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Nginx Overtakes Microsoft As No. 2 Web Server

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the up-and-coming dept.

Google 340

tsamsoniw writes "With financial backing from the likes of Michael Dell and other venture capitalists, open source upstart Nginx has edged out Microsoft IIS (Internet Information Server) to hold the title of second-most widely used Web server among all active websites. What's more, according to Netcraft's January 2012 Web Server Survey, Nginx over the past month has gained market share among all websites, whereas competitors Apache, Microsoft, and Google each lost share."

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340 comments

Finally! (4, Funny)

Voyager529 (1363959) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592144)

something that's actually legitimate for Netcraft to confirm!

Re:Finally! (5, Funny)

cwj123 (16058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592166)

Wait.. BSD isn't dead?

IIS still wins (1, Insightful)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592918)

IIS still wins, based on the same metric that the iPhone wins over Android(or so the Apple afficionados keep claiming) because it corners the most profit in the smartphone market. IIS makes Microsoft billions every quarter, whereas Apache and nginx barely make their makers anything.

Re:IIS still wins (3, Insightful)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592936)

You do understand that the corollary to that is the open source competitors save their users that same amount of money.

Re:IIS still wins (4, Insightful)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592968)

The metric "Apple aficionados" use is the one where the iPhone is the top-selling handset. For some reason, you're comparing a phone to an operating system. If you actually compare mobile operating systems, iOS has more share due to iPads and iPods.

oh shit (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38592152)

now we'll hear from all the fucking ngnix 'tards. Thanks a lot, asshole.

Quality (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38592158)

Nginx is a great product. Not surprised.

Re:Quality (3, Interesting)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592320)

Time for some legitimate competition for Apache, it's been a long time. A bit of competition, which they haven't had much of could help them too. I am curious if it is easier to configure than Apache, and how well does it integrate with a JEE containers for serving the static content?

But what a fucking name though. :) I found out it's supposed to be pronounced engine-x. Until I found out I called it enjinx. Reminds me of that movie 'That Thing You Do' where the band called themselves the Oneders at the beginning and everyone called them the 'oh-nigh-ders' or 'oh-need-ders'. Then they got a manager and he forced them to change it to the Wonders because it didn't look garbled. So I say, why not just call it EngineX. It still sounds cool and doesn't have that annoying 'I'm trying to look cool' thing going at the same time. Regardless, sounds like a good product.

The only thing that makes me dubious is that they're based in Russia, I hope Putin and his boys don't have a back door into it. But America is starting to look no better than Russia these days in terms of a government that actually cares about the people. Have you checked out the NDAA that Obama signed this week? It lets the American military arrest civilians inside America (heck Fox news AND democrat supporters are all screaming bloody murder about this one). So on second thought I think I'll give this jinx thing a try.

Re:Quality (2)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592334)

you have the source code, so what is the problem!!!

Re:Quality (5, Interesting)

telekon (185072) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592370)

1) Hell yes, it's easier to configure than Apache. Has most of the plugins you could want from Apache, whilst being much more lightweight.

2) I'll echo the other comment here, YOU HAVE THE SOURCE CODE. Worry about backdoors in IIS from the U.S. Gov't., nginx has way more eyes on it.

3) You eventually figured out the pronunciation. Most of the people I know that use GNU/Linux and LaTeX ca't pronounce GNU or LaTeX, but they work great so they get used. What's the problem?

Re:Quality (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592534)

I've been reading it as "nig-nix" the whole time, but I never really parsed it. The only time i saw that word until now was 404's and other website error pages.

Re:Quality (2, Insightful)

harperska (1376103) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592706)

Having never heard of the server in question until this /. article, when I read the summary my mind parsed the name as alternately 'neh-GIN-ex' or 'en-GIN-ex' with 'GIN' pronounced like in 'begin', not like the drink.

Using a solitary 'N' as a syllable at the beginning of a name is ambiguous as to whether the implied vowel should be at the beginning or the end. For example, when I first saw its name printed, I thought the graphics card manufacturer was pronounced 'neh-vid-ee-ah'.

Re:Quality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38593048)

In Russia, where nginx comes from, it's indeed most often read with "gin" from "begin" and schwa, like this [google.com] .

Re:Quality (5, Funny)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592434)

So I say, why not just call it EngineX.

Just be thankful it's not named Libre Nginx.

Re:Quality (1)

flargleblarg (685368) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592500)

I totally agree with you. I'd never heard of it before, and when I saw this I was like, "What the fuck kind of a name is en-ginks?"

Re:Quality (2)

MurukeshM (1901690) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592766)

A consequence of NCurses?

Re:Quality (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38592514)

Uh whatever... You act like it's some sort of new thing. Some of us have been using it for years. It's a solid, well known piece of software that has been around for a long time.

