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Proxy

Installation and overview of the PureCM Proxy

1. Overview

1.1. Proxy Concepts

Example network diagram

In the diagram above, you'll see a fictional network diagram of a company with three locations (Head Office, London and New York).  The company has a Wide Area Network (WAN) between the locations which allows network traffic but probably isn't high bandwidth.  Although PureCM can work perfectly well in this configuration with a single central server, as the size of the data stored increases, the time that a user has to wait to get a new workspace can be significant.

The idea of the PureCM Proxy is to have a local cache in each remote location which holds copies of file revisions (transmitting the file revisions will normally take 90%+ of the time to create a new workspace).  It acts as a transparent proxy in that the users will probably not be aware that they're using it.

In terms of performance improvement, internal testing indicates that creating a workspace with roughly 1 Gigabyte of content can be done in around ten minutes with the Proxy.  Creating the same workspace without the proxy takes roughly two hours.  This testing was performed across a VPN connection via 8 Megabit DSL.

2. Installation

2.1. Windows

After downloading the Proxy installer, which is a Windows Installer/MSI Package,double-clicking from Explorer should result in a dialog similar to the one shown below.

The next page is a simple license agreement...

You're then asked to select a location for the Proxy to be installed into...

You can then choose the location for the Proxy database(s).  This will hold a few database files (potentially large) which make up the Proxy's cache of the remote PureCM Server.

Finally, you'll be prompted for the main proxy parameters...

Proxy DNS Name

This should be a valid DNS name for the machine hosting the Proxy.

Proxy Port Number

Will normally be the default port number, 2010

Remote Server DNS Name

Should be either the DNS Name of the remote server the Proxy will be connecting to.

Remote Server Port

Will normally be the default port number, 2010

Worked Example

Following the example network diagram above,you would install the PureCM Proxy in both the London and New York Offices.  In the London Office the Proxy parameters would be :-

Proxy DNS Name: lon-proxy.us.com

Proxy Port Number: 2010

Remote Server DNS Name: purecm.us.com

Remote Server Port Number: 2010

and in the New York office the parameters would be :-

Proxy DNS Name: ny-proxy.us.com

Proxy Port Number: 2010

Remote Server DNS Name: purecm.us.com

Remote Server Port Number: 2010

The 'Proxy DNS Name' can also accept wildcards (primarily the '*' character for simple pattern matching).  The Proxy DNS Name becomes more important when the Proxy is used with multiple PureCM Servers (a different DNS Name/Alias must be used for each server).

2.2. Ubuntu

We assume a Ubuntu 8.04 (or later) server.  You would typically download the PureCM Proxy installer for Ubuntu from our website and install it using :-

    $ sudo dpkg -i purecm-proxy-2008.3-0.ubuntu804.x86.deb

This will install the Proxy to the /opt/purecm-proxy folder. You can then startup/shutdown the Proxy using the familiar 'init' scripts (/etc/init.d), for example '/etc/init.d/purecm-proxy start'.

The Proxy has a single configuration script which is :-

    /opt/purecm-proxy/config.sh

The default settings for this file will be :-

    SERVER_USER=purecm

    SERVER_GROUP=purecm

    SERVER_PORT=2010

    MAPPINGS=myproxy.mycompany.com:myserver.mycompany.com:2010

    EXTRA_ARGS=""

Obviously these settings aren't likely to get you very far!   The settings for the generic example from the network diagram below would be (for the London Proxy) :-

 

    SERVER_USER=purecm

    SERVER_GROUP=purecm

    SERVER_PORT=2010

    MAPPINGS=lon-proxy.us.com:purecm.us.com:2010

    EXTRA_ARGS=""

 

The components of the 'MAPPINGS' settings are :-

  1. lon-proxy.us.com: DNS name of this proxy, can use wildcards (e.g. lon-proxy*)
  2. purecm.us.com: Name of the PureCM Server that we're proxying for
  3. 2010: Port number of the remote PureCM Server

If the Proxy will be used for multiple remote PureCM Servers (e.g. multiple branch offices each with their own PureCM Server) you can specify multiple mappings seperated with a semicolon (;).  Each mapping must have its own DNS name (e.g. lon-proxy.us.com is the A/Host record for the proxy and you could also add lon-proxy1.us.com as a CNAME/Alias to the same machine in DNS).  A brief example of this would be :-

    SERVER_USER=purecm

    SERVER_GROUP=purecm

    SERVER_PORT=2010

    MAPPINGS=lon-proxy.us.com:purecm.us.com:2010;lon-proxy1.us.com:purecm1.us.com:2010;

    EXTRA_ARGS=""

For more complex configurations, it may be wise to contact us at support@purecm.com for advice.

2.3. Automatic Proxy Referrals

Starting with release 2008/3, there is a way to automatically 'refer' PureCM clients to the correct Proxy for their location. This is done through 'Policy Admin' when logged in as an administrative user. As per the images below.

 

Pressing the 'New' button should produce...

You should then see the default, example value set for this policy...

The example value is :-

    #Example: 10.0.1.0/24:proxy.mycompany.com:2010

Note that the '#' character means that the rest of the line is treated as a comment so this won't actually be used. A realistic setup for the example network diagram below would be :-

    10.0.1.0/24:lon-proxy.us.com:2010;10.0.2.0/24:ny-proxy.us.com:2010;

The meaning of this (admittedly cryptic) string is :-

  • If a client connects to this server from an IP address matching 10.0.1.* they should be referred to the 'lon-proxy.us.com' Proxy running on port 2010.
  • Otherwise, clients connecting from an IP address matching 10.0.2.* should be referred to the 'ny-proxy.us.com' Proxy running on port 2010.
  • Failing both those options, don't refer the client to any proxy

This process should be invisible to the user who should be able to create a connection to 'purecm.us.com' and be referred to the correct proxy (even when they're in a different Office than normal).