access devices sitting behind firewalls with unknown ip-address via reverse tunnel on demand.
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README.md

public-server

let's a client talk to hidden-server via public-server

use case: e.g. access server sitting behind firewalls with unknown ip-address via reverse tunnel on demand.

the public-server is the counter part of hidden-server.

how it works

the hidden-server consists of three parts: client --command--> public <--ping-- hidden

  • hidden the hidden server or device that sits behind a firewall and does not have a fixed ip-address.
  • public a publicly available server the client can connect to. tt acts as a reverse proxy.
  • client client Machine that want's to access the hidden server.

it uses http POST with JSON content. the hidden server sends out ping messages to the publicServer at the given pingInterval. in order to allow simultaneous user access, simultaneousPings are sent by the hidden server.

when the keepPingOpen option is true on the hidden and on the public server, the pings are kept open until a command is received, or the next pingInterval kicks in. pingInterval is in seconds btw. if the keepPingOpen option is false, the command request from the client will only be responded, after the public server could respond to an incomming ping request from the hidden server.

when a command request by the client was successful, both ends (public and hidden) receive a command event.

ah and yes, you can have as many hidden servers as you like and connect them to a single public server. the client can decide with wich hidden server it want's to talk.

scenarios

The following scenarios describe the combinations with the options: keepPingOpen and roundTripResponse

###Scenario: keepPingOpen and roundTripResponse

  • + Advantage: fast, deterministic command response time / feedback from hidden-server
  • - Disadvantage: many open ports on public-server with many hidden-servers
+--------+                   +--------+                     +--------+
| Client |                   | Public |                     | Hidden |
+----+---+                   +----+---+                     +----+---+
     |                            |             Ping             |
     |                            | <--------------------------+ |
     |                            | |                            |
     |                            | | keepPingOpen               |
     |                            | |                            |
     |                            | |         Response           |
     |                            | v--------------------------> |
     |                            |                              |
     |                            |             Ping             |
     |                            | <--------------------------+ |
     |          Command           | |                            |
     | +------------------------> | |         Response           |
     |                          | | v--------------------------> | +---->
     |                          | |                              |      |  handleRequest
     |                          | |             Ping             |      |
     |          Response        | | <--------------------------+ | <----v
     | <------------------------v | |                            |
     |                            | | keepPingOpen               |
     |                            | |                            |
     |                            | |         Response           |
     |                            | v--------------------------> |
     |                            |                              |
     |                            |                              |
     +                            +                              +

###Scenario: roundTripResponse

  • + Advantage: no open ports on public-server / feedback from hidden-server
  • - Disadvantage: long, non deterministic command response time
 +--------+                   +--------+                     +--------+
 | Client |                   | Public |                     | Hidden |
 +----+---+                   +----+---+                     +----+---+
      |                            |             Ping             |
      |                            | <--------------------------+ | +
      |                            | v--------------------------> | |
      |                            |           Response           | | pingInterval
      |                            |                              | |
      |                            |                              | |
      |                            |             Ping             | v
      |                            | <--------------------------+ |
      |                            | v--------------------------> | +
      |                            |           Response           | |
      |          Command           |                              | | pingInterval
      | +------------------------> |                              | |
      |                          | |                              | |
      |                          | |             Ping             | v
      |                          | | <--------------------------+ |
      |                          | | v--------------------------> | +---->
      |                          | |           Response           |      | handleRequest
      |                          | |             Ping             |      |
      |                          | | <--------------------------+ | <----v
      |          Response        | | v--------------------------> |
      | <------------------------v |           Response           |
      |                            |                              |
      |                            |                              |
      +                            +                              +

###Scenario: keepPingOpen

  • + Advantage: fast, deterministic command response time,
  • - Disadvantage: no feedback from hidden-server / many open ports on public-server with many hidden-servers
+--------+                   +--------+                     +--------+
| Client |                   | Public |                     | Hidden |
+----+---+                   +----+---+                     +----+---+
     |                            |             Ping             |
     |                            | <--------------------------+ |
     |                            | |                            |
     |                            | | keepPingOpen               |
     |                            | |                            |
     |                            | |         Response           |
     |                            | v--------------------------> |
     |                            |                              |
     |                            |             Ping             |
     |                            | <--------------------------+ |
     |                            | |                            |
     |          Command           | |         Response           |
     | +------------------------> | v--------------------------> |
     |          Response        | |                              |
     | <------------------------v |             Ping             |
     |                            | <--------------------------+ |
     |                            | |                            |
     |                            | | keepPingOpen               |
     |                            | |                            |
     |                            | |         Response           |
     |                            | v--------------------------> |
     |                            |                              |
     |                            |                              |
     +                            +                              +

###Scenario: no Options

  • + Advantage: not many... simple :-) ... no open ports on public-server
  • - Disadvantage: long, non deterministic command response time / no feedback from hidden-server
+--------+                   +--------+                     +--------+
| Client |                   | Public |                     | Hidden |
+----+---+                   +----+---+                     +----+---+
     |                            |             Ping             |
     |                            | <--------------------------+ | +
     |                            | v--------------------------> | |
     |                            |           Response           | | pingInterval
     |                            |                              | |
     |                            |                              | v
     |                            |             Ping             |
     |                            | <--------------------------+ | +
     |                            | v--------------------------> | |
     |          Command           |           Response           | | pingInterval
     | +------------------------> |                              | |
     |                          | |                              | v
     |                          | |             Ping             |
     |          Response        | | <--------------------------+ | +
     | <------------------------v | v--------------------------> | |
     |                            |           Response           | | pingInterval
     |                            |                              | |
     |                            |                              | v
     |                            |                              |
     |                            |                              |
     +                            +                              +

diagrams created with asciiflow

install

npm install public-server

test

npm install public-server -d
mocha

##usage

hidden

var HiddenServer = require('hidden-server');
var hidden = new HiddenServer({
  publicServer: 'http://localhost:3000',
  pingUri: '/ping/:hiddenServerName',
  simultaneousPings: 5,
  pingInterval: 3,
  keepPingOpen: true,
  roundTripResponse: false,
  hiddenServerName: 'server1'
}).start();


hidden.on('command', function(obj) {
  console.log('command', obj);
});

public

var PublicServer = require('public-server');
var public = PublicServer({
  commandUri: '/command/:hiddenServerName',
  pingUri: '/ping/:hiddenServerName',
  pingInterval: 3,
  keepPingOpen: true,
  roundTripResponse: false
});

public.on('command', function(obj) {
  console.log('command', obj);
});

public.listen(3000);

client

curl -H "Content-Type: application/json" -d '{"command":"newCommand","additional":"parameter"}' localhost:3000/command/server1

license

MIT License