Issues with mod_proxy/mod_proxy_balancer and my ded. server host

Hello list,

I wonder if someone could help me understand the following:

I’ve got a managed dedicated server with GoDaddy. Until now, I’ve only hosted PHP applications there. I now need to set it up to host my new beloved Rails application. I asked them to set up apache with mod_proxy_balancer for the mongrel cluster, however, here’s what they told me:

Unfortunately, we will be
unable to install mod_proxy or mod_proxy_balancer, as having an open
proxy on the server is a violation of our Terms of Service.

Uh!?
Why would installing mod_proxy_balancer violate terms of service? Is
there any danger with this installation? Why they relate to it as a
“open proxy server”?

If someone could enlighten me on this issue, I would be grateful!

Thanks,

Marcelo.

Marcelo,

It sounds like the representative that answered your ticket doesn't
understand what mod_proxy and mod_proxy_balancer do. You should reply
to them and explain that this is used to proxy requests from apache to
mongrel instances on the server and does not function as an open proxy
server.

Joe Clarke wrote:

Marcelo,

It sounds like the representative that answered your ticket doesn't
understand what mod_proxy and mod_proxy_balancer do. You should reply
to them and explain that this is used to proxy requests from apache to
mongrel instances on the server and does not function as an open proxy
server.
  
But it can. Depends if you configure mod_proxy as a forward or reverse
proxy. If Marcelo wants to have access to mod_proxy's configuration, the
admin is right to fear an open proxy setup.

Lonel

Thank you for the reply,

So, if I understand, the server admin fears the possibility of an open proxy and what rails need is a forward proxy. What is a reverse proxy? Why would someone set an open proxy?

Thanks!

Marcelo de Moraes Serpa wrote:

Thank you for the reply,

So, if I understand, the server admin fears the possibility of an open
proxy and what rails need is a forward proxy.

In fact it needs a reverse proxy... Forward proxying is the classic
method used when you set your browser to go through a proxy. Reverse
proxying is what is used when you have an application that speaks HTTP
but can't access it directly and proxy the request through another HTTP
server.

The problem is that mod_proxy supports both (many HTTP proxy do as the
code for both techniques has lots in common) and your admin is reluctant
to give you such a powerful tool.

I don't know the details of your contract and rarely configured
mod_proxy so I don't really know if it's possible, but maybe you could
have the configuration split in such a manner that your admin could
activate mod_proxy support but forbid the forward proxying for you.
You'll have to dig through mod_proxy's documentation with your admin to
find out if and how it is possible...

Lionel

Well, it seems GoDaddy was really a bad option … actually this server is my clients one. He signed up for a managed plan at the time becouse he had no experience on server’s administration, so, it came with all this Plesk crap tied and the “hidden” terms and all other crap, take a look at this response I just got from their support staff: