It receives requests from clients and relays them to the origin servers. Typically, proxies filter requests, log requests or sometimes transform requests (by adding/removing headers, encrypting/decrypting, or compression). Another advantage of a proxy server is that its cache can serve many requests. If multiple clients access a particular resource, the proxy server can cache it and serve all clients without going to the remote server.

Proxies are also extremely helpful when coordinating requests from multiple servers and can be used to optimize request traffic from a system-wide perspective. For example, we can collapse the same (or similar) data access requests into one request and then return the single result to the user; this scheme is called collapsed forwarding.

Imagine a request for the same data across several nodes, and that piece of data is not in the cache. If these requests are routed through the proxy, then all of them can be collapsed into one, which means we will be reading the required data from the disk only once.

Another great way to use the proxy is to collapse requests for data that is spatially close together in the storage (consecutively on disk). This strategy will result in decreasing request latency. For example, a bunch of servers request parts of a file: part1, part2, part3, etc. We can set up our proxy to recognize the spatial locality of the individual requests, thus collapsing them into a single request and reading the complete file, which will significantly minimize the reads from the data origin. Such a scheme makes a big difference in request time when we do random accesses across TBs of data. Proxies are particularly useful under high load situations or when we have limited caching since proxies can primarily batch several requests into one



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store



Understand the technical details behind all your favorite products. We help you put your best foot forward so you can get through the FAANG door.