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Apache Reverse Proxy Data Flow



4:50 pm on Jan 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

I run a fleet of Apache reverse proxies that are all equals - they have the same "front-end" name (secure.example.com) sitting behind a number of DNS load-balancers as well as hardware balancers. Basically 4 sites with 6 servers each. All of these servers have the same configuration to the backend protected application servers (currently about 800 or so backend applications, each with varying degrees of load balancing). Ultimately I believe neither of these bits of info really impact my question, but I thought I would explain a bit about our infrastructure, just in case it DOES matter.

So, on to the question, and it's probably something I should know, but no amount of qoogle questioning or rephrasing has given me any sort of an answer.

In the case of a reverse proxy, does the proxy have to fully download each file from the backend prior to passing it on the client browser? My guess is that it does, but I can't find anything that would say definitively yes or no. Any links that could be provided for the answer would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for any insight that the gurus here can provide!


4:53 pm on Jan 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

I suppose I should also point out that we do SSL to the browser (standard Verisign cert), as well as SSL to the backend (long term internal self-signed certs just for encryption on the wire) as well. The backend uses the connection pooling available to Apache, both with ProxyPass as well as the Weblogic modules.

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