Re:Quality (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38592734)

"Look at me, I was using this before it became popular~"

Re:Quality (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38592628)

The only thing that makes me dubious is that they're based in Russia, I hope Putin and his boys don't have a back door into it.

Right, because the evil Russians can easily hide a backdoor in the source code. You're much safer using software made by a company that obeys the NSA.

Re:Quality (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38592908)

Our laws, here in the USA, reflect the qualify of our citizens.

Some questions for you:

1. Who added the unconstitutional crap to the NDAA before it reach Obama's desk?

Here's a hint: if Obama didn't sign the NDAA, our military would've been gravely harmed and the commies & terrorists around the world would have had a huge victory -- but if Obama signed, then the liberals who elected him would become so pissed off (at the unconstitutional crap) that Obama would lose the upcoming election.

2. If you find out it was done by Republicans, would you stop talking about it and feel justified in being less angry by thinking "well, at least they did it to kick out Obama, so all is forgiven."

Sadly, about 25% of Americans probably would answer "YES" to #2. And they are the ones that turn out to vote while young people get distracted by porn, booze, pot and sports.

Democrats and Republicans work for the same "incumbents" who choose them -- so we can vote among the choices already made for us. By using race, religion (abortion), gun rights, immigration, "left" or "right" labels, etc. they'll devise a scheme to divide Americans as close to 50/50. This lets them get away with things like "Double Irish arrangement" or "Dutch Sandwich" to saddle the rest of us with the bills. They'll pass retroactive immunity or allow congress to benefit from insider trading. They'll allow health insurers to be exempt for antitrust laws.

If the crap in the NDAA pisses you off, blame the persons who put the nasty shit in the bill. Call for an investigation to expose people gambling with national security.

And stop letting TV or Cable "News" shows form opinions for you. Get the facts and form your own opinions.

Here's a simple self-test you can use to discover if you've been successfully brainwashed/indoctrinated by folks with a radical ideology:

Q. Which president is famous for reducing taxes and promoting a small government philosophy?
A. The same president who passed "the largest tax increase in American history"
            (hint: official name is "Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982", and it was one of many tax hikes he signed)

Scary, isn't it?

...and efficiency (4, Interesting)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592374)

I'm glad such a program, well designed and programmed in good old C, is rewarded with trust and confidence from more and more engineers.
I have been using it for two years, serving several professional sites, and the transition from the initial Apache setup was surprisingly smooth.

What I like in particular, compared to Apache :
- fantastic performance gain, in terms of cpu and memory
- maintenance gain: the configuration appears (at least to me) to be more "developer like", and easier to configure/extend with many options
- load balancing is ... really a piece of cake

The only drawback I (initially) found was the lack of a PHP embedded/module. But using php-fpm happened to be a good alternative, via a local port.

Re:Quality (2)

msauve (701917) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592622)

"Nginx is a great product."

Strange that 99% of the server errors I see report themselves as being from nginx. I guess there's a conspiracy against it.

(although anything with a config less obtuse than Apache can't be all bad)

Re:Quality (5, Informative)

GP1911 (1439907) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592772)

They're usually backend errors, nginx is often used as a reverse proxy.

Re:Quality (4, Interesting)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592716)

I am quite surprised. nginx may be a good product, but it's also lacking a lot of functionality that a web server used as a load balancer or cache should support. For example, it doesn't support HTTP 1.1 to the backend, thus it can't do name based virtual hosts on the servers it caches.

I *WANTED* to use nginx for a large multi-tennant website we were building, but it didn't support it.

market share v. reality (5, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592168)

I'm firmly convinced the main reason IIS is even in the top 10 is because so many large corporations sign secret agreements with Microsoft to get discounted software in exchange for not using "free" or "open source" software. No joke -- I am working at a company right now where it is banned, and the only reason given is either that "info security" said so, or "legal" did. But when pressed, nobody can quite identify why. It's just policy, and nobody questions it. IIS' market share is vastly inflated; If it weren't for these clandestine agreements, I sincerely doubt it would be deployed very often, even WITH all the MS tech tie-ins, there's too many compelling reasons not to use it. Even Microsoft doesn't use it on it's major websites because it doesn't scale and it is prone to failure.

Re:market share v. reality (4, Insightful)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592230)

Bullshit. Microsoft uses it on every site they have. The only reason that "web server identification" surveys like Netcraft say they run Linux is because, like all large websites, they utilise the services of a CDN such as Akamai.

And there are no "secret agreements". Most of the time the company forbids such things is because there is no support, or because there is no ability of the in-house technical support to provide assistance with it. We're a very large IT company here and we have maybe 3 RHEL servers (because Linux was the best option for the task) and a couple of thousand (including virtual) Windows servers. (There's also about 2 Solaris servers, 4 or 5 Oracle Linux servers, a SCO Unix server and 2 or 3 HP-UX servers). None of this is due to any "secret agreements". It's all because there's one person trained to work with Unix based systems, and about 8 to deal with Windows. We utilise quite a large number of open-source packages across our infrastructure if it's the best tool for the job.

