Reverse Proxy

A Reverse Proxy is a server that sits in front of one or more web servers, intercepting requests from clients. This is different from a forward proxy, where the proxy sits in front of the clients. With a reverse proxy, when clients send requests to the origin server of a website, those requests are intercepted at the edge of the network by the reverse proxy server. The reverse proxy server will then send requests to and receive responses from the origin server. A reverse proxy sits in front of an origin server and ensures that no client ever communicates directly with that origin server.These reverse proxies are inserted to increase security, performance, and reliability.

Source: Cloudflare

Additional Reading:  Small Cloud Configuration Mistakes Can Open Up Big Security Risks

Related Terms: Application Proxy

What does this mean for an SMB?

If your business has high-traffic websites, you are likely going to need a reverse-proxy in front of your origin web servers.  This reverse proxy could be thought of as Load Balancers that can balance the load of incoming requests from thousands and sometimes millions of Internet users to a farm of web servers. 
Another way some companies utilize a reverse proxy is by implementing a Content Delivery Network (aka CDN) service. CDN’s provide more benefits than reverse proxies (whose sole purpose is security) by increasing the speed with which clients receive their requested data by serving that data from servers placed closer to the requesting client.
SMB’s that need reverse proxies in the form of Load Balancers and CDN services usually know they need them, however, if you’re unsure, talk to a CDN provider like Cloudflare or Akamai to learn more. 

To learn more about the different types of Proxies, watch this short 3 minute video:

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