How to Use Proxies to Accelerate Cloud Applications

How to Use Proxies to Accelerate Cloud Applications

08 October 2021

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It’s more important than ever to improve web application speed. The proportion of economic activity conducted online is increasing. According to Statista, the global e-commerce retail sales reached 18% last 2020. And this is expected to be about 21.8% in 2024.

In today’s hyper-connected environment, consumers expect more. Users will soon leave your company if they experience too many delays with your app. In fact, 63% of users will uninstall the app when it loads for more than 5 seconds.

There are several ways where you can improve your cloud-based application’s performance. And one of these includes using proxies. In this article, you will find out how proxy servers speed up your cloud-based applications.

Importance of Proxies on Cloud-Based Applications

If your application operates on a single system, addressing performance issues is simple. You will just simply buy a better machine with a faster CPU and disk array, and more RAM. This helps in running your WordPress, Java, and other applications faster than before.

However, in some cases, machine speed is not the issue. Since the computer is moving between several types of activities, web apps frequently run slowly. The application server might be thrashing, meaning it’s out of memory. When that happens, the app will shift portions of memory to disk. This makes several requests wait for a single operation.

Proxies such as Blazing SEO proxies can help you solve these problems. It’s a known fact that proxy servers help secure your network. However, they can also balance your network load with load balancing.

Once the proxy is installed, they can maintain continuous surveillance of all traffic. This includes incoming and outgoing traffic. This is so that they can achieve absolute control over the transmission lines when using the cloud.

There are numerous benefits of using proxies for cloud applications, including:

  • Content caching – This can be possible by deploying reverse proxy in geographically scattered places. By doing so, it improves user experience and reduces page load times.
  • Traffic scrubbing – It provides the most effective way of filtering out dangerous data packets and unwanted hacker requests. It also targets hostile bots.
  • IP masking – To disguise internal IPs, the proxy server closes the connections first. After this, it reopens them while routing the incoming data. As a result, it protects the cloud network by denying attackers access. This prevents them from executing direct-to-IP DoS attacks.
  • Load Balancing – Proxy servers work as a bridge between the company’s end-users and Cloud Apps origin server. They distribute the load equally throughout the cloud network. This guarantees high availability and improves the end-user experience.

Proxy Servers and Load Balancers

As mentioned above, proxies also work as load balancers. However, this is not to be confused with the external hardware known as load balancers.

Load Balancer

Load balancers are often used when a website requires several servers. This can happen when there is a high amount of requests that a single server can’t handle. Multiple servers also reduce mistakes, increasing the website’s reliability.

Typically, the servers all host the same material. The load balancer’s purpose is to distribute the traffic. When that happens, each server’s capacity is maximized, and no server is overloaded. More importantly, the client receives the fastest possible response.

Aside from this, it can also improve the user experience. This is possible by lowering the number of incorrect replies received by the client. It recognizes when servers go down and redirects requests to other servers in the group. The load balancer monitors server health by intercepting error replies to normal requests.

Difference Between Proxy Servers and Load Balancers

A load balancer’s main function is to:

  • Offer high availability
  • Improve horizontal scaling, and
  • Distribute load

On the other hand, proxies like reverse proxy also function the same way. However, their main role is to obtain information for an internet user from a server behind a firewall. The information delivered to the client or internet user appears to have come from the reverse proxy.

Proxies provide an additional layer of security for back-end servers. On the other hand, load balancers provide high availability and load balancing. There are certain activities that both can do but aren’t specialized for. And some things that one can do but the other can’t.

For example, a proxy caches requests but load balancers do not. This allows the proxy to provide a response to the client from its cache.

Users can utilize multiple proxy servers to distribute network load among cloud applications. By doing so, you can construct a load-balancing server pool by caching. The proxy servers can be on either side of the firewall in this scenario.

If your app receives a large number of requests each day, you can use proxy servers. They will relieve the burden on it, making network access more efficient.

How to Set Up Proxy Servers?

Reverse proxy servers are the most popular proxies to use for web acceleration. Setting it up requires you to have two mappings:

  1. Regular mapping – with this mapping, requests are sent to the content server. Proxy servers require regular mapping to determine where the document should be obtained.
  2. Reverse mapping – proxy servers with reverse mapping catch content server redirects. After intercepting, the server modifies the URL to point to the proxy server.

This is useful if a client requests a document that has been relocated or is no longer available. The content server will respond with a notice stating that the document is not available at the requested URL.

The content server includes an HTTP header in the returned message. It specifies the URL to use to get the relocated file. The proxy can use reverse mapping to redirect URLs to keep the internal content server’s privacy.

For example, if you have a web server called http://www.mysite.com/, the reverse proxy will be:

http://proxy.mysite.com/

To create a regular and reverse mapping, follow the steps below:

  1. Navigate to the URLs tab in the Server Manager
  2. Select the Create Mapping option from the drop-down menu. The page Create Mapping will appear.
  3. Fill out the details for a single mapping on the next page.

Regular mapping:

Source prefix: http://proxy.mysite.com/

Source destination: http://www.mysite.com/

After doing so, you can click OK, and return to the previous page. You can now make the following second mapping:

Reverse mapping:

Source prefix: http://www.mysite.com/

Source destination: http://proxy.mysite.com/

To save the changes, click OK.

Once that is done, the proxy server now adds more extra mappings. Click the View or Edit Mappings link to check the mappings. The following format will be used for further mappings:

From: /

To: http://www.site.com/

Users that connect to the reverse proxy as a regular server will see these extra mappings. The first mapping is used to detect people who connect to the proxy as if it was a regular proxy. Depending on the arrangement, the second may be the only one you need. But having both does not cause any problems with the proxy.

Conclusion

Proxy servers help companies in different ways. One of these includes making web applications faster than they are. This article focuses on important topics to understand how proxies such as reverse proxies help. In addition to this, the tutorial will guide you on how to set up reverse proxies for your web app.

By doing so, you’ll be able to increase your web app’s performance. And, in return, improves user experience.

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