OctaGate Switch - The Smart HTTP Switchboard

OctaGate Switch
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FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is OctaGate Switch?
  2. Does OctaGate Switch work on Windows?
  3. Does OctaGate Switch work on Windows ME / Windows 98 / Windows 2000 / Windows XP / Windows 2003?
  4. Does OctaGate Switch work on Windows 95?
  5. Does OctaGate Switch work on Linux?
  6. My firewall can do the same thing!
  7. What happens when the trial version expires?
  8. What happens when I exceed my license limitations?
  9. Will OctaGate Switch upgrades be free?
  10. Will OctaGate Switch work with HTTPS / SSL / Secure sockets?
  11. How can I contact you at OctaGate?
  12. What is OctaGate Program / OctaGate Service? What's the difference between them?
  13. How can I run OctaGate on the same machine as my web server?
  14. Can OctaGate be administered from a remote machine?
  15. Does OctaGate produce W3C logs?
  16. Why are are all IP numbers in my web server log file the IP number of the OctaGate server?
  17. Why does my web application think all requests come from the IP of the OctaGate server?
  18. How should I prepare my servers for OctaGate Switch HTTP Switchboard?
  19. How do I convert my IIS SSL certificates to certificates that work with OctaGate?
  20. What about phone support?
  21. Does OctaGate Switch handle the FTP protocol?
  22. Is there a failover for the OctaGate Switch server?
  23. If I need to load balance a completely stateless application, what settings should I use?
  24. How do I get OctaGate Switch to redirect a HTTP request to a HTTPS request?
  25. How do I get OctaGate Switch to redirect ANY HTTP requests to a HTTPS request (IIS)?

  26. What is OctaGate Switch?

    Please see the home page of OctaGate for an overview, or visit our feature list for a detailed list of features.

    Does OctaGate Switch Work on Windows?

    Yes, OctaGate works fine with Windows. In fact, there are two versions for running OctaGate under windows;

    OctaGate Service
    OctaGate Service works with Windows 2000 (all versions), Windows XP (all versions) and Windows 2003. It installs and runs as a service, so no user needs to be logged in for OctaGate to work. This is the recommended version if you're running Windows 2000, Windows XP or Windows 2003.

    OctaGate Program
    OctaGate program version runs as a program, and requires that a user is logged in at all times. We warmly recommend you to use the Service version, because Windows 2000 and Windows XP are much more stable operating systems than Windows 98 and Windows ME. Also, no user need to be logged on with the service version.

    OctaGate Program and OctaGate Service are basically the same programs. Both are covered by the same license, so you may chose whichever version you prefer, and change at any time.

    Windows versions prior to Windows 98 are not supported by OctaGate. This includes Windows 95.

    Does OctaGate Switch work on Windows ME / Windows 98 / Windows 2000 / Windows XP / Windows 2003?

    Yes, see "Does OctaGate Switch work on Windows?".

    Does OctaGate Switch work on Windows 95?

    No, Windows 95 is not supported by OctaGate Switch.

    Does OctaGate Switch work on Linux?

    No, not at this time. A Linux version of OctaGate is considered for the future. Feel free to give us feedback if you want us to move up Linux support.

    My firewall can do the same thing!

    Most firewalls will allow you to forward incoming ports to internal servers, so that port 80 (default http port) can be forwarded to an internal web server. It won't, however, let you forward port 80 to several different web servers, depending on the HTTP Request.

    What happens when the trial version expires?

    On installation you will be prompted for a reminder email address; you will be contacted at this address when the trial version is about to expire - if OctaGate is running.

    Once the product has expired, requests will be answered by an web page saying;

    Server no longer serving requests

    Unregistered OctaGate trial version has expired. Server must be registered.

    What happens when I exceed my license limitations?

    The OctaGate Web Administration tool will not allow you to exceed the limitations of the edition that you've purchased. See more about the license limitations here. If you find the limitations of your license too restricting, you can upgrade to higher edition. If you're interested in upgrading, please contact us here at OctaGate. If you're using the trial version, it will expire after the trial period is up, unless you register. See here for more information about trial expiration.

    Will OctaGate Switch upgrades be free?

    All minor upgrades will be free, but major upgrades will cost an additional sum. Major upgrades only happen when significant new features are added, which leads to the major version number being incremented. If the minor version number is incremented, it's a free upgrade. (If the version number is 3.11, then the major version is 3, and the minor version is 11).

    Will OctaGate Switch work with HTTPS / SSL / Secure sockets?

    Yes, since the release of 2.1, OctaGate Switch support HTTPS / SSL.

    How can I contact you at OctaGate?

    Please see here for information about contacting us here at OctaGate.

    What is OctaGate Program / OctaGate Service? What's the difference between them?

    Please see "Does OctaGate Switch work on Windows?" for information in this topic.

    How can I run OctaGate on the same machine as my web server?

