Say you have an apache web server listening on port 80 serving all static files and transferring all other requests for dynamic processing (Servlets and JSPs) to Tomcat in the Background runing on some other port. What is apache doing in this case "reverse proxy load balancing" or working as an "off-load server"?
I strongly believe this is "reverse proxy load balancing". Let me define these two terms. Reverse Proxy load balancing: A single proxy server is located in front of a cluster of servers. The IP address of the proxy server is what mapped to the domain name the site represents. Whenever a DNS request comes for www.foo.com, the IP address of the proxy is what returned to the browsers. So what I mean is the proxy server REPRESENTS the whole cluster. Based on request type, the proxy might delegate the request to any one of the available cluster server. It might even be capable of avoiding a dead node. Off board server: This is not at all related to load balancing. It's a wrapper/adapter kind of thing that can communicate to a legacy system and provide a standard interface to clients. For example, you can write a server in java that can talk to a mainframe system using Sockets and provide RMI/CORBA interfaces to it's clients. Your example doesn't belong to "off-board" server definitely, but a simplified way of load distribution. Since all the requests are received by a single server, I would say it is a kind of reverse proxy balancing. Raj