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In a normal load balancing setup with apache(mod_jk) and jboss what part of the total processing is done by apache and what part of it is done by jboss. If apache only balances the load then, in theory, it should be possible to get the results directly from jboss. Is it possible? In such a setup, does apache only behave as a proxy ?

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If you're just using mod_jk to pass requests on to JBoss, Apache only does the load balancing, none of the work for your application. There's certainly a bit of work in doing the load balancing but it's minor compared to what JBoss is doing.

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you mean mod-jk, right? – Bonaqa Nov 14 '11 at 16:55
You're right, I'll fix that in my answer. – Bill Weiss Nov 15 '11 at 4:44

Yes apache is just a reverse proxy, providing security/logging/flexibility etc.

However load balancing in Apache HTTPd is very crude, you have limited health checking and httpd will redirect requests to the backend as long as the Jboss server is up, even if the ear/war deployment has failed and it's not actually displaying content. Using a "real" load balancer frontend is a much safer approach, you can implement health checking, sticky sessions if you require that in your application and other useful features. HAProxy is a popular and powerful option for this.

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