Proxy Servers

Proxy servers, when referring to the role they play in cloud infrastructures, aren’t what most people imagine when they hear the term proxy. In fact, the term “reverse proxy” might be more accurate because they stand in for servers on the Internet rather than hiding clients from servers.

SaaS Set Ups

For its user, more than one application is usually provided by an SaaS set up. Frequently, having specialized servers makes sense. These servers divide up the work in some manner by handling a few of the applications, one application, etc. An IP address and domain can be assigned to each server category, but that tends to be somewhat puzzling for the user. In many cases, the better solution is a proxy.

Look at a reverse proxy in this way: an assistant, of sorts, that talks to visitors outside the main office and takes phone calls (it figures out where each request should be dispatched to). Because of all of the things being handled by this “assistant” (Internet traffic), the boss (the user) has more time for what matters.

Let’s take a look at the many benefits of using proxy servers.

Better Performance

The goal and sum of all the below-listed benefits is for your SaaS system, without huge hardware cost increases, to deliver better performance. Routine tasks are handled by the “assistant” so that the user can attend to work that is more important, without constant interruption. Putting a proxy in front of application servers makes them more secure. An extra layer is built that attacks have to penetrate in order to get through.

Static Content

Not all content needs to be cached. Some can be handled by a server that concentrates solely on static data delivery, or some can be directly available on the proxy server. The majority of a page’s content is usually made up of JavaScript, CSS, videos, and images. There is no need to take parts that don’t change and burden the application server with delivery of them.

Application servers simply don’t have to handle every request. Server response handlers will indicate how long a request can be cached, and if, indeed, it can.

Server Structure Scaling

Scaling is made easier when application servers are kept off the network perimeter. There is no need for reconfiguring NAT for new machines or for adding public IP addresses. All the proxy needs to be aware of is about servers that are new and the rules pertaining to what requests to send them.

Load Balancing

So that multiple servers don’t have to share the burden of processing, a load balancer takes jobs and distributes them. It can be one of the functions of a proxy server, or a specialized device with one job only.

User Management

Checking user authorizations and authenticating users should be a unified task. The separate checking of logins should not be a task with which the application servers are burdened. They should only receive information that is trusted regarding the user’s privileges and identity. The proxy server checks the session belonging to a request and dispatches it appropriately.

We’ve only brushed the surface as far as the benefits to using a proxy server are concerned. Here are just a handful of other positive features.

  • Simplicity with TLS/SSL
  • Application Server Security
  • Intelligent Request Assignment
  • Other Internet management tasks

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