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Is it still considered best practice to run Apache Tomcat behind an HTTP proxy like Apache HTTPD or Nginx on a Linux server?

A decade ago I was told it was necessary as Tomcat 3 was slow at serving static content, plus it had stability and security issues. AJP was the proxying method of choice.

In 2013 Tomcat 7 is much more stable and secure, and any static content I'd be serving would be via a CDN anyway.

Are there any compelling reasons to have Tomcat sat behind another HTTP server? I'm a developer primarily, so please excuse any ignorance!

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Usually the answer comes down to: benchmark your specific usecase. –  ptman Aug 1 '13 at 9:01
    
Only if you need manage a few vhosts on the same ip and port 80. Then you should use some proxy server nginx/apache/etc –  ALex_hha Aug 1 '13 at 9:24
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1 Answer 1

From experience there is nothing wrong with a standalone tomcat. We have been doing this since Apache Tomcat 6. We even host our static website with Tomcat. Just because its easier. We serve a couple thousand page views per day. Nothing much. Most of the time the tomcat process is bored. Everything with Tomcat out of the box and now APR/native.

You can use Apache + mod_jk for a load balancer setup. Or for a easier maintenance mode. In case you do rolling updates.

As ptman suggested give it a atry and benchmark your usecase.

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