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From sam newman <sam.new...@fdnassociates.com>
Subject [users@httpd] Redirection to a local webserver
Date Fri, 25 Oct 2002 10:27:39 GMT
Hi all,
I have a (relatively) quick question regarding redirecting requests with 
Apache. We have several machines hosting webpages, currently hidden 
behind a dedicated (smoothwall) firewall machine. Our main webserver 
(Bob) runs Apache, and is setup with a few VirutalHosts. We also host 
our main site on a dedicated machine (Fred). Currently Bob redirects any 
traffic for the main website using a port redirect in a normal 
VirtualHost directive:

<VirtualHost OurIP>
   ServerName www.mainwebsite.com
   ErrorLog /usr/local/httpd/weblogs/www.mainwebsite.com-error_log
   CustomLog /usr/local/httpd/weblogs/www.mainwebsite.com-common_log common
   TransferLog /usr/local/httpd/weblogs/www.mainwebsite.com-access_log
   #Redirect all traffic to port :8080. This goes back to the client 
browser and
   #on to the firewall
   Redirect /index.html  http://www.mainwebsite.com:8080
</VirtualHost>

The important line here is the redirect - traffic is diverted back to 
the firewall, this time on port 8080. The Smoothwall firewall has a port 
redirect setup to send traffic on port :8080 to Fred.
Now the question. I don't really like using the port redirect - the 
request gets sent back to the client which then makes another 
connection, this time on a new port. So all traffic to our main website 
has an overhead. Also, some firewalls will block outgoing access to 
certain ports, meaning some potential customers might not be able to see 
the site. What I would really want to do is to direct to a locally 
available webserver (e.g. a known IP of a machine available behind the 
firewall) without generating a second request from the client brwoser - 
is their an alternative to redirect that can do this?
I have read over every mod_rewrite, alias and redirect 
manual/tutorial/guide I could find, but they either redirect to a 
locally available directory (Freds directory structure is not available 
to Bob) or make another request via the firewall, or get me so confused 
that I almost wish I was debugging obfuscated perl programs again....

Thanks in advance,
Sam Newman
sam.newman@fdnassociates.com



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