As the Internet continues to grow in popularity and size, so have the scalability demands on its infrastructure. Exponential growth without scalability solutions will eventually result in prohibitive network load and unacceptable service response times. It is well-known that the primary reason why Internet traffic has increased is due to the surge in popularity of the World Wide Web, specially the high percentage of HTTP traffic.

Web caching becomes an attractive solution because it represents an effective means for reducing bandwidth demands, improving web server availability, and reducing network latencies.

Web caching provides for a means to store frequently accessed Web pages and objects on a system that's closer to the user than the Internet Web server hosting those objects. That speeds up performance when those objects are accessed again.

A few years back, the theory was that super-high bandwidth Internet connections would make Web caching unnecessary--but it didn't work out that way. Even the fastest fiber optic Internet connections, at 30-45 Mbps, are slow in comparison to typical LAN speeds of 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps, so performance is still an issue. In addition, caching increases availability since the cached copy of the object can still be accessed even if the hosting Web server is down or unreachable due to network problems. Caching can also reduce the cost of Internet connectivity if your company pays by the megabyte.

For many users around the world, bandwidth is still scarce and very expensive.  Here web caches are the obvious answer.  In simple cost savings alone, payback is rapid and return on investment very high.  Narrow bandwidth becomes more useful to end-users.  Service providers see their bandwidth offer become more attractive.

Technology?

Caching technology simply it is the technology of storing frequently-used data in an easily accessible location near to the user so that saved time and resources because data does not have to be retrieved from the original source.

 Certainly, several hundred million PCs utilizing cache technology in the processor illustrates the importance of caching, even at the hardware level. Another very common cache, found on almost all PCs, is the Web browser cache. Internet Explorer and Firefox, the most widely used browsers, for example, have web caches for storing requested objects so that the same objects do not need to be retrieved multiple times from the Web server. This process is known as object caching.

Object caching has been around for many years and has traditionally been used to accelerate access to HTTP content. In addition to object caching HTTP content, some vendors have extended their object caching support to include HTTPS content, streaming media objects, FTP, and CIFS files. Occasionally, object caching is referred to as “proxy caching” since it is implemented using a proxy for the given protocol (e.g. HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, CIFS, or RTSP/RTP).

You want to offer your customers a fast, reliable service, add more subscribers to your network and keep your costs down, but internet access is in short supply and very expensive.  Upgrading your bandwidth is a major investment?

A web caching server is an obvious solution to your problem.

 What is Proxy Cache Server doing?

A proxy cache server intercepts HTTP requests from clients and if it finds the requested object in its cache it returns the object to the user. If the object is not found, the cache goes to the object’s home server -the originating server- on behalf of the user, gets the object and deposits it in its cache and finally returns the object to the user. When another user request the same object it will returns directly from its cache.

Forward Proxy Topology

 What is the Reverse Proxy Caching?

In the reverse proxy caching caches are deployed near the origin of the content instead of near clients. This is an attractive solution for servers or domains which expect a high number of requests and want to assure a high level of quality of service. Reverse proxy caching is also a useful mechanism when supporting web hosting farms (virtual domains mapped to a single physical site) an increasingly common service for many Internet service providers (ISPs).

Reversed Proxy Topology

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