What is Load Balancer, Reverse Proxy, Web Application Firewall and API Gateway. Whether SapphireIMS intergration possible with these?

Load balancing: Is hardware or a software unit that distributes the total load on a website by distributing it to multiple servers. The algorithms used by load balancing should be chosen as such it makes the best use of each servers’ capacity and can provide the result as fast as possible.

Load balancers are of three categories: DNS Round Robin, L3/L4 Load Balancer [ works on IP and TCP layer ], and L7 Load Balancer [ works on application layer].

The different kinds of algorithms used by load balancer for distributing load are IP Hash, Least connection, Round robin, Least traffic, etc.

Reverse Proxy: They act as a face of website or we can say they serve as a gateway that web traffic has to pass. The main role of a reverse proxy is:

  1. Security: They act as a wall to your back-end server. Protecting the back-end from direct interactions and thus improving the security of the overall system.
  2. Web acceleration: It also provides features like caching, SSL encryption, and Compression to reduce the time to provide responses to clients.
  3. Flexibility: The changes in back-end architecture become more flexible as the client can only access the reverse proxy.
  4. Load balancing: Some reverse proxies support load balancing as well. Reverse proxies works at layer-7
  5. A reverse proxy can even be relevant even when there is only one server in your system. In such cases there is no requirement of load balancers but still the reverse proxy can be useful providing security, flexibility and web acceleration.

Web Application Firewall: A WAF or Web Application Firewall helps protect web applications by filtering and monitoring HTTP traffic between a web application and the Internet. It typically protects web applications from attacks such as cross-site forgery, cross-site-scripting XSS, file inclusion, and SQL injection, among others. A WAF is a protocol layer 7 defense, and is not designed to defend against all types of attacks. This method of attack mitigation is usually part of a suite of tools which together create a holistic defense against a range of attack vectors.

By deploying a WAF in front of a web application, a shield is placed between the web application and the Internet. While a proxy server protects a client machine’s identity by using an intermediary, a WAF is a type of reverse-proxy, protecting the server from exposure by having clients pass through the WAF before reaching the server.

A WAF operates through a set of rules often called policies. These policies aim to protect against vulnerabilities in the application by filtering out malicious traffic. The value of a WAF comes in part from the speed and ease with which policy modification can be implemented, allowing for faster response to varying attack vectors; during a DDoS attack, rate limiting can be quickly implemented by modifying WAF policies.

API Gateway: An API gateway sits between clients and services. It acts as a reverse proxy, routing requests from clients to services. It may also perform various cross-cutting tasks such as authentication, SSL termination, and rate limiting.

SapphireIMS integration is possible with all these types of front end devices provided you take care of best practices outlined here LB/reverse proxy integration