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New proxy server creating problems when accessing secure Web sites

I have set up a new proxy server for our company. Clients are using Win98 and Win2000. Whenever a client tries to access a secure site, the page takes a long to time to display. We had no problem with the old proxy server, and I thought I mirrored everything from the old system. I am a beginner network tech, and I need help! What am I doing wrong?

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It's impossible to answer with any confidence, without knowing specifically what type of proxy you are using. However, I will say that your proxy server processes secure pages very differently from regular, non-SSL pages. Proxy servers handle HTTPS:// URLs in one of two ways:
  1. Transparent proxies can simply pass the encrypted request on to the destination, performing absolutely no processing. However, because the request passes through the proxy encrypted, it cannot cache any of the pages, reducing any potential performance benefit.

  2. Application layer proxies can unencrypt the request from the client, and send an encrypted request on to the destination server. This would provide for caching to take place, but adds overhead for the added processing necessary to encrypt and decrypt. This processing is usually very, very minor. If it were causing a problem, you would be able to diagnose it by watching the Processor Utilization performance counter within the Processor performance object in the Performance administrative snap-in on the proxy server.

 

This was first published in May 2002

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