i have read the pages you gave links to. and i feel like squid would give the best performance because of the reverse proxy caching feature. and squid gave good diagrams on what a configured system should look like.
those squid diagrams reflect the vision that i have for my network with the exception that the reverse proxy server will coexist with the apache2 server on the hardware that serves my main site. the squid page states this is an acceptable arrangement.
i have installed squid on the hardware that is labeled "Reverse Proxy Server" in the first diagram labeled "Typical Reverse Proxy Set-up". i am sure it will work for someone who knows how to configure it. i am reading /etc/squid/squid.conf to get into it a little more.
i am not sure where to begin other than to reread the links you gave and perhaps try to find some squid tutorials. i am confident that squid is the right tool for me to use for the objective i started this thread with.
i guess i will continue with reading http://squid-cache.org
to get a handle on using it.
can you point me at anything else that would fast-track me with setting up squid as a revers proxy server?
thank you again.