Home Tech Tips Traefik vs nginx – Why Traefik Will Replace HAProxy and nginx

Traefik vs nginx – Why Traefik Will Replace HAProxy and nginx


Traefik (traffic) is a reverse proxy and load balancer purpose-built for microservices and it’s slowly replacing HAProxy, Apache and nginx reverse proxy configurations for DockerSwarm modeKubernetesMarathonConsulEtcdRancherAmazon ECS.

Automatic and dynamic configuration isn’t just another cool tool – it saves developers a lot of time and makes their lives easier, and that translates to businesses saving money.

Since the rise of Docker and microservices, managing reverse proxies and load balancers has become increasingly time-consuming and painful.  That’s why Emile Vauge set out on a mission to solve the problem in 2015. Fast-forward to 2018 and Traefik now has over 40 million downloads on Docker and 13,000+ stars on Github

The Traefik Trend

Or the other pale blue dot as I like to call is steadily becoming the reverse proxy of choice in modern development environments and it’s quite an awesome achievement for Emile and the community of developers behind it.

The Architecture

Traefik Architecture

Traefik Features

  • It’s fast
  • No dependency hell, single binary made with go
  • Tiny official docker image
  • Rest API
  • Hot-reloading of configuration. No need to restart the process
  • Circuit breakers, retry
  • Round Robin, rebalancer load-balancers
  • Metrics (Rest, Prometheus, Datadog, Statd)
  • Clean AngularJS Web UI
  • Websocket, HTTP/2, GRPC ready
  • Access Logs (JSON, CLF)
  • Let’s Encrypt support (Automatic HTTPS with renewal)
  • Proxy Protocol support
  • High Availability with cluster mode (beta)

Supported backends

Traefik UI

Traefik Front End

Traefik Health

Founder & CEO Emile Vauge

Emile talking about Traefik and it’s benefits.

Load-Balancing Microservices

Ed Robinson demonstrates some of Traefik’s capabilities.

The Company Behind Traefik

Containous the company behind Traefik is based in Lyon, France and announced €1M seed funding from lead investors Kima Ventures, 360 Capital Partners and Elaia Partners on Feb 20, 2018.

I believe the Containous team are well positioned to become a world leading solution in the enterprise infrastructure space, and if their team executes well they’ll revolutionize the way network traffic is managed. Meanwhile Traefik will continue to replace HAProxy and nginx reverse proxy configurations where it makes sense.

Update: Jul 10th 2019

According to https://www.reddit.com/r/Traefik/ Traefik is still gaining ground on nginx and HAProxy, but will it ultimately replace either of them?  The Google trends chart shows that Traefik has now dropped off in interest and there are some new competitors in the space.

I’d like to hear from people that are using Traefik in production, preferably in an enterprise environment.  Subscribe to Traefik on Reddit to join the Traefik discussion.

Update: Feb 15th 2020

I did a follow up to this post at Two years later – did Traefik replace nginx and HAProxy?

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