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From Nick Kew <n...@webthing.com>
Subject Re: [users@httpd] Serving remote files from Apache...
Date Thu, 01 Jan 2004 13:49:10 GMT
On Wed, 31 Dec 2003, bruce wrote:

> We're looking at using Apache and we need a way of serving remote files via
> Apache.

Define "remote files"?

Or, more specifically, where are they coming from?  How Apache can access
them depends on how *any* application can access them remotely.  For
example, if a remote machine runs a webserver, then Apache can
access them by HTTP (that's proxying).  Or if you have some NFS-family
filesystem export available, you can pretend the files are local.

>	We've seen solutions that indicate (if we understood them) that
> Apache can be configured to serve/redirect files from a remote Apache
> server. This appears to be accomplished via the ProxyPassReverse, mod_proxy
> directives...

Yep.

>             Remote PC/Server
>              The files are read from the remote Pc/Server and returned to
> the Apache 		  Server for display on the Client Browser. We're looking at an
> approach
>               like this because it has to be scalable.

The biggest effect on scalability will be for you to run a (large)
local cache on your Apache.  The mechanism you use to contact a remote
server (http or NFS or ???) is secondary, though I think error handling
(eg a remote host is down) is going to be easier with a proxy.

> If this is not easily doable, and we need to utilize the ProxyPassReverse
> solution, what issues are involved? In particular, how scalable would the
> ProxyPassReverse approach be? We might need to server potentially 1000's of
> sites with this approach...

Not a problem.  Use a cache.  As for what issues are involved,
I'm writing an article on the subject, which should be available
shortly (though it focuses more on the mechanics than on scaling).

-- 
Nick Kew

In urgent need of paying work - see http://www.webthing.com/~nick/cv.html



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