What Is a Proxy Database?

A proxy database enables applications to connect to databases with no changes to the client application. It does this by interpreting the request from the application and making an intelligent decision to route it to the database. This intelligent routing is based on the type of data being requested and a number of other factors. It can also make use of different database protocols to reduce network latency.

Proxy databases¬†proxy database can be used for a wide range of purposes. For example, an academic library might allow its students to access certain database content by prefixing a URL with the university’s proxy server address. This allows the students to avoid having to authenticate with the database vendor from their own IP addresses. The library can then ensure that only valid QCard library barcodes can be used to access the content.

Proxies can also be used to add network awareness to types of database that wouldn’t normally support this functionality. For instance, a Perl script that runs on a desktop computer and queries a large CSV file over the network can be transformed into a fully functional SQL client by adding proxy capabilities. This enables the script to run over a slow network link and still return fast results without having to rerun the query.

Some proxies are also capable of hiding the “behind-the-scenes plumbing” that allows a database cluster to function. This is particularly useful for MySQL database clusters that rely on a distributed coordinator-worker architecture. These proxies can even make a single master failover invisible to the application by rerouting read queries to workers and rewriting SQL for consistency.

A database reverse proxy can also improve performance by reducing the load on the databases themselves. By implementing caching, it can dramatically reduce the amount of work that is sent to the database server for each request. In one case, a WordPress website using a database proxy experienced a 20x speed increase by enabling query caching.

Finally, a database reverse proxy can provide security services that aren’t available from native databases. It can analyze the traffic between an application and a database and offer a variety of security capabilities like continuous data discovery, fine-grained access control based on data types, and more.

Aside from these features, a database reverse proxy can reduce the cost of running the database server itself by offloading some of its load. It can also help with performance monitoring and management by providing analytics of how well the database is running. This information can then be used to determine when it may be time to upgrade or change the database configuration. The Heimdall Central Console makes it easy to connect a database reverse proxy to the appropriate GCP components. The Configuration Wizard takes you through a step-by-step process to successfully connect the proxy and begin analyzing SQL performance.