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From Nick Kew <>
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...


>             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

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