Re:market share v. reality (4, Funny)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592416)

We're a very large IT company here and we have maybe 3 RHEL servers (because Linux was the best option for the task) and a couple of thousand (including virtual) Windows servers.

Wow, it must suck to work where you work. Could you please tell me the name so that I may have nothing to do with it?

Re:market share v. reality (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38592542)

P&G

Re:market share v. reality (0)

flargleblarg (685368) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592582)

It's posts like the above that make me with /. had a "Like" button.

Daniel — I would totally "like" your post if I could.

Re:market share v. reality (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38592808)

Wow, it must suck to work where you work. Could you please tell me the name so that I may have nothing to do with it?

Microsoft Corporation, Redmond WA

Re:market share v. reality (0)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592994)

We're a very large IT company here and we have maybe 3 RHEL servers (because Linux was the best option for the task) and a couple of thousand (including virtual) Windows servers.

Wow, it must suck to work where you work. Could you please tell me the name so that I may have nothing to do with it?

Microsoft scientologists appear to be out in force tonight.

Re:market share v. reality (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38592548)

Wow- you need thousands of windows server and eight times the employees to do what one linux admin does? I knew microsoft tech sucked. I didn't know it was that bad. it must be going down hill. when Microsoft switched hot mail it only took like 3 times as many servers to do the same work.

Re:market share v. reality (0)

Amouth (879122) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592962)

basic math..

non windows boxes quoted on the upper-end was 13 with 1admin

windows boxes quoted "thousands" (assume 1000 min) with 8 admins..

13/1 = 13
1000/8 = 125

125 servers per admin vs 13 servers per admin - doesn't sound like the same work load to me.... BUT without having any idea of an infrastructure and setup and applications and load and user-base - it is impossible to make any type of assumptions to how many of one group it would take to do that of another..

attempting to do so as you did just shows that you do not know how to make that comparison.

also if your going to say something like you did that MS needed 3 times as many servers (to be honest that doesn't mean anything without details be hind it) to do the same work.. at least attempt to show some type of source to verify your claims.. especially when your trying to use the point to say that they are inefficient.

Re:market share v. reality (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38592274)

In my last job, we had a client with an all Windows environment. We're talking 2 DCs, a file server, an exchange server and a dedicated IIS server on the other side of the firewall and off the domain.

One day, they decided to revamp their static HTML website (this was a government department trying to justify their existence, IT wasn't exactly at the top of their list). We talked to the outfit doing it, who told us they were using PHP. Great, I though. We can get rid of an old and outdated Windows server and replace it with a nice, lean little Linux box. Nope, I was told to install the PHP ISAPI module on IIS, because "we were a Microsoft shop", even though this server was quite literally doing nothing but serving up HTML and chewing up an unnecessary Server 2k3 license. So after much fighting, and arguing to explain that we may as well NOT go through the trouble trying to set up and debug PHP as FastCGI, another guy went behind my back and stuffed up the install, leading to me wasting 3 or 4 hours rolling it back and installing it properly. Anyway, it's all smoothed over, until I get the zip file I've been promised by the "website makers". It was indeed a website, 10 or so DreamWeaver files with the extension renamed to PHP. No Drupal theme, no Joomla install, nothing. -.- God I hate the people in this industry that like to sell themselves as professionals

Re:market share v. reality (0)

telekon (185072) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592384)

Amen, brother.

Re:market share v. reality (1)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592540)

If they already had the Server 2k3 license paid for, what reason would they realistically really have to drop it for Linux when they can do what they want with what they have? The deed is already done shelling out for the license, putting Linux on it is just like pouring salt in the wound. Anyway, as you said, the site is just from a government department trying to justify their existence, I doubt it really matters what OS is serving up the content. It's not like they're Google or something.

Re:market share v. reality (3, Insightful)

parlancex (1322105) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592608)

...go through the trouble trying to set up and debug PHP as FastCGI...

I think it's funny how common it is for anyone who mentions working with Windows professionally on Slashdot to be called out for being inexperienced or some kind of unauthentic system administrator with no real skills, but no doubt there are just as many who consider themselves experienced *nix system administrators who I could make fun of for being inept at basic Windows administration tasks.

Anyway, there are plenty of good reasons that web server should have been a Windows box. Even if it wasn't joined to the domain by switching that box to Linux they would lose the ability to leverage their existing update (SUS) and backup infrastructure. Also, the cost of a Windows license for a small shop like that would pay for itself probably 3 times over if they had to even try to get some kind of professional support for the Linux box even once.

