Apache 2.0 Mod_Rewrite without Redirect

Hello Experts,
   We have the following setup in one of our production system.

External world -->  HardWare LoadBalancer --> Apache 2.0 --> Weblogic 7.0

Apache 2.0 and Weblogic talk to each other using the standard plugin provided by BEA. We are using one more protocol called Webdav (Which is nothing but a wrapper around http protocol). This protocol is not understandable by apache-weblogic plugin. So we are running into problems.

The only way to circumvent this problem is to bypass apache and directly contact weblogic. Please note that we can't change the URL of the external world at any cost. So we thought of using mod_rewrite in apache. The basic idea is simple as follows.

for ex : http://myserver.com/PF.jsp will get translated to http://myserver.com:7001/PF.jsp.

The problem with this approach is that, it will do a redirect. And this will be a problem if we use loadbalancer. All the machines are within  (demilitarized zone and all start with 10.x ip which is not exposed to external world). Even the apache machine will receive 10.x.x.x.

So the question is ...Is it possible to have mod_rewrite without external redirect??? Can apache rewrite the url, get the response from weblogic and send it back to the client??

Please let me know in case I need to explain this better. Any thoughts on this will be of great help.

regards
Rajesh.B




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rajesh_balaAsked:
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BigRatCommented:
I depends on the rewrite rule which you use. The [R] flag will do a redirect, the [P] flag will do an internal proxy forward. Can you post your rewrite rules here?
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rajesh_balaAuthor Commented:
Hi BigRat,
   Thankx for the comments. We have not yet set the rewrite rules as of now. Before writing the rewrite rule, we had a concern that apache will do an external redirect for "rewrite rules" (that is if u manipulate the URL, apache will do an external redirect).

  What I am looking for is something like what you have mentioned as internal proxy forward. Please correct me if I am wrong.

1. Original URL : http://myserver.com/PF.jsp
2. After rewrite by apache : http://myserver.com:7001/PF.jsp
3. If I use [P] flag in rewrite rule, apache will internally get the response from 7001 port and give the reply to the client.

regards
Rajesh.B
0
BigRatCommented:
Correct.

RewriteRule ^(.*)$    http://myserver.com:7001/$1 [P,L]

OK?
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rajesh_balaAuthor Commented:
Hello BigRat,
  One more question on this regard. I already mentioned that webdav is a protocol on top of http. Now you have mentioned that apache will do a internal proxy forward to 7001.

But will the headers be preserved by apache??.. Or will it truncate some of the headers and send it to 7001??.

~Rajesh.B
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BigRatCommented:
>>But will the headers be preserved by apache??..

Basically no.  I have not studied the code, but I know that the basic authentication header will get dropped, since it is only valid for this site. You might find that the extra DAV headers get copied forward. Headers returned usually get sent on unmodified. The exception is Location, to which the proxyPassreverse directive applies.

There are mod_proxy substitutes available - some commerical. Try Google to find them.  You'll probably have to try it to find out.
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rajesh_balaAuthor Commented:
Thankx BigRat
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