Protect your origin server — Pro
Your origin server is a physical or virtual machine that is not owned by Cloudflare and hosts your application content (data, webpages, etc.).
Receiving too many requests can be bad for your origin. These requests might increase latency for visitors, incur higher costs — particularly for cloud-based machines — and could knock your application offline.
Select a plan to see how Cloudflare can help you protect your origin:
Secure origin connections
When you secure origin connections, it prevents attackers from discovering and overloading your origin server with requests.
- Proxy records (when possible): Set up proxied (orange-clouded) DNS records to hide your origin IP addresses and provide DDoS protection. As part of this, you should allow Cloudflare IP addresses at your origin to prevent requests from being blocked.
- Review DNS-only records: Audit existing DNS-only records (
TXT, and more) to make sure they do not contain origin IP information.
- Evaluate mail infrastructure: If possible, do not host a mail service on the same server as the web resource you want to protect, since emails sent to non-existent addresses get bounced back to the attacker and reveal the mail server IP.
- Rotate origin IPs: Once onboarded, rotate your origin IPs, as DNS records are in the public domain. Historical records are kept and would contain IP addresses prior to joining Cloudflare.
- To encrypt traffic between Cloudflare and your server, choose Full (strict) SSL/TLS mode (requires server configuration)
- To ensure requests originate from the Cloudflare network, set up authenticated origin pulls.
- Prevent external connections:
- Origin Server (moderately secure): Configure your origin server to only allow traffic from Cloudflare IP addresses.
- Cloudflare Tunnel (very secure): To encrypt all traffic and prevent any inbound connections to your origin, set up a Cloudflare Tunnel.
Monitor origin health
To receive an email when Cloudflare is unable to reach your origin, create a notification for Passive Origin Monitoring.
For more active monitoring, set up standalone health checks for your origin.
Zero Downtime Failover
If you have another A or AAAA record in your Cloudflare DNS or your Cloudflare Load Balancer provides another origin in the same pool, Zero-Downtime Failover automatically retries requests to your origin even before a Load Balancing decision is made.
Cloudflare currently retries only once for HTTP 521, 522, and 523 response codes.
Reduce origin traffic
For more details, refer to Secure your website.
Increase cachingThe cache stores data from your application (webpages, etc.) at Cloudflare data centers around the world, which reduces the number of requests sent to your origin server.
To randomly distribute traffic across multiple servers, set up multiple DNS records.
For more fine-grained control over traffic distribution — including automatic failover, intelligent routing, and more — set up our add-on load balancing service.