What is Nginx?

by Daniel Pham
Published: Updated:

In the past, people used to refer to Apache as the most popular web server in the world. Many systems in the world are still using Apache. Time later, Nginx was developed and people started using it more than before. This is because it is better at performance and resource saving. Then, what is nginx?

What is nginx?

Nginx, pronounced “engine x”. It is an HTTP and reverse proxy server, a mail proxy server, and a generic TCP/UDP proxy server, originally written by Igor Sysoev (from the homepage).

Igor released this software for the first time in 2004, it’s free and open source. That allows other developers to improve their code as desired.

In 2011, a company with same name was founded, providing enterprise solutions.. Currently they provide solutions on support, optimization, monitoring …

What advantages does Nginx have?

You know, websites is growing, the number of internet users increase. Apache began to show his weaknesses. Consume resources and can not run well for heavy websites.

It can be said that Nginx was born to solve the problem of Apache. By February 2018, it is running for nearly 26 percent of the busiest sites. It can run very smoothly with limited resources (many of the installation instructions run Nginx with only 512MB of RAM) while Apache or IIS can not do that.

You see, Nginx was originally only used as a proxy, but now, many systems use it as a web server replace Apache.

What is Nginx?
Image compares the RAM usage between Apache and Nginx.

Summary of some advantages (according to my personal rating):

  • High performance, able to run very well for heavy websites.
  • Resource saving, the ability to handle multiple requests with only very little hardware.
  • Detailed, complete documentation.
  • Large user community, fast support. Nowadays there are many blogs, tech websites or forum guides as well as fix bugs.
  • There are a lot of support modules for other features and you can use these modules to compile into free versions that still have features like commercial.

OS and features

This web server provides the ability to run on different operating systems, FreeBSD, Linux, Solaris, Mac OS, Windows.

You can view more features at homepage. The plus point for this web server is that the community now uses it very large, supporting you a lot of useful modules.

Like Apache, Nginx now supports the WAF module including Mod Security (in addition, it has another WAF module – Naxsi). This ensures that web servers can run more securely.

Conclusion

The above is a basic introduction to nginx, it has many features that we will learn in the next article. Personally, it is worth to use, easy to install, understandable structure and very resource-saving.

(This is an article from my old blog that has been inactive for a long time, I don’t want to throw it away so I will keep it and hope it helps someone).

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