Re:market share v. reality (5, Insightful)

Dynedain (141758) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592850)

Also, the cost of a Windows license for a small shop like that would pay for itself probably 3 times over if they had to even try to get some kind of professional support for the Linux box even once.

A Windows license doesn't magically come with professional support. And honestly, if you need professional support for a server *NIX is going to cost you the same as an equally competant Windows admin.

If you can't handle management of a web server in-house with qualified staff, you should move to a hosted solution. It will cost less regardless of OS choice.

Re:market share v. reality (1)

parlancex (1322105) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592874)

It sounds like it probably should've been hosted by a 3rd party based on the GP's post, but the point I was making about support is that if I was a small shop without in-house IT and I need support for a specific issue and I open up the yellow pages and look at my options there are going to be way more options for me that will be less expensive if I need to hire someone to take a look at a Windows server.

Re:market share v. reality (2)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 2 years ago | (#38593036)

I need support for a specific issue and I open up the yellow pages and look at my options there are going to be way more options for me that will be less expensive if I need to hire someone to take a look at a Windows server.

And most of those will be sixteen year old kids who think that the fact that they know how to find the control panel qualifies them to administer a windows server.

If you're looking for qualified, certified, experienced administrators, there are plenty in both worlds. The BSDs and Linux have dominated the server market for a long time; there's a very large pool of talent to draw from.

Re:market share v. reality (-1)

bloodhawk (813939) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592292)

How did you get marked as interesting with that FUD. If Microsoft were making such clandestine deals it would be all over the press, or do you think somehow Microsoft is able to scare millions of companies into absolute silence on the issue? FFS take your tin foil hat off and take a good look at what you wrote. incidently MS DOES use IIS for all it's sites, however they utilise providers such as akamai for content delivery whcih can make it appear they are not using IIS.

Re:market share v. reality (2, Insightful)

ATMAvatar (648864) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592368)

You mean like all the press Microsoft got for the very same behavior with Windows and Internet Explorer prior to US v. Microsoft?

Putting your trust in the media to inform you of anything beyond celebrity news or Republican primaries imitating reality TV is foolhardy.

That said, it would be nice if the GP provided more than flimsy personal anecdotes.

Re:market share v. reality (1)

bloodhawk (813939) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592480)

It's not about faith in the media, It's about faith in the inability of any company that is screwing people over to permanently silence millions of companies from saying anything anywhere. Hell they couldn't even manage to silence everyone for there patent agreements and we KNOW they were trying to do that, yet somehow we are supposed to believe they can successfully silence an exponentially larger group of people (many of whom dislike them) while at the same time screwing them over?

Re:market share v. reality (1)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592446)

If Microsoft were making such clandestine deals it would be all over the press...

Microsoft was found in court to have made many clandestine deals and none of them hit the press at the time, that I can recall. I find it entirely believable that Microsoft is still today using the same tactics, as the only punishment they ever got for their wrongdoing was a pat on the wrist. Plus paying out $billions in private suits, but Microsoft just regards that as a business license.

Re:market share v. reality (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38592524)

The deals were public knowledge. The OEM deals of the time that resulted in the court cases were actually legal until MS was declared a monopoly. Companies have always made such deals and continue to make them, they were not anything special and only become a problem under monopoly rulings.

Re:market share v. reality (3, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592298)

You kidding?

Why do you think live365 exists?

It's that exact agreement. They don't say "don't use free or open source software" they just say "don't use any of our competition". It throws in the whole microsoft suite (office, sharepoint usually in the face of wikis or better solutions, live365, etc), always with the argument of "we have a MS specialist to help you migrate" (even if that won't fix problems).

agreement cost = substantial.
cost of all the microsoft stuff non-agreement = easily 10x as much.

So you see corporations sign up for this agreement as fast as possible if it's a good MS sales rep, even if it's a horrible long term outlook as any company smart enough to look down the road would know you never, ever want to rely on a single vendor for everything as that's a single point of failure.

Re:market share v. reality (4, Insightful)

Zalbik (308903) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592454)

What the heck?

The office live 365 agreement says nothing about not using competitors software.

I think you need a new tinfoil hat...

Re:market share v. reality (1)

gstrickler (920733) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592760)

But it's all MS, so it all integrates and works together seamlessly, right? And it's all managed centrally using AD, right? I mean, that's got to result in significant savings, right? Oh, and the agreement covers all our computers and all this extra software that would cost us so much separately, so we're really getting a great deal on it. Please, MS Salesman, tell us something that's easy to believe and we'll sign.

Re:market share v. reality (4, Insightful)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592324)

Even Microsoft doesn't use it on it's major websites

curl -v www.microsoft.com
Server: Microsoft-IIS/7.5
X-Powered-By: ASP.NET
 
curl -v www.hotmail.com
Server: Microsoft-IIS/7.5
X-Powered-By: ASP.NET

What sites are those, exactly?

