Nginx 1.10 and Apache 2.4 are common open source web servers known all over the world. A combined total human traffic of 50% on the internet is served by Nginx and Apache. You can use Nginx 1.10 and Apache 2.4 to handle complex and diversified workloads. Apache 2.4 and Nginx 1.10 work in unison with other developed software to achieve a comprehensive web stack.
In as much as Nginx 1.10 and Apache 2.4 share some common similarities, you should not regard them as one or a supplement of each other. These two web servers can vary in multiple ways depending on the way you look at it. Accordingly, you may reach a point where you have to choose between Apache 2.4 and Nginx 1.10. This is when you need to know the differences in terms of ease of use, concurrency handling as well as the load speeds.
To get a glimpse of what each of these web servers can do, it will be good to get an overview of both before we delve into comparing them.
Apache was created by Robert McCool in the year 1995 and since 1999, the Apache brand has been developed under the Apache Software Foundation. Integrated support and extensive documentation from other software has greatly benefited Apache for many years. Most web administrators prefer Apache 2.4 because of its power, widespread support and flexibility.
You can extend Apache 2.4 through a module system that is dynamically loadable. Apache 2.4 is complete and its internal configuration allows it to interpret several languages without necessarily connecting to an external software.
For the internet users and more specifically, web developers, the C10K problem was a menace for quite some time. That was the case until Igor Sysoev developed Nginx in 2002. Igor developed Nginx so that it could handle tens of thousands of concurrent connections as the modern web required.
Nginx was initially released to the public in 2004. It relies on an action driven asynchronous architecture. Popularity for Nginx 1.10 can be owed to its light weight utilization of resources. You can bale to scale easily on the minimal hardware using Nginx 1.10. If you are looking for a web server that is excellent in serving static content, then Nginx 1.10 beats most. With Nginx 1.10, there is a dependency of some degree on other software. This is all to enhance performance. For instance, Nginx 1.10 will pass on dynamic requests to another software which excels at handling such requests with ease and fast.
Most administrators will prefer Nginx 1.10 for its efficiency in resource utilization and quick responses under load.
The Architecture for Handling 10,000 plus Concurrency Connections
Apache 2.4 and Nginx 1.10 vary in the way they handle connections. In handling user requests, Apache uses a multi-processing module. These modules are referred to as MPMs and they dictate how requests by the clients are to be handled.
There are several MPMs that handle requests if you are using Apache 2.4 web server. Among these are the mpm_event, mpm_prefork and the mpm_worker. This form of architecture allows Apache 2.4 to handle concurrent requests with ease and speed.
Nginx 1.10 on the other hand, had a broader perspective of the concurrency issues which sites would face at scale. As a result, Nginx came up a complex yet integrated algorithm referred to as the asynchronous, non-blocking, event driven connection handling algorithm. The worker processes on Nginx are designed to handle numerous connections. With a fast looping mechanism, the work processes are able to handle concurrent requests through the continuous checking and processing of events.
As a request of the robust and extensive nature of the Nginx 1.10 working processes, this web server is much faster in terms of speed and better in terms of handling the concurrent connections.
The variations between the two are minimal but the similarities are many. As most administrators will agree, Apache 2.4 web server has an easy to use configuration. The server is common and has been around for long. This has enabled the Apache Software Foundation to provide quite a simple and easy to use Apache 2.4 with many languages being supported.
If you are looking for the best web server, maybe you should stop looking for one and think of ways to maximize the benefits of both. Using Apache 2.4 and Nginx 1.10 can be of great advantage. Both complement each other in more than more area. For example, using Nginx as a front end caching proxy and Apache to handle PHP requests.
For a go to host for Apache and Nginx you can rely on SpectroHost.com – they support and fully manage Nginx and Apache through control panels such as VestaCP as well as cli api’s such as EasyEngine.io.