A proxy server refers to an application or a computer that serves as a middle-man for client requests to other servers. Essentially, the app proxy server is logically placed between two contributors to an exchange of communication. The benefit of using proxy servers is that their cache can easily serve many clients. Frequently requested internet sites are usually found in the cache of a proxy server, which helps improve client response time. Besides, a proxy also logs all its interactions, and this feature is helpful when troubleshooting.
Now, you should know that not every app proxy can be considered as a full proxy. The full proxy usually requires an internal separation between the app side and the client side. Hence, the full proxy contains two independent network stacks in one device. The reason that this separation between the app and client is or must be an important requirement for the best proxy server is because it offers the proxy the capacity to take part in all interactions between the server and the client. That participation is essential for offering various functionalities like minification (to improve app performance) as well as security functionalities such as data scrubbing among other services.
It is in that gap in between the app and the client sides that the work happens. That is where any services, such as load balancing, application access control and application firewalling, reside. Requests are terminated effectively on the client’s side of the app proxy. This process occurs internally at processor and bus speeds that are normally faster than regular network speeds. The next steps are inspection, policies application, and transformation and then decisions are then made. Finally, a new connection between the app and the proxy is made, after which the requests are sent on their way.
When the requests are returned to the proxy side, the opposite happens. After inspection, the data gets scrubbed, and policies get applied. The requests are the sent back to the client side. Interestingly, all this happens in a fraction of a second since it is all inside the proxy.
Since the main function of the best proxy server is to provide a large variety of services, like availability, mobility, access and identity among others, it must be a full proxy. The reason for this is that the full proxy is the only one that is specifically designed to take part in all the requests and responses. Simple proxies only take part in the first conversation, during the connection between the app and the client.
Proxies were created to add encapsulation and structure to network systems. There are many web proxies that facilitate content access on the internet and also offer anonymity. Now, keeping all that in mind, the best proxy server must not only be a full proxy but have three main characteristics: performance, programmability and protocols.
The feature of programmability is important in the cloud and data centers to support automation, and standardization. It is also essential for enabling services and security that offer great value for business operations, fostering support for customized protocols and augmenting existing ones.
Performance may sound very simple when talking about the best proxy server, but it is quite complex. Since the app proxy deals with every request, it requires being very fast. It must do its main functions very quickly without adding any delay to the communication exchange. That is almost not as simple as it sounds, particularly since there is a push towards using general purpose computers for deployment.
HTTP is probably the protocol that comes to mind when talking about the word “app.” That does not come as a surprise since HTTP is the lingo of online communication like TCP. However, there are still other protocols used by the best proxy server including SIP, UDP, SMTP, and LDAP. There is also SSL/TLS, which is increasingly being used everywhere and thus the app proxy should speak it very fluently.
A well-designed app proxy can create the platform that current data centers require for addressing performance and also security issues, to help automate and reduce operating costs, while ensuring great app experience at the corporate and consumer levels. However, it must have all the features of a modern proxy server listed above.
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