Re:market share v. reality (2)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592516)

$ curl -v www.skype.com
HTTP/1.1 302 Found
Server: Apache


Too new, maybe...

Re:market share v. reality (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38592688)

Actually www is fronted by reverse proxies running on linux (you can check with nmap). IIS apparently can't handle the load by itself.

And, hotmail took a long time to convert to M$. They tried once, then had a two week outage since M$ didn't scale worth a shit. They rolled back to Solaris, and kept it that way for a _long_ time.

Fun fact. Microsoft also used sendmail on sun boxes for internal mail for a long time after exchange was introduced. M$ couldn't get their own software to scale to an enterprise as large as their own.

Re:market share v. reality (5, Informative)

epiphani (254981) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592362)

There's some truth to this.

Several years ago, GoDaddy switch all of their domain parking to IIS, explicitly to get microsoft's numbers up. Throw 10,000 cnames pointed at a single machine serving up parking pages, and boom - 10,000 websites running IIS.

Re:market share v. reality (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592748)

Are you telling me this survey is by number of domains hosted, irrespective of number of pages served? That would be absurd.

Re:market share v. reality (1)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592786)

Yet another GoDaddy interesting story :-) I'd mod you up... if I had some mod points and if I wouldn't have already two (now three) posts in this thread...

Re:market share v. reality (1)

Zalbik (308903) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592410)

Please stay firmly convinced...it will make it easier for me to recognize you as a complete idiot if I ever have to interview you.

More and more I'm finding the best way to recognize talent is to find people who understand how to apply the right technologies to a solution rather than the mindless ".NET is da best!" or "Windoze sucks!" I keep hearing from the typical zealots.

Re:market share v. reality (4, Insightful)

SadButTrue (848439) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592638)

This has probably always been the case. However, using .NET means buying the entire Microsoft stack.

At my last job I wrote an entire back office in Java. When my company merged the decision was made, over my vehement protests, that we would recode in c# just to support a thick client that was the bread and butter of the traders at the other company. Literally everything had to be moved just because it had been marginally easier to code a desktop app in c# initially.

Microsoft makes some good stuff, they really do. But since MS stuff only works well, or at all, with MS stuff you may end up taking a heavy does of shit along with the good.

In Soviet Russia... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38592170)

..Nginx overtakes you!

Wow, never even heard of that one (4, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592180)

I've used a load of web servers in the last few years - an early verion of IIS when I had only windows many years back, apache, lighttpd, thttpd, netscape web server (showing my age) and various others... but I didn't even know this was out there.

Suppose it just shows how out of the loop I am these days. Computer stuff covers a vast field these days.

Re:Wow, never even heard of that one (4, Interesting)

bradgoodman (964302) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592360)

I was going to say the same. So I was pretty surprised. From what I am reading, it is more of a "front-end" system for web servers, that does things like caching and load-balancing. So I guess it sort of depends on ones definition of "web server".

I was also going to speculate/wonder if it was one of those "rigged" deals, like a few years back when IIS was declared as "overtaking firefox" and becoming #1 because "most web sites on the web used it". The actual reason was that GoDaddy (which hosts a vast majority of "parked" domains) was paid-off (or "otherwise incented" by Microsoft to switch to IIS. So when you considered a "www." to be a "unique site", and 99% of "unique sites" to be garbage parked-domains, IIS was not the leader.

So, I wonder if some other bizarre statistical work is at-play. For example, does someone like Akamai, who hosts a lot of other people's sites, use Nginx to skew these numbers??

Re:Wow, never even heard of that one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38592430)

Nginx is a favorite of people like me, trying to run a snappy website on a fraction of a machine (VPS) with 512MB. I tried with Apache -- but Nginx is smaller and faster straight out of the box, and fairly easy to set up. (Actually I started on a 256MB VPS. 512MB feels roomy.)

Just because you haven't heard of it, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. It does; it's legit and it's used on quite a few sites.

Re:Wow, never even heard of that one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38592486)

I do consult regulary top hosting server:
Http://www.thewhir.com/web-hosting-news/010312_Apache_Leads_Site_Gains_in_January_Netcraft_Web_Server_Survey

Me too, I switched from apache to nginx for small footprint and speed.
I also sucesfully migrated a module from apache to nginx.

Re:Wow, never even heard of that one (4, Interesting)

asserted (818761) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592526)

no, this is genuine. it has been steadily gaining popularity over the past several years.
nginx is being developed by a russian guy who up until recently was working (as a sysadmin, apparently) for one of the major russian web portals where nginx originated as an in-house project first but was open-sourced. the guy has now left the company (which has been slowly dying anyway) and incorporated an llc or something, focused on nginx. it was already quite popular in russia 5-6 years ago (when i was still living there).

nginx is an efficient event-driven front-end server, quite often used for loadbalancing in front of traditional apache or tomcat or whatever other backends, but in a simple case of a LAMP server it can be hooked up directly to PHP via FPM or FCGI.
config syntax is quite expressive, with quite advanced uri / header - based rewriting capabilities. there is even a built-in Perl interpreter for more advanced use (which tends to be abused by people who forget what being an event-driven server means by sticking logic in there... oh well, people use things like node.js too *shudder*).

