I have a website that was developed and is hosted on a Windows server (Server A). We want to have these Windows hosted pages to show up on another website that is hosted on a Linux server (Server B). Server A and Server B are not on the same network and managed by two different webmasters.


Server A Windows 2003:

  1. Domain is example.com

  2. Example page would be www.example.com/dir/page.aspx

  3. Example pages would only be used to host pages and visitors would never really visit this site (this domain would never show in their browsers).

Server B Linux / Apache:

  1. Domain is www.example2.com

  2. When visitors go to www.example2.com/dir/page.aspx, they are actually rendering pages from www.example.com/dir/page.aspx, but their browser shows www.example2.com

Does this make sense? Is this possible?


Yes. This is exactly what a reverse proxy is used for. We do the same exact thing and reverse proxy using NginX as our front end servers. We do this for multiple benefits.

  1. NginX as the reverse proxy offloads SSL connections (meaning SSL cert is only installed on our linux Reverse proxy server)
  2. We cache static resources (.css .js .gif .jpeg ....) This way Nginx doesnt need to go to the backend servers
  3. The Reverse proxy gets its content from multiple IIS servers (This is known as load balancing, and can detect a failure in backend server and go to a different one)
  4. NginX is extremely flexible as a reverse proxy so we can send http://www.oursite.com/blog to reverse proxy to blogger.com and then http://www.oursite.com/* to reverse proxy to our IIS Farm

You dont need to have different domains. Usually what is common practice is to setup your backend servers with subdomains. We do them as iis1.oursite.com iis2.oursite.com iis3.oursite.com

NginX and others can create sticky (send to same backend servers) based on session cookies, but its good practice if you want to scale to get rid of ASP.net / ASP / PHP session ids, and go with something more like Database sessions and cookie combinations.

I know your question you were asking about using Apache as a reverse proxy. I am not familiar with that, but if you make the switch to NginX you wont regret it. Its also very common for people to use NginX as a reverse proxy in front of Apache (even when Apache and NginX are on the same server, you just reverse proxy to a different port where apache listens on).

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