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A Proxy Server Experiment: an Indication of the Changing Nature ...

A Proxy Server Experiment: an Indication of the Changing Nature …

A Proxy Server Experiment: an Indication of the Changing Nature of the Web
A Proxy Server Experiment: an
Indication of the Changing Nature of the Web
MAJ
Richard Howard
Directorate of Information Management United
States Military Academy
West Point, NY 10996
Voice (914)938-7449
Fax: (914)938-5956
Bernard J. Jansen
Department of EE & CS
United States Military Academy
Voice:(914) 938-3233
Abstract
With the growing reliance on connectivity to the World-Wide
Web (Web), many organizations have been experiencing trouble servicing their
users with adequate access and response time. Increase bandwidth on more connections
to Web can relieve the access problem, but this approach may not decrease the
access time. Additionally, increase bandwidth comes at greatly increased cost.
Therefore, many organizations have turned to the use of proxy servers. A proxy
server is a Web server that caches Internet resources for re-use by a set of
client machines. The performance increases of proxy servers has been widely
reported; however, we could not locate any recent test of proxy server performance.
Given the exponential growth of the Web in just the last year, we wondered if
this would have an effect on the performance of proxy servers. Therefore, we
conducted a 14-day proxy server experiment. The results of our experiment showed
that the proxy servers actually decreased performance, i. e. access time. We
review this experiment, analyze why the proxy sever failed to decrease access
time, and draw conclusions on the changing nature of the Web and its impact
on proxy servers.
Please Cite: Howard, R. and Jansen, B. J. 1998. A proxy
server experiment: an indication of the changing nature of the web. Seventh
International Conference on Computer Communications and Networks. Lafayette,
Louisiana.
See
Other Publications
Introduction
With the growing reliance on connectivity to
the World-Wide Web (Web), many organizations have been
experiencing trouble servicing their users with adequate access
and response time as network and server loads have increased
dramatically. Increased bandwidth (i. e., more or “bigger”
connections to Web) can relieve the access problem, but
increasing bandwidth may not decrease the response time for users.
Additionally, increase bandwidth comes at greatly increased cost
due to typical monthly charges. Therefore, many organizations,
including businesses, schools, universities, government, and
military organizations have turned to the use of proxy servers.
A proxy server is a Web server that caches
Internet resources for re-use by a set of client machines.
Caching proxies have been introduced to improve the system
performance with the assumption that a page will be fetched many
times before it is destroyed or modified. The performance
increases of proxy servers has been widely reported. In fact, the
praise of proxy servers has been almost universal. However, we
could not locate any recently published, scholarly articles on
tests of proxy server performance. Therefore, we conducted an
experiment to measure if the use of a proxy server would decrease
access time for users on the university WAN.
We present a brief description of and uses for
a proxy server. We then review recent proxy server literature,
both from the trade press and from scholarly journals. We then
discuss the methodology of the experiment and the nature of our
network on which the experiment was conducted. We follow this
discussion with the results of the experiment and conclude with
thoughts on why our results differed from those previously
reported and the implications for the future of proxy servers on
the Web
Proxy Servers
Proxy servers have two main purposes. They can
improve performance and filter requests. By filtering requests,
we mean an organization might use a proxy server to prevent its
employees from accessing a specific set of Web sites. We are more
concerned, for this experiment, in the first purpose of a proxy
server, improving performance. Proxy servers can dramatically
improve performance for users of an organization. This is because
the proxy server saves the results of all requests for a certain
amount of time.
For example, consider the situation where both
User A and User B access the Web through the same proxy server.
First, User A requests a certain Web page, which we will refer to
as Web Page 1. The proxy sever will forward, based on the Uniform
Resource Locator (URL), the request to the Web server where Web
Page 1 resides. Depending on the network’s Web connection,
the number of graphics in the Web page, etc., this can be a time
consuming operation. Now, later, User B requests the same Web
page. Instead of forwarding the request to the Web server where
Page 1 resides, the proxy server simply returns the Web Page 1
that it already fetched for User A. Since the proxy server is
usually on the same network as the user, this is a much faster
operation. If this series of actions is repeated over several to
hundreds of users, the performance increase via reduced access
time can a real benefit to the users on a network. The major
online services such as CompuServe and America Online, for
