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Sun ONE Web Proxy Server 3.6 SP2 Installation Guide - NT Version

Chapter 1   Before You Install

The following sections discuss the information you need to know before you install iPlanet Web Proxy Server.

Supported Platforms

Sun ONE Web Proxy Server 3.6 SP2 for Windows NT runs on these platforms:

  • Windows NT Server version 4.0, running Service Pack 6. (available from Microsoft's web site)
  • Windows 2000 Server and Advanced Server, running Service Pack 3. (available from Microsoft's web site)

Hardware and Software Requirements

iPlanet Web Proxy Server requires specific software and hardware. Before you can install the server, your computer must have the following:

  • A supported browser:
    • Netscape Navigator™ 4.7x or 7.0
    • Internet Explorer 5.5

  • A Domain Name Service (DNS) - For more information on DNS, see Making Sure DNS is Running.
  • Windows NT or Windows 2000 server with an x86 processor
  • CD-ROM drive
  • Minimum 32MB RAM; 64MB or more recommended for machines that will handle heavy traffic
  • 20MB hard disk space for installation, plus a minimum of 200MB hard disk space for the cache

Hardware Sizing Recommendations

When choosing the hardware for your proxy server, you should consider the number of incoming connections and the average transaction time of those connections. You probably will not know these numbers until your proxy server has been running for a while. Until then, you can use a typical proxy server setup. Table 1-1 describes the hardware in a typical proxy server setup.

Table 1-1    Typical Proxy Server


Entry-level Proxy Server

Typical Proxy Server


Up to 1,500


Operating System

Entry to mid-level NT server

High-end NT server


120+ MHz

1-2 Pentium Pro


Minimum 32 MB; 64-128 MB for heavy traffic

128-256 MB

Server Hard Disk

Minimum 20 MB; 100 MB recommended

200 MB


2 to 4 GB

5 to 9 GB

A proxy server running on a Windows NT system can generally support up to 600 users per server. Of course, the total number of requests generated by the users is the real sizing factor.

Table 1-1 shows the minimum amount of RAM you will need for your proxy server. You will generally need more RAM as your user base expands. Table 1-2 shows RAM sizes based on the number of users going through your proxy server. Large deployments should also consider a logging file system or non-volatile RAM to allow the server to perform asynchronous writes to the disk.

Table 1-2    Recommended RAM sizes

Number of users










The speed of the CPU does not affect performance as much as RAM and disk size. The CPU is normally not a bottleneck; however, proxy performance may scale with more or faster CPUs.

When determining the overall cache size, you should budget 1 to 20 MB per user. After deployment, continue to monitor the cache performance for increases in the cache hit ratio, and continue to increase your cache size until the cache hit ratio stops increasing.

When selecting a disk size for your cache, remember that smaller disks hold less but seak faster, while larger disks hold more but seak slower. Both options will demand the same bandwidth.

For the best performance, you should run Sun ONE Web Proxy Server on a dedicated machine.

Other Technical Requirements

Once you have the proper hardware and software necessary to install Sun ONE Web Proxy Server, you should make sure that you meet the following requirements:

  • You know the host name and IP address of your server computer.
  • Your server has a DNS alias. For information on creating a DNS alias for your server, see Creating a DNS Alias for the Server.
  • You have two port numbers - one for the administration server and the other for the proxy server. For information on choosing port numbers for your server, see Choosing Unique Port Numbers.

Making Sure DNS is Running

DNS is the software used by computers on a network to translate standard IP addresses into host names. The software generally retrieves this information from a remote DNS server or a table maintained on the same computer. Without DNS, the proxy cannot connect to any remote hosts.

A fully qualified host name is a name for a specific server in the form machine.subdomflain.domain, which is translated into a dotted Internet Protocol (IP) address by DNS. For example, is the machine proxy in the subdomain iplanet and the domain com.

The IP address is a set of four numbers separated by periods that specifies the actual location of a machine on the Internet or in an internal TCP/IP intranet. Each computer on the network has a unique IP address (sometimes called a dotted quad), but usually that IP address is given a host name for convenience. For example, the host name has the IP address

When you install iPlanet Web Proxy Server, some items on the installation forms require a server host name or an IP address.

To make sure DNS is running on your computer,

  1. At the DOS prompt, type nslookup and press Enter.
  2. The nslookup program responds by printing the name and address of the DNS server:

    Default Server:


    If nslookup cannot find an authoritative answer, it prints the names of any servers that might have an authoritative answer:

    Non-authoritative answer:



  3. To exit nslookup, type Control-c.

Creating a DNS Alias for the Server

If your server will run on one machine among many in a network, you or your system administrator should set up a DNS alias (such as proxy). A DNS alias is a host name that points to another host name. Your machine can have only one real name, but it can have more than one alias. Creating a DNS alias allows you to change the actual host name or IP address of the server machine without having to change the proxy settings for the clients that use the proxy. For information on how to set up an alias, see the system administration manual for your platform.


It is strongly recommended that you use a dedicated user account for the proxy server.

Because the proxy server is configured through a web-based administration server, you might also want to create another user account for the administration server. You can also run the administration server as administrator and then start and stop the server when you aren't using it to configure the proxy server.

Choosing Unique Port Numbers

The proxy server uses two port numbers: one for the proxy server itself and another for the administration server. You specify these two port numbers during installation, but you can also change the port numbers after installation. Remember that other 3.0 iPlanet servers located in the same directory as your proxy server will use the same administration server port.

The port numbers must be unique for each service on a computer. Port numbers for all network-accessible services on your machine are listed in the file winnt\system32\drivers\etc\services. Industry standards for many kinds of ports already exist; for example, the standard HTTP port number is 80; for Telnet, the standard port is 23; and for HTTPS, the standard port is 443. There is no standard port number for proxy servers; however, commonly used ports are 8000 and 8080. If you are unsure which port number to use, 8000 or 8080 is probably a good choice.

The administration server is typically run on a random port number above 1024. This makes it harder for unauthorized users to determine where your administration server is.

Before you choose a port number, make sure the port you choose isn't in use.

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