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Reverse Proxies

A reverse proxy is a gateway for servers, and enables one web server to provide content from another transparently. As with a standard proxy, a reverse proxy may serve to improve performance of the web by caching; this is a simple way to mirror a website. But the most common reason to run a reverse proxy is to enable controlled access from the Web at large to servers behind a firewall.

The proxied server may be a webserver itself, or it may be an application server using a different protocol, or an application server with just rudimentary HTTP that needs to be shielded from the web at large. Since 2004, reverse proxying has been the preferred method of deploying JAVA/Tomcat applications on the Web, replacing the old mod_jk (itself a special-purpose reverse proxy module).