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Comparing ESET Remote Administrator Proxy and Apache HTTP Proxy (6.x)

Issue

Details

This article provides the comparison of three different proxy solutions. Different proxies can be used alone and also in a combination.

Solution

ESET Remote Administrator (ERA) version 6 and later can be used with three different proxy servers:

  • ESET Remote Administrator Proxy (ERA Proxy)
  • Apache HTTP Proxy (a third party component)
  • Web Proxy

Both ERA Proxy and Apache HTTP Proxy can be installed using the ESET Remote Administrator all-in-one or standalone installers; however, they perform very different roles in your network environment. Transparent forward proxy is not included in the ERA installer files, but can be included. See below for a definition of each technology and how it should be used:

ESET Remote Administrator Proxy

ERA Proxy can be used on larger networks to help distribute load from client computers to the ERA Server. ERA Proxy is used as "middle man" between remote branches and the ERA Server. For example, in an enterprise network (10,000 or more clients) you might install multiple instances of ERA Proxy on server machines to distribute network traffic and reduce load on the ERA Server. Additionally, you can use ERA Proxy to manage communication between a remote office that does not have a high-bandwidth link to the ERA Server, or between a remote office behind a firewall. This configuration offers better communication because the ERA Proxy accepts all communication from local client computers, compiles the data and uploads it to the ERA Server. This configuration can accommodate more clients without compromising network performance.

The ESET Remote Administrator Agent must be installed on the computer where ERA Proxy is installed.

Comparison of Apache HTTP Proxy and ERA Proxy solutions
Figure 1-1

 

Apache HTTP Proxy vs. Web Proxy

The primary purpose of Web Proxy is to tunnel communication and cache certain files (such as installers and updates). It is possible to use proxy chaining with this option, but for remote location it is recommended to use a dedicated proxy server. Such a solution must be configured by the customer.

Apache HTTP Proxy is a service that can be used in combination with ESET Remote Administrator 6 and later to distribute updates to client computers and installation packages to the ESET Remote Administrator Agent. Apache HTTP Proxy performs a similar role to the mirror server feature popular in ESET Remote Administrator 5 and earlier. Using Apache HTTP Proxy serves the following purposes:

  • Tunneling of communication with ESET Update Servers, and caching of updates for ESET Endpoint, ERA Agent, and ERA Server. One proxy  instance is needed for each branch (location).
     
  • Tunneling of communication with ESET Repository Servers and:
    • ERA Server - caching of installers, used with the Agent Deployment task and for the creation of Installers
    • ERA Agent - caching of installers, used with the Software install task. One proxy is needed for each branch (location).
       
  • Tunneling of communication with ESET Live Grid, used to cache data for ESET security products
     
  • Tunneling of communication with ESET Licensing Servers, caching of data used for:
    • ERA Server 
    • ERA Agent, to allow activation of older products
    • ESET Security Products of the version 6.x and later.

Key benefit of using the Apache HTTP Proxy is decrease of the data transfer from ESET servers to the local network.

Comparison of Apache HTTP Proxy and Transparent web proxy
Figure 1-2

When to start using Apache HTTP Proxy?

Based on our practical tests, we recommend you deploy Apache HTTP Proxy if you have a network of 37 or more computers. Review the simple comparison below of downloaded update data in a month's time using direct internet connection in comparison to Apache HTTP Proxy:

Number of PCs in your corporate network 

15

36

50

100

500

1000

Direct connection to internet (MB/month)

375 

900 

1250 

2500 

12500 

25000 

Apache HTTP Proxy (MB/month)

30

50

60

150

600

900

Apache HTTP Proxy can be installed as part of the ESET Remote Administrator (ERA) Server installation process using the all-in-one installer. If you already have ERA Server installed, install and configure Apache HTTP Proxy using the standalone installer.


How to setup a proxy solution?

Install ERA Proxy:

Configuration of ERA Proxy

Install Apache HTTP Proxy:

Configuration of Apache HTTP Proxy

If you have installed Apache HTTP Proxy from standalone installer, it is not automatically enabled on the ERA Server. You have to enable it manually:

  1. Login to Web Console.
  2. Navigate to Admin  → Server Settings.
     
  3. Click Advanced Settings.
     
  4. Enable Use proxy server under HTTP Proxy section.
     
  5. Type the IP address or fully qualified domain name (FQDN) of the server where Apache HTTP proxy is installed into the Host field. Type the username and password if you have set them before (more in Method II. step 8).
     
  6. Click Save.

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