatically generate WAF rules for you to apply to mitigate them.

Beta availability

Starting today, AI Assistant is available for a select few users and rolling out to all Business and Enterprise customers throughout March. Look out for it and try for free and let us know what you think by using the Feedback link at the top of the Security Analytics page.

Final pricing will be determined prior to general availability.

Zaraz launches new pricing

Post Syndicated from Yo'av Moshe original https://blog.cloudflare.com/zaraz-announces-new-pricing

In July, 2023, we announced that Zaraz was transitioning out of beta and becoming available to all Cloudflare users. Zaraz helps users manage and optimize the ever-growing number of third-party tools on their websites — analytics, marketing pixels, chatbots, and more — without compromising on speed, privacy, or security. Soon after the announcement went online, we received feedback from users who were concerned about the new pricing system. We discovered that in some scenarios the proposed pricing could cause high charges, which was not the intention, and so we promised to look into it. Since then, we have iterated over different pricing options, talked with customers of different sizes, and finally reached a new pricing system that we believe is affordable, predictable, and simple. The new pricing for Zaraz will take effect on April 15, 2024, and is described below.

Introducing Zaraz Events

One of the biggest changes we made was changing the metric we used for pricing Zaraz. One Zaraz Event is an event you’re sending to Zaraz, whether that’s a pageview, a zaraz.track event, or similar. You can easily see the total number of Zaraz Events you’re currently using under the Monitoring section in the Cloudflare Zaraz Dashboard. Every Cloudflare account can use 1,000,000 Zaraz Events completely for free, every month.

The Zaraz Monitoring page shows exactly how many Zaraz Events your website is using

We believe that Zaraz Events are a better representation of the usage of Zaraz. As the web progresses and as Single-Page-Applications are becoming more and more popular, the definition of a “pageview”, which was used for the old pricing system, is becoming more and more vague. Zaraz Events are agnostic to different tech stacks, and work the same when using the Zaraz HTTP API. It’s a simpler metric that should better reflect the way Zaraz is used.

Predictable costs for high volume websites

With the new Zaraz pricing model, every Cloudflare account gets 1,000,000 Zaraz Events per month for free. If your account needs more than that, every additional 1,000,000 Zaraz Events are only $5 USD, with volume discounting available for Enterprise accounts. Compared with other third-party managers and tag management software, this new pricing model makes Zaraz an affordable and user-friendly solution for server-side loading of tools and tags.

Available for all

We also decided that all Zaraz features should be available for everyone. We want users to make the most of Zaraz, no matter how big or small their website is. This means that advanced features like making custom HTTP requests, using the Consent Management API, loading custom Managed Components, configuring custom endpoints, using the Preview & Publish Workflow, and even using the Zaraz Ecommerce features are now available on all plans, from Free to Enterprise.

Try it out

We’re announcing this new affordable price for Zaraz while retaining all the features that make it the perfect solution for managing third-party tools on your website. Zaraz is a one-click installation that requires no server, and it’s lightning fast thanks to Cloudflare’s network, which is within 50 milliseconds of approximately 95% of the Internet-connected population. Zaraz is extremely extensible using the Open Source format of Managed Components, allowing you to change tools and create your own, and it’s transparent about what information is shared with tools on your website, allowing you to control and improve the privacy of your website visitors.

Zaraz recently completed the migration of all tools to Managed Components. This makes tools on your website more like apps on your phone, allowing you to granularly decide what permissions to grant tools. For example, it allows you to prevent a tool from making client-side network requests or storing cookies. With the Zaraz Context Enricher you can create custom data manipulation processes in a Cloudflare Worker, and do things like attach extra information to payloads from your internal CRM, or automatically remove and mask personally-identifiable information (PII) like email addresses before it reaches your providers.

We would like to thank all the users that provided us with their feedback. We acknowledge that the previous pricing might have caused some to think twice about choosing Zaraz, and we hope that this will encourage them to reconsider. Cloudflare Zaraz is a tool that is meant first and foremost to serve the people building websites on the Internet, and we thank everyone for sharing their feedback to help us get to a better product in the end.

The new pricing for Zaraz will take effect starting April 15, 2024.

Unlocking new use cases with 17 new models in Workers AI, including new LLMs, image generation models, and more

Post Syndicated from Michelle Chen original https://blog.cloudflare.com/february-28-2024-workersai-catalog-update


On February 6th, 2024 we announced eight new models that we added to our catalog for text generation, classification, and code generation use cases. Today, we’re back with seventeen (17!) more models, focused on enabling new types of tasks and use cases with Workers AI. Our catalog is now nearing almost 40 models, so we also decided to introduce a revamp of our developer documentation that enables users to easily search and discover new models.

