My main concern is since reverse proxy routing is static, how can it replace load balancer which routes the request dynamically upon checking the heath of the server? Then do we really need a reverse proxy?

  • What do you use the reverse proxy for at the moment? Does it proxy across multiple servers or just on a single one?
    – MLu
    Jan 9, 2020 at 10:17
  • What are you trying to accomplish with the reverse proxy?
    – M. Glatki
    Jan 9, 2020 at 10:27
  • @MLu yes, I have multiple servers Jan 9, 2020 at 13:06
  • @M.Glatki - I am trying to understand how to do dynamic resource allocation using Reverse Proxy. Jan 9, 2020 at 13:08
  • 1
    A load balancer is a reverse proxy. Suggest you start with your requirements and design your architecture to match, rather than try to reverse engineer what you have.
    – Tim
    Jan 9, 2020 at 18:09

1 Answer 1


Every load balancer that operates at layer seven (http) is a reverse proxy, but not every reverse proxy is a load balancer. You could say that a load balancer is a type of reverse proxy.

Load balancers that work at layer four (eg AWS NLB) or below are probably also reverse proxies, but since they don't parse requests like http packets they're not as functional and have fewer features. They're usually faster.

A load balancer's primary job is to take requests and distribute them to a number of servers to service the request. It may also do things like path based routing, so for example static resource requests are filled from one server farm or AWS S3, while application pages are filled by another server farm.

A reverse proxy, if it's not a load balancer, can be installed on a single server to send requests to another application on the server. For example, you may have Nginx or Apache in front of Tomcat, as they have more features than Tomcat and can protect Tomcat from some classes of attacks. For example, Apache may be configured to cache Tomcat responses if for some reason you don't want to do that in Tomcat.

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