gRPC HTTP/1.1 bridge

gRPC architecture overview.

This is a simple filter which enables the bridging of an HTTP/1.1 client which does not support response trailers to a compliant gRPC server. It works by doing the following:

  • When a request is sent, the filter sees if the connection is HTTP/1.1 and the request content type is application/grpc.
  • If so, when the response is received, the filter buffers it and waits for trailers and then checks the grpc-status code. If it is not zero, the filter switches the HTTP response code to 503. It also copies the grpc-status and grpc-message trailers into the response headers so that the client can look at them if it wishes.
  • The client should send HTTP/1.1 requests that translate to the following psuedo headers:
    • :method: POST
    • :path: <gRPC-METHOD-NAME>
    • content-type: application/grpc
  • The body should be the serialized grpc body which is:
    • 1 byte of zero (not compressed).
    • network order 4 bytes of proto message length.
    • serialized proto message.
  • Because this scheme must buffer the response to look for the grpc-status trailer it will only work with unary gRPC APIs.

More info:

This filter also collects stats for all gRPC requests that transit, even if those requests are normal gRPC requests over HTTP/2.

  "type": "both",
  "name": "grpc_http1_bridge",
  "config": {}


The filter emits statistics in the cluster.<route target cluster>.grpc. namespace.

Name Type Description
<grpc service>.<grpc method>.success Counter Total successful service/method calls
<grpc service>.<grpc method>.failure Counter Total failed service/method calls
<grpc service>.<grpc method>.total Counter Total service/method calls