example, employ an array of proxy servers to service thousands of
users [7]. If User B had requested a Web page that had not been
previously requested, the proxy server forwards the request to
the real Web server designated in the URL..
The storing of server requests by proxy servers
is referred to as caching. As stated, it was this aspect of the
proxy server that we were primarily interested in studying. Web
pages are modified, deleted, renamed continuously, so the proxy
server must have a means of checking to see if the page that it
has in cache is the most current version. Briefly, a Web caching
proxy server “cruises” the Web and examines pages that
are currently cached on the server. If a page has been modified,
the proxy server stores the new version on a local drive. Some
proxy servers can also use certain guidelines to hit links on
that page to pull down related pages. Most proxy servers are
extremely efficient. They can examine and store thousands of Web
pages, and when any local user on the LAN asks for a specific
stored page, the page flies out of a local drive or cache without
Internet transmission delays.
To ensure that the proxy server can do it job,
the network must be set up so that users needing access to the
Web must use the proxy server as their Internet gateway. One can
accomplish this access control through proper router setup, which
places all users “behind” the firewall.
Literature Review
Organizations that use Web proxy servers report
that the proxy server’s caching technology has greatly
reduced network costs. Many organizations bought proxy servers in
order to decrease access time. However, they received an
unexpected benefit when caching reduced traffic on the Internet
connections. Industry analysts report that proxy servers often
reduced traffic enough to eliminate the need to add bandwidth
servers [3]. The demand for proxy servers among businesses,
organizations, government, and academic was been strong.
Microsoft, Netscape and Novell all offer proxy-server software as
part of their Internet server suites. The demand is
understandable given the reported increases in performance from
users. Reported performance enhancements from proxy server for
end users is typically about 20 to 25%, i. e., a one-quarter
decrease in access time [1] [2]. Organizations also reported high
volume of proxy server cache access, as high as 40% and extremely
active caches with thousands of Web documents [3].
There has been very little discussion of
limitations or negative aspects of proxy servers. In general,
proxy servers generally cannot provide the sophisticated event
statistics, reports, alarms and audit tracking of standalone
firewalls. However, a high end proxy server goes for about $1, 000.
Firewalls cost from $5, 000 to $50, 000 [2]. Also, industry experts
caution that proxy servers cannot take the place of a second,
high-speed, Web access line if the first is overloaded. Other
than these points, there have been very little reported drawbacks
of proxy servers.
With all the positive reports, it is no wonder
that proxy servers are still an active area of research. Most of
the research focuses on methods to increase the performance
aspect of proxy servers as opposed to the filtering aspect of
proxy servers. Jeffery, Das, and Bernal [4] investigated the
design and implications of an extended proxy server that shares
cache resources not only itself, but also with near neighbors.
They reported a substantial reduction in network work load that
can be obtained from this proxy sharing. This shared cache also
lead to a corresponding increase in performance. The best
performance came from a simple implementation model that is non-hierarchical;
proxies access each other using the natural topology of the Web.
Instead of cache sharing, Law and Nandy [6] investigated a
distributed proxy server architecture that can increase the
service availability, provide system scalability, coupled with
load balancing capability. The system employs TCP-based switching
mechanism which has a finer session granularity, and more dynamic
control on resource allocation. Finally, [5] researched the
ability of proxy servers to cache video.
Methodology
However, we could not locate any recent test of
proxy server performance. Given the exponential growth of the Web
in just the last or two year, we wondered if this growth would
have an effect on the performance of proxy servers. We first installed a
proxy server. We then review the sites that our network users
commonly visit. We selected one site,, that was typical of the web sites that our users
commonly visited. We then blocked direct access to this site for
two weeks at the Firewall. This action forced all users that
desired to visit to go
through the newly installed proxy server. Without this block,
users could bypass the proxy server and our data set would not be
as dense. With any experiment of this type, one should get a
sense of the size, traffic load, and nature of the network users.
The Network
The experiment was conducted at the United
States Military Academy (USMA), which is a four year,
undergraduate institution. USMA graduates about 1000 students,
called cadets, per year. Almost all of the graduating cadets
immediately serve in the US Army. All cadets, all faculty, and