The new models are listed below, and the full Workers AI catalog can be found on our new developer documentation.

Text generation

  • @cf/deepseek-ai/deepseek-math-7b-instruct
  • @cf/openchat/openchat-3.5-0106
  • @cf/microsoft/phi-2
  • @cf/tinyllama/tinyllama-1.1b-chat-v1.0
  • @cf/thebloke/discolm-german-7b-v1-awq
  • @cf/qwen/qwen1.5-0.5b-chat
  • @cf/qwen/qwen1.5-1.8b-chat
  • @cf/qwen/qwen1.5-7b-chat-awq
  • @cf/qwen/qwen1.5-14b-chat-awq
  • @cf/tiiuae/falcon-7b-instruct
  • @cf/defog/sqlcoder-7b-2

Summarization

  • @cf/facebook/bart-large-cnn

Text-to-image

  • @cf/lykon/dreamshaper-8-lcm
  • @cf/runwayml/stable-diffusion-v1-5-inpainting
  • @cf/runwayml/stable-diffusion-v1-5-img2img
  • @cf/bytedance/stable-diffusion-xl-lightning

Image-to-text

  • @cf/unum/uform-gen2-qwen-500m

New language models, fine-tunes, and quantizations

Today’s catalog update includes a number of new language models so that developers can pick and choose the best LLMs for their use cases. Although most LLMs can be generalized to work in any instance, there are many benefits to choosing models that are tailored for a specific use case. We are excited to bring you some new large language models (LLMs), small language models (SLMs), and multi-language support, as well as some fine-tuned and quantized models.

Our latest LLM additions include falcon-7b-instruct, which is particularly exciting because of its innovative use of multi-query attention to generate high-precision responses. There’s also better language support with discolm_german_7b and the qwen1.5 models, which are trained on multilingual data and boast impressive LLM outputs not only in English, but also in German (discolm) and Chinese (qwen1.5). The Qwen models range from 0.5B to 14B parameters and have shown particularly impressive accuracy in our testing. We’re also releasing a few new SLMs, which are growing in popularity because of their ability to do inference faster and cheaper without sacrificing accuracy. For SLMs, we’re introducing small but performant models like a 1.1B parameter version of Llama (tinyllama-1.1b-chat-v1.0) and a 1.3B parameter model from Microsoft (phi-2).

As the AI industry continues to accelerate, talented people have found ways to improve and optimize the performance and accuracy of models. We’ve added a fine-tuned model (openchat-3.5) which implements Conditioned Reinforcement Learning Fine-Tuning (C-RLFT), a technique that enables open-source language model development through the use of easily collectable mixed quality data.

We’re really excited to be bringing all these new text generation models onto our platform today. The open-source community has been incredible at developing new AI breakthroughs, and we’re grateful for everyone’s contributions to training, fine-tuning, and quantizing these models. We’re thrilled to be able to host these models and make them accessible to all so that developers can quickly and easily build new applications with AI. You can check out the new models and their API schemas on our developer docs.

New image generation models

We are adding new Stable Diffusion pipelines and optimizations to enable powerful new image editing and generation use cases. We’ve added support for Stable Diffusion XL Lightning which generates high quality images in just two inference steps. Text-to-image is a really popular task for folks who want to take a text prompt and have the model generate an image based on the input, but Stable Diffusion is actually capable of much more. With this new Workers AI release, we’ve unlocked new pipelines so that you can experiment with different modalities of input and tasks with Stable Diffusion.

You can now use Stable Diffusion on Workers AI for image-to-image and inpainting use cases. Image-to-image allows you to transform an input image into a different image – for example, you can ask Stable Diffusion to generate a cartoon version of a portrait. Inpainting allows users to upload an image and transform the same image into something new – examples of inpainting include “expanding” the background of photos or colorizing black-and-white photos.

