Reverse proxy server Definition
Reverse proxyA proxy server that resides at the website, and all incoming requests to the Web server are routed to the reverse proxy. Just as a regular forward proxy server hides the details of the clients from the server, a reverse proxy adds a layer of security by hiding the details of the Web servers from the clients. The reverse proxy can be located in the demilitarized zone (DMZ), and the Web servers can reside behind a more secure firewall.
Load Balancing, Processing and Administration
In a Web server farm, the reverse proxy can be used to load balance incoming requests between the various servers. It can also offload processing from the Web servers; for example, it can provide encryption, compression and image caching. The reverse proxy can also store dynamic pages generated by the Web server and forward them leisurely to slower clients. When administration changes are made to Web servers behind the firewall, the reverse proxy only needs to be reconfigured rather than publishing new URLs for the public. See proxy server and Web cache.