AWS EKS Ingress Option: ALB + NGINX

Sajid Moinuddin
May 18, 2019 · 2 min read


I wanted to move away from certmanager+lets-encrypt based SSL termination on my nginx ingress pods and use the free ACM generated SSL certs and terminate them on the ALB. This free up my nginx ingress pods and let them do what they do best, routing.

Solution: (aws-alb-ingress-controller + nginx-ingress-controller)

Image for post
Image for post

I wouldn’t go too much details on implementation as I have created a helm chart wrapping the whole thing together:


  • aws-alb-ingress-controller is still in beta, I didn’t want to risk it dynamically changing route rules based on my ingress , I have seen people troubleshooting the ingress rules not changing properly. Also this is a hard change in aws target group which I wasn’t too comfortable with.
  • I didn’t want to use one alb per ingress rule (which adds up in cost)
  • nginx-ingress is battle tested
  • By combining the two, I get the best of both world. My wildcard based dns ingress is only registered once in aws and only changes when my nginx ingress pods scale up/down
  • There is an extra hop involved which I will need to find out the performance cost based on load test results
  • by binding the services to the nginx Ingress, I am now de-coupling the ingress to my cloud environments. I can run the same pods on my onprem
  • Ideally I wanted to use nlb but the SSL termination is still not supported on NLB for the k8s generated NLBs , but once that is enabled, i can just create a new ingress to my nginx svc
  • This enables me to create nlb / alb / elb and have them used simultaneously without effecting the native ingresses.


With the extra hop, we need to be careful to treat the source ip. This is what it looks like from a echo server:

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch

Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore

Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store