Re:Wow, never even heard of that one (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38592626)

Nginx + PHP-FPM is the way to go for a number of high performance setups.

Re:Wow, never even heard of that one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38592818)

thttpd FTW! Just awesome.

Google Icon (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38592184)

Why is the Google icon on the post when its MS that got overtaken. Is Nginx run by Google?

Re:Google Icon (1)

Hermanas (1665329) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592394)

The Google icon is probably there because the poster mentioned that Google's webserver, among others, lost share the past month.

Nginx is not a website, but rather a webserver (1)

lethe1001 (606836) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592188)

"Nginx over the past month has gained market share among all websites, whereas competitors Apache, Microsoft, and Google each lost share." Should read "webservers", not "websites"

Re:Nginx is not a website, but rather a webserver (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38592220)

The usage of websites is correct. Try this similarly-constructed sentence on for size:

"Guinness beer has gained in popularity amongst college students, while competitors Molson's, Budweiser and Pabst each lost ground."

Re:Nginx is not a website, but rather a webserver (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38592226)

They mean the market share of websites hosted on Nginx.

Re:Nginx is not a website, but rather a webserver (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38592236)

It could mean that among all websites, Nginx is the second most common server used. Like: Toyota over the past month has gained market share among all drivers... even though Toyota is a car, not a driver.

Re:Nginx is not a website, but rather a webserver (2)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592270)

Perhaps they mean websites, because its impossible to tell how many different webservers host a specific website. If I have 1,000,000 IIS servers behind a load balancer hosting a single website, it would be counted as 1, not 1,000,000.

Re:Nginx is not a website, but rather a webserver (1)

LordThyGod (1465887) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592448)

Most of the big names in that league (Facebook, Google, Twitter, etc), are running Linux. So, yes that's quite true.

Nginx is primarily a cache engine (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38592284)

The article and summary are misleading, typical slashdot. Typically nginx is used as a forward cache engine, often on the same box as apache. People typically put apache on port 81, and nginx on 80, and configure nginx to cache from port 81...

Doesn't make it the number 2 web server. Yes perhaps the number 1 cache engine, but its generally not used as a web server.

Re:Nginx is primarily a cache engine (4, Informative)

telekon (185072) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592404)

Not always... for our Rails (and Sinatra) projects, we use nginx as the frontend/static asset server to a (pool of) Ruby-based application servers (mostly Unicorn). There's no Apache anywhere in the mix, and that has greatly reduced my migraines. Perhaps in some situation it makes sense to have nginx as a cache engine or load balancer for Apache, but in my world, nginx usually replaces Apache, rather than supplementing it.

Re:Nginx is primarily a cache engine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38592478)

The article and summary are misleading, typical slashdot. Typically nginx is used as a forward cache engine, often on the same box as apache. People typically put apache on port 81, and nginx on 80, and configure nginx to cache from port 81...

Doesn't make it the number 2 web server. Yes perhaps the number 1 cache engine, but its generally not used as a web server.

My company uses nginx as our webserver to host php, ruby on rails and static sites.

Re:Nginx is primarily a cache engine (2)

Scaba (183684) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592602)

Can you link us to your data?

Re:Nginx is primarily a cache engine (3)

Dr.Hair (6699) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592636)

I've dropped apache completely. I've got nginx in front of php-fpm (wigh fcgiwrapper/spawn-fcgi for things w/ legacy cgi like nagios/collectd) and uwsgi.

You can easily find appropriate nginx rewrite rules for the major php apps like wordpress and menalto's gallery2. And for performance's sake it's all in the server config, so there isn't a disk access to read the .htaccess file to figure out if there are rewrite rules that need to be considered.

It's even better for apps, like django, which keep in mind delivering static files out of the hands of the app server. And configuring nginx to serve static files instead of hitting app servers is a piece of cake.

And for those really wanting max performance, there are plugins for direct access to memcache/postgres or even writing your web app directly in the config file with something like the lua plugin.

Re:Nginx is primarily a cache engine (3, Informative)

xiando (770382) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592680)

The article and summary are misleading, typical slashdot. Typically nginx is used as a forward cache engine, often on the same box as apache. People typically put apache on port 81, and nginx on 80, and configure nginx to cache from port 81...

You do know there is something called mod_proxy for apache? Apache can be configured as a proxy or a web server. Nginx can be configured as a proxy or a web server. Your point is .. what, exactly? I use nginx and I use it as a pure web server. I do not know what everyone else uses it for, but you can't just go about assuming whatever.

