NGINX vs Apache

NGINX vs Apache
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Written by Shuvhojit DebDecember 7, 2021
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Shuvhojit Deb

Full Stack Developer

In this blog, we can know about the difference between NGINX and Apache.

What is NGINX?

In 2002, Igor Sysoev began work on Nginx as an answer to the C10K problem, which was a challenge for web servers to begin handling ten thousand concurrent connections as a requirement for the modern web. The initial public release was made in 2004, meeting this goal by relying on an asynchronous, event-driven architecture.

Nginx has grown in popularity since its release due to its lightweight resource utilization and its ability to scale easily on minimal hardware. Nginx excels at serving static content quickly and is designed to pass dynamic requests off to other software that is better suited for those purposes.

Nginx is often selected by administrators for its resource efficiency and responsiveness under load. Advocates welcome Nginx’s focus on the core web server and proxy features.

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What is Apache?

The Apache HTTP Server was created by Robert McCool in 1995 and has been developed under the direction of the Apache Software Foundation since 1999. Since the HTTP web server is the foundation’s original project and is by far their most popular piece of software, it is often referred to simply as “Apache”.

The Apache web server has been the most popular server on the internet since 1996. Because of this popularity, Apache benefits from great documentation and integrated support from other software projects.

Apache is often chosen by administrators for its flexibility, power, and widespread support. It is extensible through a dynamically loadable module system and can process a large number of interpreted languages without connecting out to separate software.

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Difference between NGINX and Apache

NGINX

  • Nginx runs on modern Unix-like systems; however, it has limited support for Windows.
  • Nginx follows an event-driven approach to serving client requests.
  • Nginx can handle multiple client requests concurrently and efficiently with limited hardware resources.
  • Nginx can't process dynamic content natively.
  • Nginx is both a web server and a proxy server.
  • Since modules cannot be loaded dynamically, they must be compiled within the core software itself.
  • A single thread can handle multiple connections.
  • Nginx can simultaneously run thousands of connections of static content two times faster than Apache and uses little less memory.

Apache

  • Apache runs on all Unix-like systems such as Linux, BSD, etc. as well as completely supports Windows.
  • Apache uses a multi-threaded approach to process client requests.
  • Apache cannot handle multiple requests concurrently with heavy web traffic.
  • Apache processes dynamic content within the web server itself.
  • Apache is designed to be a web server.
  • Modules are dynamically loaded or unloaded, making them more flexible.
  • A single thread can only process one connection.
  • The performance of Apache for static content is lower than Nginx.

NGINX and Apache – Working together

For many applications, NGINX and Apache complement each other well. A very common starting pattern is to deploy the open-source NGINX software as a proxy (or NGINX Plus as the application delivery platform) in front of an Apache-based web application. NGINX performs the HTTP-related heavy lifting – serving static files, caching content, and offloading slow HTTP connections – so that the Apache server can run the application code in a safe and secure environment.

Conclusion

As you can see, both Apache and Nginx are powerful, flexible, and capable. Deciding which server is best for you is largely a function of evaluating your specific requirements and testing with the patterns that you expect to see.

There are differences between these projects that have a very real impact on the raw performance, capabilities, and implementation time necessary to get each solution up and running. However, these usually are the result of a series of trade-offs that should not be casually dismissed. In the end, there is no one-size-fits-all web server, so use the solution that best aligns with your objectives.

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NGINX vs Apache
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Shuvhojit Deb
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