Reverse Proxy as name suggests is opposite to what Proxy use to do. If proxy is meant to handle the request from inside network to the outside world, RP handles request from outside world to your network server.
Its like load balancer, but an intelligent LB, which can redirect request to specific server in the cluster depending on the type of request. Like static html request to server1 and dynamic jsp/servlet request to server2. These servers you can choose on the basis of capacity of the servers. Static html servers would be less in capacity and latter one would be of higher capacity ( RAM + processor etc).
Reverse proxy is the opposite of forward proxy. It is mainly used for 2 reasons. 1. Security. 2. Caching.
It disconnects http connections from the external www and creates a new connection and serves the outside. This way outsiders will never know the address of your server. it is a defence in depth idea. If the resource is cached in the reverse proxy, it will serve it from there. Forward proxy is the opposite. From your browser you wish to not let the server know your IP. It will send the server an IP different from yours.
I have a reverse proxy set up in my environment, and I am facing a caching problem, where I am getting the chached files instead of the new modified files. How to resolve it ?
Second point I am thinking is the performance issue, while using the reverse proxy. I guess the disadvantage of using the reverse proxy is the performance, it must reduce the response time of the applicaion, do you agree with me ? any comments.
There are several reasons why the cached data is served. The security is the main reason from my perspective; it will affect the performace and the good alternative is to have the Web Server(HTTP server) in the DMZ and have all the static content serve from the http server. this will require an additional deployment into the http servers. This is what is avoided when using a reverse proxy where the files are initally served from the application server and then they are cached.