After 17 years of existence, the Apache HTTP web server is one of the most successful and dominant open source projects of all time. Today Apache is looking to extend that streak of success with the new Apache 2.4 web server release, marking the first major Apache web server update since the 2.2 release in 2005.
A key focus in the 2.4 release is improved performance which is delivered by way of multiple innovations.
“What we have done is checked 2.4 against itself and other web-servers; in general, we find 2.4 to be the fastest version of Apache by far,” Jim Jagielski, ASF President and Apache HTTP Server Project Management Committee, told InternetNews.com
Nginx has emerged in recent years to be a rival of sorts to Apache, offering up a web server that has the promise of being faster in some situations. While Apache has long dominated the market as being the most widely deployed web server technology, Nginx is according to at least one metric, now in the number two spot.
Jagielski said that all web-servers and web-caches have their uses and sweet spots.
“With Apache 2.4,it is generic enough, powerful enough and now performant enough that it can be used in places where the multiple-box approach may have been used,” Jagielski said.
In a multiple box approach, there is the potential for additional latency, which is not the case in a single box Apache approach
“Of course, you could also use Apache as a replacement for either nginx or varnish or even replace both with Apache; that’s the power and flexibility that Apache 2.4 provides,” Jagielski said. “One reason to do it would be a single, consistent learning curve for both the web front-end as well as the caching layer.”