To use inpainting, you’ll need to input an image, a mask, and a prompt. The image is the original picture that you want modified, the mask is a monochrome screen that highlights the area that you want to be painted over, and the prompt tells the model what to generate in that space. Below is an example of the inputs and the request template to perform inpainting.

import { Ai } from '@cloudflare/ai';

export default {
    async fetch(request, env) {
        const formData = await request.formData();
        const prompt = formData.get("prompt")
        const imageFile = formData.get("image")
        const maskFile = formData.get("mask")

        const imageArrayBuffer = await imageFile.arrayBuffer();
        const maskArrayBuffer = await maskFile.arrayBuffer();

        const ai = new Ai(env.AI);
        const inputs = {
            prompt,
            image: [...new Uint8Array(imageArrayBuffer)],
            mask: [...new Uint8Array(maskArrayBuffer)],  
            strength: 0.8, // Adjust the strength of the transformation
            num_steps: 10, // Number of inference steps for the diffusion process
        };

        const response = await ai.run("@cf/runwayml/stable-diffusion-v1-5-inpainting", inputs);

        return new Response(response, {
            headers: {
                "content-type": "image/png",
            },
        });
    }
}

New use cases

We’ve also added new models to Workers AI that allow for various specialized tasks and use cases, such as LLMs specialized in solving math problems (deepseek-math-7b-instruct), generating SQL code (sqlcoder-7b-2), summarizing text (bart-large-cnn), and image captioning (uform-gen2-qwen-500m).

We wanted to release these to the public, so you can start building with them, but we’ll be releasing more demos and tutorial content over the next few weeks. Stay tuned to our X account and Developer Documentation for more information on how to use these new models.

Optimizing our model catalog

AI model innovation is advancing rapidly, and so are the tools and techniques for fast and efficient inference. We’re excited to be incorporating new tools that help us optimize our models so that we can offer the best inference platform for everyone. Typically, when optimizing AI inference it is useful to serialize the model into a format such as ONNX, one of the most generally applicable options for this use case with broad hardware and model architecture support. An ONNX model can be further optimized by being converted to a TensorRT engine. This format, designed specifically for Nvidia GPUs, can result in faster inference latency and higher total throughput from LLMs.  Choosing the right format usually comes down to what is best supported by specific model architectures and the hardware available for inference. We decided to leverage both TensorRT and ONNX formats for our new Stable Diffusion pipelines, which represent a series of models applied for a specific task.

Explore more on our new developer docs

You can explore all these new models in our new developer docs, where you can learn more about individual models, their prompt templates, as well as properties like context token limits. We’ve redesigned the model page to be simpler for developers to explore new models and learn how to use them. You’ll now see all the models on one page for searchability, with the task type on the right-hand side. Then, you can click into individual model pages to see code examples on how to use those models.

We hope you try out these new models and build something new on Workers AI! We have more updates coming soon, including more demos, tutorials, and Workers AI pricing. Let us know what you’re working on and other models you’d like to see on our Discord.

Enhancing security analysis with Cloudflare Zero Trust logs and Elastic SIEM

Post Syndicated from Corey Mahan original https://blog.cloudflare.com/enhancing-security-analysis-with-cloudflare-zero-trust-logs-and-elastic-siem


Today, we are thrilled to announce new Cloudflare Zero Trust dashboards on Elastic. Shared customers using Elastic can now use these pre-built dashboards to store, search, and analyze their Zero Trust logs.

When organizations look to adopt a Zero Trust architecture, there are many components to get right. If products are configured incorrectly, used maliciously, or security is somehow breached during the process, it can open your organization to underlying security risks without the ability to get insight from your data quickly and efficiently.

As a Cloudflare technology partner, Elastic helps Cloudflare customers find what they need faster, while keeping applications running smoothly and protecting against cyber threats. “I’m pleased to share our collaboration with Cloudflare, making it even easier to deploy log and analytics dashboards. This partnership combines Elastic’s open approach with Cloudflare’s practical solutions, offering straightforward tools for enterprise search, observability, and security deployment,” explained Mark Dodds, Chief Revenue Officer at Elastic.

Value of Zero Trust logs in Elastic

With this joint solution, we’ve made it easy for customers to seamlessly forward their Zero Trust logs to Elastic via Logpush jobs. This can be achieved directly via a Restful API or through an intermediary storage solution like AWS S3 or Google Cloud. Additionally, Cloudflare’s integration with Elastic has undergone improvements to encompass all categories of Zero Trust logs generated by Cloudflare.