the majority of the staff have computers and Internet access.
The USMA network at has a Fiber Distributed
Data Interface (FDDI) backbone at 100 Mbps. About half of our
users are connected to the backbone via dedicated 10 Mbps lines.
Other users are connected to the backbone via shared 10 Mbps
lines. Our network is connected to the Web via two (2)
connections, one DREN and one NIPRNET. DREN is the Defense
Research Engineering Network and NIPRNET is uNclassified (but
sensitive) Internet Protocol Routing NETwork). DREN is primarily
for our education needs. NIPRNET is the military Internet. Both
run at about T1 speeds, 1. 5Mbps. This network serves the
approximately four thousand cadets, the faculty and staff of the
institution, plus the various staff agencies of the military post.
Figure 1 illustrates the layout and size of the USMA
network. Average utilization is 15-20% on the FDDI backbone,
about 96% on the DREN Gateway, and about 80% on NIPRNRT Gateway.
Figure 1: USMA Network.
The cadets use the network and Web extensively
for courses, both in the classroom and for research projects. The
faculty also uses the network and Web for teaching preparation
and research. Some typical sites that are commonly visited are:.
Results and Explanation
We were expecting to see a substantial
performance gain by caching common documents that many users on
the USMA visit repeatedly. Based on the architecture of our
network, as explained above, the proxy server should have
retrieved a large number of cached documents and delivered these
at close to USMA network speeds (100 Mbps around the backbone and
generally 10 Mbps to the user). Unfortunately, this did not
happen. As an example, from 0010 hrs to 1945 hrs on 17 December
1997, the proxy server accepted 290, 000 server requests. It only
served 12, 000 documents from its cache. This is a 4% hit ratio.
We were expecting about a 20% hit ratio.
The factor that we failed to consider is that
many web sites, including, are using dynamic Web pages and dynamic HTML to create
their documents. Dynamic Web pages refer to Web content that
changes each time it is viewed. For example, the same URL could
result in a different page depending on any number of parameters,
such as: geographic location of the reader, time of day, previous
pages viewed by the reader, or profile of the reader. There are
already many languages and technologies for producing dynamic
HTML, including CGI scripts, Server-Side Includes, cookies, Java,
JavaScript, and ActiveX. It appears that the number of dynamic
Web pages will increase, especially with the advent of Dynamic
HTML. Dynamic HTML are new HTML extensions that will enable a Web
page to react to user input without sending requests to the Web
server. Microsoft and Netscape have submitted competing Dynamic
HTML proposals to W3C, which must now hammer out the final
specification [7].
So, with Dynamic Web pages every time you go to
the site, you may get a different page. It may be mostly the same
information as the last time you visited the site, but the page
is created on the fly. The proxy server can not cache this kind
of web page in the normal way. Instead, the proxy server acts as
a middleman. It sends a request to the distance Web server,
copies the documents to the proxy server hard drive and then
delivers the documents to the user. This had two effects: 1.
There were very few documents stored in cache. Only, the static
HTML documents. 2. For the dynamic Web pages, the proxy server
was actually slowing down access time with the coping and
updating of the documents.
Conclusion
For this experiment, we set out to see if the
growth of the Web had changed the role and performance of proxy
servers. We conducted a 14-day experiment and channeled users
through a proxy server if they wanted to access, a major Web site. Based on previous trade reports, we
expected about a 20% hit ratio. Instead, our hit ratio was one
fifth of this expectation. We traced the cause to the increased
use of dynamic Web pages., While the growth of the Web was not
the major factor, it appears that as the Web has grown, it has
and is evolving from a static to a dynamic information repository.
Under this environment, the role of the proxy server will
decrease as it less able to delivery performance enhancements.
Obviously, product redesign is in order.
References:
[1] Computerworld, April 21, 1997 v31 n16 p16(1)
Proxy servers gain user appeal Laura DiDio.
[2] Computerworld, Nov 17, 1997 v31 n46 p6(1)
Planning blunts Web traffic spikes. Sharon Machlis.
[3] Computerworld, Jan 26, 1998 v32 n4 p47(2)
Web-caching servers cut network costs. Bob Wallace.
[4] Jeffery, C. L. ; Das, S. R. ; Bernal, G. S.
Proxy-sharing proxy servers. 7-10 May 1996. Proceedings of COM’96.
First Annual Conference on Emerging Technologies and Applications
in Communications.
[5] Ki Dong Nam; Hyeun Tae Lee. Design of a
virtual server for service interworking over heterogeneous
networks. 20-22 Aug. 1997. 1997 IEEE Pacific Rim Conference on
Communications, Computers and Signal Processing, PACRIM. 10 Years
Networking the Pacific.
[6] Law, K. E. ; Nandy, B. ; Chapman, A. A
scalable and distributed WWW proxy system. 3-6 June 1997.
Proceedings of IEEE International Conference on Multimedia
Computing and Systems.
[7]
[8].
How to Create a Proxy Server (2021) - Alphr