Re:Nginx is primarily a cache engine (1)

aintnostranger (1811098) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592822)

how is such non information/flamebait modded "3"?!?

Reverse Proxy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38592288)

Nginx works very well as a reverse proxy, I'd bet that the decrease in other web servers is really just an increase in protecting them with Nginx.

Re:Reverse Proxy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38592402)

Varnish is better if you're purely proxy/caching. nginx actually can replace apache, but it's mod_rewrite implementation is not compatible with apache's, so if you have CMS's that do stupid things for permalinks (like wordpress, xaraya, vBulletin, etc) with the assumption that apache with mod_php is underneath, you get a lot of problems that go away if you run it on apache to begin with.

But here's the kicker, if you run php as php-fpm, and use both apache and nginx against the same php-fpm using fast_cgi, oh look, nginx's rewrite implementation still can't handle it.

nginx is great for some specific purposes (serving only static content) but unfortunately php is what everyone uses right now, and all the open source goons assume apache is what is installed. This is why apache remains in the lead, and won't be dethroned anytime soon.

There's also one other angle that gives nginx a leg up. nginx works best on Linux, while Varnish works best on FreeBSD due to the way they make assumptions about the underlying memory management. Since the majority of Linux users are RHEL/CentOS or Debian, nginx makes more sense to setup than Varnish does. And since nginx provides a reverse proxy service, it also makes it an easy choice to put in front of any number of existing physical or VPS servers.

But when it comes down to performance, Varnish on FreeBSD is better as a reverse-proxy only.

Great loadbalancer (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38592302)

Nginx is a great loadbalancer for http which makes it quite suited as a frontend and thus getting counted by netcraft . There could be hundreds of apache servers behind it . E.g. on my boxes Nginx runs as a reverse proxy in front of about 20 different apache, tomcat, more Nginx, other servers that generate some kind of html. But these 20 will all be counted as Nginx while they actually run something different. So I beleive it is quite hard to actually say what Server actually is the most popular.

Re:Great loadbalancer (2)

butalearner (1235200) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592452)

Good info, but not entirely complete. What I was told while researching webservers was that nginx also excels at serving static files. Personally I have a PogoPlug v2 serving three static HTML websites (static HTML is generated when I change something to make it look dynamic) plus a few binary files. I've never run Apache or any others, but the resource usage is extremely low, even under some load.

Re:Great loadbalancer (4, Informative)

inKubus (199753) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592618)

Yep, it's mostly used for front-end duties like connection pooling, load balancing, SSL offloading, gzip, that type of thing. If you're running PHP stuff, it's still debatable whether you want to go FCGI or PDM instead of Apache's built-in module. There are ups and downs in both cases and you'll have to see what works best for your site. At my company we use Nginx up front (with server type obfuscated) for SSL offloading and gzip and connection pooling. From there it goes into a varnishd cache on the same server (stored in 100% RAM) which handles the static stuff. Varnishd then forwards remaining requests to an L7 load balancer appliance type thing which then drops requests to each of 10 web "application" servers which are a combination of Apache with mod_php, Tomcat and Jetty Java servers. We've also used Nginx as an IMAP proxy and cache and it works quite well for that.

Apache has a good architecture but it's horrible at handling a lot of simultaneous connections and recycling them (that will change in 2.4 but it's not out yet). Also, if you're using mod_php, over time each Apache process will take the total maximum amount of RAM your php process uses, and many of our PHP applications use 128-256M of RAM or more (data management type stuff). So you can run a server out of RAM if you're trying to maximize connections.

Nginx can handle 10K connections on a little box with very little RAM due to the way it threads stuff. It's basically a copy engine and it's very fast. Varnishd can also handle a lot of connections and can serve up content straight from RAM in less time than apache takes to build a connection. That being said, Apache is reliable, and has I feel better logging at the moment and just more of everything. It's a reference implementation. It's actually fine for most purposes but if you're handling 1000 users simultaneously and they are making 10-20 connections each with various service calls and static downloads, you gotta have something that can pool the conenctions on the front end and handle static content or you're going to spend a lot of money on RAM. And if you're serving up static content with Tomcat, Tomcat is absolutely garbage. I think it has to boot the whole JVM to serve up your one file. If not that bad, it's still awfully slow, and it REALLY benefits from caching up front. BTW, Nginx does caching as well but varnishd seemed more mature and elegant.

