I'm thinking for a while to add a reverse proxy support to Swazoo so
that we won't need Apache anymore, at least for all but the very large
websites. And such "all but" sites are probably 99%, and that means that
Swazoo is able to serve those 99% of our sites, but you could safely
switch to Apache later when needed.
Another advantage is that you are running everything in Smalltalk and
have therefore a control down to the last bit sent to the TCP socket.
Not to mention that you don't need to learn some other setup like
Apache, which is not the easiest thing to learn.
Reverse proxying will also allow load balancing of many images behind
the Swazoo, or run many different sites, each on its own image, etc.
So, what do you think? Is it a good idea, do you see any obstacles?
Janko> I'm thinking for a while to add a reverse proxy support to Swazoo so
Janko> that we won't need Apache anymore, at least for all but the very large
Janko> websites. And such "all but" sites are probably 99%, and that means
Janko> that Swazoo is able to serve those 99% of our sites, but you could
Janko> safely switch to Apache later when needed.
I've wanted this, although just for testing. I really would like to be able
to test "in the small" completely with Smalltalk, and then deploy "in the
large" with an Apache reverse-proxy instead.
Removing Apache while testing would be useful to me.
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Lukas Renggli wrote:
>> So, what do you think? Is it a good idea, do you see any obstacles?
> In my opinion Smalltalk is not competitive when it comes to
> reading/writing bytes from/to pipes, sockets and files. There are
> other systems that can handle that much more efficiently.
Swazoo is not there to compete with Apache, but to help our web
frameworks to easier compete with other frameworks. As we are proud on
Smalltalk as a simple dev.environment yet able to cope with most complex
problems, let be proud for our web stuff too, and here the Swazoo's role
is to preserve that simplicity. Namely, simplicity is one of biggest
reasons why we are competitive to others.
But let me repeat, not for everything, because after Swazoo stops to be
performant enough, you can always switch to Apache. So, you start simple
with Swazoo and have an open path to the most demanding web serving with
Apache or other web servers.
Apache is more performant, no doubt, and will always be, but that's not
the point, the point is that for most of our web server needs Swazoo is
just good enough, but much simpler for Smalltalkers to use than Apache.
> As a data point, we are currently moving from proxying apps with apache
> to F5 balancers, I would never want to have a net facing server actually
> be in the image that runs my app, I just don't want to reinvent the
> wheel in terms of load handling, balancing and security.
That's actually one of main goals: running a Swazoo reverse proxy in a
separate image to isolate web facing server from actual web apps.