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How to Create a Proxy Server (2021) – Alphr

Proxy servers are beneficial because they act as mediators between your computer and the internet. They make online requests for you, and then they return the requested information. If you want to create a proxy server yourself, know that it isn’t as difficult as it on for more details about proxy servers, their uses, and instructions for creating a proxy server. Note that this article will provide instructions for creating a proxy server using the Windows and Mac operating Servers 101What is a proxy server? It’s a mediator or a replacement server. It allows your computer to connect to the internet using a different IP address. In simple terms, proxy servers add an extra layer of privacy to your online presence and can also save a lot of bandwidth in certain using a proxy, internet traffic and files can be compressed, and all the unnecessary parts can be left aside (e. g., annoying ads on web pages). Proxies are very useful to companies with a large number of employees on the same wireless network, as they can ease the bandwidth traffic of a single servers are also faster because they look up cached website versions, without downloading any other unnecessary files. Proxy servers can be divided into two simple categories, private and public. Generally speaking, private proxies are much faster because fewer people use them. Private proxies are also far safer for the very same terms of privacy and security, when compared to a VPN service, a proxy server is far less effective. If you’re looking for a VPN, check out NordVPN, it’s one of the fastest and safest virtual private Uses of Proxy ServersProxy servers are mostly set up by schools, employers, and other places where there are a lot of people connected to the same network. Proxies give the owners of the network a better view and control of what’s going use the internet in a school, for example, you must connect to your school’s proxy network. Proxies are the reason why network administrators block many websites with ease. But what is defending the proxy server? Well, it’s probably just a basic firewall. That’s how the sites are restricted, and nothing should penetrate the network. If there are any breaches to the firewall, you can bet they’re coming from malware or an intruder to your don’t need to own a business, or anything else to set up a proxy. Feel free to install it in your home, if you have multiple devices and want better control over the household’s internet use. Spoiler alert, your kids aren’t going to enjoy a proxy as much as you will! How to Create a Proxy Server on WindowsThere are two basic ways you can create a proxy server on a Windows computer. One is with an automated script, and the other method is manual. Let’s start with the instructions for using the script:On your Windows computer, launch the Settings (Start>Settings) on the Network and Internet on Proxy the Use Setup Script the script address you were given (by your employer, school, or another server owner. ) and select Save. You can then exit the settings, and the script should become effective other way around is creating a proxy server manually:Once again, open your Windows Network and Internet Use a Proxy Server under the Manual Proxy Setup the IP under the Address tab, and the Port number in the appropriate you’re done, Save the changes and exit this to Create a Proxy Server on MacCreating a proxy server on Mac computers isn’t difficult either. Here’s how to do it:Start the System Preferences the Network the Advanced option and select, select the Proxy option. Here, you can set up the proxy automatically if you choose the Auto Proxy Discovery, and your computer will configure everything on its ternatively, you can do it manually. Then, you must click on the type of proxy, enter its port, and address in the appropriate fields (port is the smaller one). You might also need to enter the proxy server credentials in case the server is password you’re done, click on OK to save the changes and create the ’ll notice various types of proxy servers. HTTP is the most popular one, but it isn’t very safe, while the HTTPS is a more stable version of HTTP. Finally, SOCKS has many uses, e. g. it’s excellent for torrents, but it’s significantly slower than other types of Proxy Servers Enough? Proxy servers are handy, depending on your needs. If your chief concern is security, and online privacy, then using a VPN service is a better choice. Still, proxies are very popular and have many uses. Schools and workplaces, for instance, couldn’t function without you setting up a public or personal proxy server? Let us know in the comments section below and tell us if you’re satisfied with the results.
Is using a proxy server legal?

Is using a proxy server legal?

Yes, it is legal to use a proxy server. Proxies have many different uses, including enabling remote work; setting up a support system for users who are located outside a particular network; protecting networks and Internet users from malicious content; streaming online content from outside a country and more.
When are Proxy Servers Illegal?
Keep in mind that there are some circumstances in which using a proxy server is illegal. For example, some websites stream content that is only available to audiences who have paid their license fees to access it. If you did not pay license fees and tried to access that content via a proxy server, that act would be considered illegal.
Why Use a Proxy Server?
Let’s say you are living in the United Kingdom, and trying to log onto a U. S. based website to watch educational documentaries or your favorite TV programme. However, you discovered that IP addresses in the UK have been blocked. Don’t feel down just yet because proxies allow you to circumvent web filters that are blocking you from your geographical location.
There is content out there that may have been produced for individuals to view for free, so why shouldn’t you be able to view or access it? As long as using proxies do not appear to be an infringement of copyright law, you can use proxies to stream content while enjoying complete peace of mind.
Good Practices for Using Proxies Legally
Before you use a proxy server to stream any content that has been blocked in your geographical location, you should carefully read the target website’s terms and conditions. This practice ensures you avoid breaking any terms and conditions that may lead the target website to take legal action against you.
At Proxy Key, we offer stellar proxies that grant you instant access to your favorite content online with just a few clicks. Contact us today for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions about how to create a proxy server

How much does it cost to set up a proxy server?

In general, proxy servers generally cannot provide the sophisticated event statistics, reports, alarms and audit tracking of standalone firewalls. However, a high end proxy server goes for about $1,000. Firewalls cost from $5,000 to $50,000 [2].

How do I make my own proxy server?

How to Create a Proxy Server on WindowsOn your Windows computer, launch the Settings (Start>Settings).Click on the Network and Internet option.Click on Proxy settings.Enable the Use Setup Script option.Enter the script address you were given (by your employer, school, or another server owner.) and select Save.Mar 26, 2021

Is using a proxy server illegal?

Yes, it is legal to use a proxy server. Proxies have many different uses, including enabling remote work; setting up a support system for users who are located outside a particular network; protecting networks and Internet users from malicious content; streaming online content from outside a country and more.

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