Here are detailed some highlights of what the integration offers:

  • Comprehensive Visibility: Integrating Cloudflare Logpush into Elastic provides organizations with a real-time, comprehensive view of events related to Zero Trust. This enables a detailed understanding of who is accessing resources and applications, from where, and at what times. Enhanced visibility helps detect anomalous behavior and potential security threats more effectively, allowing for early response and mitigation.
  • Field Normalization: By unifying data from Zero Trust logs in Elastic, it’s possible to apply consistent field normalization not only for Zero Trust logs but also for other sources. This simplifies the process of search and analysis, as data is presented in a uniform format. Normalization also facilitates the creation of alerts and the identification of patterns of malicious or unusual activity.
  • Efficient Search and Analysis: Elastic provides powerful data search and analysis capabilities. Having Zero Trust logs in Elastic enables quick and precise searching for specific information. This is crucial for investigating security incidents, understanding workflows, and making informed decisions.
  • Correlation and Threat Detection: By combining Zero Trust data with other security events and data, Elastic enables deeper and more effective correlation. This is essential for detecting threats that might go unnoticed when analyzing each data source separately. Correlation aids in pattern identification and the detection of sophisticated attacks.
  • Prebuilt Dashboards: The integration provides out-of-the-box dashboards offering a quick start to visualizing key metrics and patterns. These dashboards help security teams visualize the security landscape in a clear and concise manner. The integration not only provides the advantage of prebuilt dashboards designed for Zero Trust datasets but also empowers users to curate their own visualizations.

What’s new on the dashboards

One of the main assets of the integration is the out-of-the-box dashboards tailored specifically for each type of Zero Trust log. Let’s explore some of these dashboards in more detail to find out how they can help us in terms of visibility.

Gateway HTTP

This dashboard focuses on HTTP traffic and allows for monitoring and analyzing HTTP requests passing through Cloudflare’s Secure Web Gateway.

Here, patterns of traffic can be identified, potential threats detected, and a better understanding gained of how resources are being used within the network.

Every visualization in the stage is interactive. Therefore, the whole dashboard adapts to enabled filters, and they can be pinned across dashboards for pivoting. For instance, if clicking on one of the sections of the donut showing the different actions, a filter is automatically applied on that value and the whole dashboard is oriented around it.

CASB

Following with a different perspective, the CASB (Cloud Access Security Broker) dashboard provides visibility over cloud applications used by users. Its visualizations are targeted to detect threats effectively, helping in the risk management and regulatory compliance.

These examples illustrate how dashboards in the integration between Cloudflare and Elastic offer practical and effective data visualization for Zero Trust. They enable us to make data-driven decisions, identify behavioral patterns, and proactively respond to threats. By providing relevant information in a visual and accessible manner, these dashboards strengthen security posture and allow for more efficient risk management in the Zero Trust environment.

How to get started

Setup and deployment is simple. Use the Cloudflare dashboard or API to create Logpush jobs with all fields enabled for each dataset you’d like to ingest on Elastic. There are eight account-scoped datasets available to use today (Access Requests, Audit logs, CASB findings, Gateway logs including DNS, Network, HTTP; Zero Trust Session Logs) that can be ingested into Elastic.

Setup Logpush jobs to your Elastic destination via one of the following methods:

  • HTTP Endpoint mode – Cloudflare pushes logs directly to an HTTP endpoint hosted by your Elastic Agent.
  • AWS S3 polling mode – Cloudflare writes data to S3 and Elastic Agent polls the S3 bucket by listing its contents and reading new files.
  • AWS S3 SQS mode – Cloudflare writes data to S3, S3 pushes a new object notification to SQS, Elastic Agent receives the notification from SQS, and then reads the S3 object. Multiple Agents can be used in this mode.

Enabling the integration in Elastic

  1. In Kibana, go to Management > Integrations
  2. In the integrations search bar type Cloudflare Logpush.
  3. Click the Cloudflare Logpush integration from the search results.
  4. Click the Add Cloudflare Logpush button to add Cloudflare Logpush integration.
  5. Enable the Integration with the HTTP Endpoint, AWS S3 input or GCS input.
  6. Under the AWS S3 input, there are two types of inputs: using AWS S3 Bucket or using SQS.
  7. Configure Cloudflare to send logs to the Elastic Agent.

What’s next

As organizations increasingly adopt a Zero Trust architecture, understanding your organization’s security posture is paramount. The dashboards help with necessary tools to build a robust security strategy, centered around visibility, early detection, and effective threat response.  By unifying data, normalizing fields, facilitating search, and enabling the creation of custom dashboards, this integration becomes a valuable asset for any cybersecurity team aiming to strengthen their security posture.

We’re looking forward to continuing to connect Cloudflare customers with our community of technology partners, to help in the adoption of a Zero Trust architecture.

Explore this new integration today.