    OctaGate can easily be run on the same computer as your web server. However, they can't use the same port at the same time.

    Change your web server to respond on another port, 5001 for instance, and the let OctaGate forward incoming traffic to the web server. This way, all traffic will reach OctaGate, and OctaGate will determine where it should go.

    Can OctaGate be administered from a remote machine?

    Yes, OctaGate Switch can both be remotely administrated. You can disable Remote Administration if you prefer, by checking "No Remote Administration" in the General Settings page.

    To use Remote Administration, you must make sure that "No Remote Administration" isn't checked on the General Settings page in OctaGate Web Administration.

    The default port for OctaGate Web Administration is 19721. If there is a firewall between the OctaGate server and the browser you're using, it may stop that particular port. In that case, we advice that you setup a domain called something like admin.MYDOMAIN.com, that is re-routed to port 19721. That way, OctaGate can be administered through port 80.

    Does OctaGate produce W3C logs?

    Yes, it does. All servers and sites will store their log entries in one W3C log file - even Load Balanced servers. The OctaGate logfile is thus readable by all major log file analyzers.

    Why are are all IP numbers in my web server log file the IP number of the OctaGate server?

    That's because OctaGate is the client that's connecting the web application. The web browser connects to OctaGate and OctaGate connects to your web server or web application.

    However, OctaGate generates a W3C complaing logfile (same format as all major web servers produce), and that log file can be processed by any major log file parser analyzer.

    Why does my web application think all requests come from the IP of the OctaGate server?

    That's because OctaGate is the client that's connecting the web application. The web browser connects to OctaGate and OctaGate connects to your web server or web application.

    However, OctaGate passes along the original callers IP address, in a custom HTTP header called OGCallerIP. If you're using ASP pages, you must refer to it as "HTTP_OGCALLERIP". Please see this page for detailed instructions.

    How should I prepare my servers for OctaGate Switch HTTP Switchboard?

    You can read this document that outlines what changes OctaGate Switch HTTP Switchboard need to function at maximum capacity.

    How do I convert my IIS SSL certificates to certificates that work with OctaGate?

    This page explains how to convert IIS certificates to OpenSSL certificates: http://www.petefreitag.com/item/16.cfm.

    What about phone support?

    We prefer to handle all our support via email, partly because we're in a different time zone (we're in Sweden) from most of our customers, but mostly because it allows us to track our support issues - making sure they're satisfactorily resolved.

    We apologize if you find this inconvenient, but in our experience, email support has worked out better in the past and we've never had complaints that our email support is lacking. As a matter of fact, we regularly get high praise for our support.

    Does OctaGate Switch handle the FTP protocol?

    No, OctaGate Switch only handles HTTP and HTTPS.

    HTTP differs from FTP in that each request contains the name of the domain that's requested, so that you can support multiple HTTP servers on the same computer.

    In FTP, the requests don't contain a reference to the target server that's requested, which means you can't host several different FTP severs on the same IP address. You could still load balance over several FTP servers, but FTP servers are rarely limited by CPU, making load balancing less of an issue

    Typically, you'd let your firewall simply redirect all incoming FTP traffic to a single FTP server on the inside.

    Is there a failover for the OctaGate Switch server?

    Not currently, but it's being worked on. We have no estimated arrival time for that feature though.

    If I need to load balance a completely stateless application, what settings should I use?

    For a stateless web application, where it's not important which server handles a particular user from request to request, you can set the session timeout to 1 second and the session method to Peer IP Number.

    How do I get OctaGate Switch to redirect a HTTP request to a HTTPS request?

    Create two domains. One that uses HTTP and one that uses HTTPS. Both domains should have the same name. (www.DomainA.com)
    Like this;
    Domain name: www.DomainA.com
    Target address: 127.0.0.1 (this is your web servers IP)
    Listen on port: 80 (use SSL (443) for the SSL domain)
    Outport: 1234 (this is the port number that your web server use)

    In the HTTP domain create a Virtual path that looks like this;
    Path: /
    Target address:
    Host replace:
    Path replace: /redir_to_https.htm
    Outport:
    SSL:

    Place this file into the root of you web site so that it can be accessed from http://www.DomainA.com/redir_to_https.htm

    When some one goes to http://www.DomainA.com OctGate Switch will send back the redir_to_https.htm file that contains a Java Script that will tell the browser to open the same URL but with HTTPS.
    You can download the file from here.

    To send ANY request for HTTP://www.DomainA.com/???.htm to HTTPS://www.DomainA.com/???.htm please read this FAQ.

    How do I get OctaGate Switch to redirect ANY HTTP requests to a HTTPS request (IIS)?

    Follow the instructions in this FAQ. Then, in IIS, open the sites properties and go to the tab "Custom Errors". Find the 404 error and edit that. Set it to Message type to URL and the URL to "/redir_to_https.htm". You can download the file from here.

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