Now lastly, you can just go out and buy an F5 BigIP and it does all this stuff on specialized hardware (Ok, special board, intel chip) and it's out of the box. But even the little ones are $20K which is a lot of software dev hours and/or web server/database/storage hardware. Would be nice and fun to have but if you can't spend the money on hardware (and training!) the nginx/varnishd frontend is pretty much the best setup in my book at the moment. A little complex but once it's set up you just let it run. I made an internal nginx cache for all our internal sites, including some Java apps (e.g. Jira) and with requests going through the cache everything just flies. If you use sharepoint on IIS, you would be prettty stupid to not try a cache server up front, it's amazing. If nginx fixed mod_rewrite stuff to be the same as apache, it would probably be possible to make it into an application server, and we're going to get a test environment set up with php-fpm [php-fpm.org] and see how it fares. We'll see how managable it is though.

dodgy (2)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592336)

the methodology [netcraft.com] for determining "Active Sites" only takes into account the structure of the html elements of the page. If the structure of the page stops changing its considered not active. javascript heavy sites don't require any html structure change to continue to provide changing content.

Reverse Proxies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38592342)

I am not familiar with Netcraft's scanning methods - but I would suggest that a significant number of web servers (IIS or otherwise) are behind Load Balancers/Security Appliances/other devices which deliberately remove or obfuscate Web Server information. This is most definitely the case whenever I have deployed IIS in a facing the world, production situation.

IIS is a fantastic web server in a lot of situations, but it of course requires a windows license. It is unsurprising that a completely free product is more commonly used in internet-land.

Well done to the nginx people in any case - something for me to try out this week.

dafdasf (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38592376)

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nginx is very good at what it does (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38592464)

It's fast and efficient. But there are some things that apache does more easily that nginx does.

Was evaluating at Nginx (1)

mozumder (178398) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592532)

And my question is does it run a thread for each connection event that it receives? Or does it handle lightweight multiprocessing in any way? (like Apple's block codes in Grand Central Dispatch?)

How would it compare to a web server that does use Grand Central Dispatch?

Oh, lovely (4, Insightful)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592578)

Guess what class I had today?

CIS311 - Web Server Management

Guess what we use!

IIS 7 and Windows Server 2008!

Good thing I've run both Apache and lighttpd for personal experience. And taught myself C, C++, PHP, Lisp, Perl, Python, and a little bit of Assembly. And MySQL. And how to run Linux from the command line. And... what the fuck am I paying this college for, again?

Re:Oh, lovely (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38592700)

You're taking a 300 level course and it consists of running an IIS server on 2008? What the hell school do you go to? "Rick's College"?

Re:Oh, lovely (1)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592780)

And this is why I thank god I just up AND DID Web Development and didn't shit my money down the toilet on a CS degree.
So yes -- Why are you paying for college?

For most Software Development, the "University of Google" is a far more cost and time effective education.

Re:Oh, lovely (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38593022)

Actual CS degrees don't have classes teaching you how to use IIS.

For a good reason: nginx really performs! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38592592)

I am the main server admin for a very large website that has been running Apache for 10 years. Then, last year, after a period of tremendous growth, we began to encounter serious memory/CPU issues with Apache. I had been researching alternative, light webservers for a while, so after thorough research and testing, we made the transition to nginx overnight with resounding success. We've never looked back! It is very easy to configure, ridiculously scalable and highly extensible. There are plenty of how-to guides and recipes for those moving from Apache. Nginx seemed like a no-brainer. Apache is a great reference server; it has every bell and whistle imaginable, but at a cost. Our site uses PHP, so for those wondering about PHP integration, we use PHP-FPM. I'm generally pretty conservative and slow to change our architecture, but looking back, we made the right choice.

Re:For a good reason: nginx really performs! (1)

Zedrick (764028) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592834)

> we began to encounter serious memory/CPU issues with Apache

Can you elaborate, please? I used to work at a webhost that used apache for around 500.000 websites, and memory/CPU was never a problem. (Not for apache, only for PHP and MySQL.) I often see people claim that Apache is bloated, but don't understand in what way (except possibly for the config files, that might might extensive but not really bloated and they don't affect performance)

Feeesum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38592610)

Dis nginx is, rili feersum.

Risky? (2)

xushi (740195) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592838)

I think us Sysadmins are getting slowly into trouble here... Flame IIS all you want (I do..), but I have a feeling without it, we'd be slowly losing our jobs, resulting i out of jobs as things start to break less in this world.. :)

We use it as a file server (1)

trawg (308495) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592972)

A lot of people here are talking about how nginx is "only" useful as some sort of reverse proxy or cache engine or something. We haven't used it for that, although it's on our list of things to try at some point as a lot of people seem to have success with it.

We do use it for serving files over HTTP - primarily video gaming-related files, so they range in size from a few meg up to several gig. It generally performs flawlessly, although sometimes struggles under significant load.

We did a little formal testing ages back; I can't find the numbers now but generally we seem to squeeze more data out of the same hardware using nginx than we did with Apache.

(We used to use it streaming h264 video; it was great for that as well. We switched back to Apache to use some pseudostreaming mod but I can't remember why because now that I look I see the same module is also available for nginx as well.)

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