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From "Doug Ahmann" <>
Subject RE: Tomcat stability issues
Date Thu, 31 Aug 2000 12:56:46 GMT
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Charles Sabourdin []
> I wonder if there is any "limte".
> something like for less then 2 000 hits a days you
> should use Tomcat and then use WebSever+Tomcat for
> more...
> Because this is a very big strat├ęgic issue, isn't it?

I'm not sure how it would matter. Whether you stick Apache in front of it or
not, Tomcat still has to handle each and every non-static transaction,

I have to admit I've never looked at the static file pipeline in Tomcat, but
I suspect it should be fairly well designed. Given that its written in Java,
and a little less mature, I'm sure it can't touch Apache's speed. But the
actual transferring of content bytes will probably be the bulk of the
transaction, and that will be native vm code anyway, so I wonder what the
differential for a static file transaction is?

Charles Forsythe brought up some scaling and security issues. Charles, I
think things like the Cisco Local Director can be configured to only allow a
single port to go through, so I don't see how it opens up any more security
holes to have Tomcat listening on 80 vs. Apache listening on 80. (I'm being
devils advocate, of course) A hacker could enter full servlet URIs to try to
run a particular servlet directly, but JServ won't prevent that sort of
thing, since it just passes everything through. JServ doesn't have any more
configuration options that Tomcat. So I'm still puzzled as to what the
advantage is for security, other than SSL.

As for scaling, Local Director (and other products like it I suspect) can be
configured to make a connection "sticky" to a particular machine, if your
app depends on it. IOW, if you are relying on the session, then you can
configure it so that all traffic from a particular user is routed back to
the machine the user was first connected to.

So if I'm understanding Charles correctly, you're saying that if your app is
heavy on static content, then it makes sense to have Apache at the front
end. At my previous company, we had a plan to have an independent image
server ( for instance). Wouldn't that handle what you're
talking about?

It seems to me that if the bulk of your site is jsp and servlets, there is
little to gain by having Apache on the front end.

IOW, I'm still not convinced. ;-) Does anybody else have any more insight?


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