A reverse proxy server is a proxy server configured to be responsible for servicing all client requests. For unicast broadcasts, a reverse proxy server can reduce the load on the origin server by streaming multiple unicast streams while receiving only one stream from the origin server. For on-demand content, a reverse proxy server can reduce the load on the origin server by caching the content from the origin server and streaming it to clients from its cache.
To the client, the reverse proxy server appears to be the origin server. This enables you to isolate your origin server from your clients. A reverse proxy server can increase the security of your streaming media system because the client never connects to the origin server directly.
Authentication for reverse proxy servers also differs from that of conventional cache/proxy servers. When the client submits a request for content and authentication is enabled, the content must first be authenticated by the reverse proxy server. Once the client is authenticated, the reverse proxy server submits a content request to the origin server and must be authenticated by the origin server before it can begin proxying the content to the client.
A large number of unicast streams can place an enormous burden on an origin server. You can further increase the reliability of your streaming media system by caching and delivering content from multiple reverse proxy servers. If only one reverse proxy server is used, there is the potential for a single point of failure in that system. The use of two or more reverse proxy servers greatly reduces the chance that the system will fail due to a reverse proxy server fault.