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Who is Using Tomcat or Jetty in Production?

Cliff posted about 12 years ago | from the open-source-gains=ground dept.

Java 488

JettyCatReady queries: "Ok, my company (a rather large, global financial institution) has recently blessed Linux for production use (woohoo!). Their position is that it will save them hardware costs to run on Intel machines instead of big IBM or Sun iron. No mention at all has been made of their position on open source. I'm part of a team that wants to make the case that the real savings are to be made by making use of things like Tomcat in place of BEA where we can (if all we want is JSP why pay a huge cost per server?). I even have a boss's boss who said in front of me, 'So I'm thinking, am I missing something by not using Tomcat? Do I have anything to lose?'"

"These are all excellent signs. The next step is to get an open source server into production. Tomcat is the natural choice because it's got the name recognition among Java app servers. Here's where I'm a little stumped. Whenever I mention the words 'Tomcat' and 'production' together, performance junkies come out of the woodwork and tell me that Tomcat sucks for production (what with it being a reference implementation and not optimized for speed). They say use Jetty (except for the ones that say to use Resin). The counter argument is that if my managers have heard of Tomcat, and seen vendors that will support Tomcat, and have never heard of Jetty, then there's no way they're going to bless it over Tomcat. (The same boss who praised Tomcat above also made a face when I mentioned JBoss. And I'm sure it has nothing to do with his personal experience with either.)

My question is, does anybody have some real world numbers of large institutions actually using these servers in a production environment? If somebody can tell me 'Company X uses Tomcat exclusively' then we would have no problem contacting company X and saying, 'So, what have your experiences been?' In other words I need leads, not actual white papers (although those would be nice, too). I need some real experiences, not just people who like Jetty over Tomcat because they don't like Sun."

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We don't get paid to do your job (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4103400)

So do your own fucking work, lazy bitch. You get paid, so get to work.

Re:We don't get paid to do your job (3, Insightful)

scawa (146506) | about 12 years ago | (#4103501)

They don't put Anonymous Coward on the "byline" for nothing. A forum is designed to get information. The purpose of her post was to get some information from people who knew their head from a hole in another part of their anatomy.

You obviously don't.

There are quite a few companies using Tomcat 4.0 or greater as a production JSP server and JBoss if they need EJB support.

However, there are faster web servers out there.

Resin and Jetty come to mind (use Google to find the Sites). Tomcat is a "reference" version of a JSP/Servlet Container. It is the first out of the gate... Others optimize stuff.

Tomcat 4.0 and above is scalable and clusterable, so you have the ability to do that, but so are several other open/source or less expensive Web Servers...

Check them out.

And idiots like the one above... If you can't be constructive.. Don't demonstrate your ignorance... just shut up.

1st post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4103404)

Nah! I don't even know what Tomcat is. Time to do some googling.

Re:1st post (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4103416)

Well how about I call your boss and take your job? I have been out of work for some time and I am REAL hungry. Where do you work again?

Production Tomcat (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4103413)

Can't give our company name but we're using it in production for an ASP-type senario serving apps to large financial institutions off of WinNT boxes. Compared to the previous IIS builds (ugh) it's wonderful, stable and a nice advert for taking the whole show over to UNIX.

Tomcat is not optimized for speed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4103519)

Just be aware that Tomcat is not optimized for speed. Tomcat is optimized to implement the JSP spec.

Re:Production Tomcat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4103600)

I've worked on three systems in the last two years
that all went into production using tomcat or jetty. OK, so the first was a dot-com that went bust, although one of the other contractors is still keeping it alive. The second is a profitable dot-com (Inceptor) about to go live with jboss-jetty, replacing a system written in perl-c++-activeX. And finally Golf-England (funded by centrica and hitachi) is also about to go live with a jboss-jetty system.

I have to say the jetty developer support on the newsgroups from the founder is phenomenal. And the jboss community is huge, although the arrogance of the core developers can be a real hindrance ...

Even for the big boys using EJBs JMS etc etc I would have a hard time justifying bea or websphere instead of jboss though. And if you only require a servlet container (jsps + servlets) I think it would be utter madness to pay ...

JBoss is it (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4103415)

Think JBoss 3.0.1 + Jetty

My company uses tomcat exclusively (5, Interesting)

Tet (2721) | about 12 years ago | (#4103422)

Like the subject says. It seems to work OK for us. Startup times are annoyingly slow. If we need to deploy a new context, then restarting tomcat brings with it a 30-45 second outage. But other than that, it's fine. Performance testing showed that increasing the number of threads the connectors can handle, and increasing the memory size (we use -Xmx500M) helps enormously.

Re:My company uses tomcat exclusively (5, Interesting)

flipperboy (153511) | about 12 years ago | (#4103543)

My experience is almost exactly the same. We started using tomcat during development because it was free, and found that it performed well enough that we were confident moving into production with it. Restart times are not an issue for us; we can schedule resource drops for times when system use is minimized.

During load testing, we mucked about with the same tomcat parameters mentioned above, specifically thread count (starting and max) and heap size.

One last note: with versions 4.x of Tomcat, we've found that Tomcat is quick enough at serving up static content that we don't need to put Apache into the mix.

Re:My company uses tomcat exclusively (1)

AMNESIACX (602481) | about 12 years ago | (#4103641)

Glad to see I'm not alone in the Tomcat-4.x-without-Apache world. Aside from annoying startup issues, I have found it served its purpose well, for a small business. Wouldn't mind some tips or URL's on how exactly to run load/thread tests though, and the means by which to measure/compare?

Re:My company uses tomcat exclusively (1)

Reinout (4282) | about 12 years ago | (#4103602)

I tried a jboss/tomcat combo a few months ago and jboss made tomcat reload .war files without restarting.

Just dropping a new .war file in the deploy directory and requesting something out of that context and... automagical reloading.

Perhaps tomcat4 does this too.

P.s. this was with the older version 2 jboss. From what I understand jboss 3 blows away everything.


Re:My company uses tomcat exclusively (1)

Reinout (4282) | about 12 years ago | (#4103628)

This reply [] also mentions hot-deploy (and is a bit more technical in it's utterings :-))

Re:My company uses tomcat exclusively (4, Informative)

Hard_Code (49548) | about 12 years ago | (#4103604)

"If we need to deploy a new context, then restarting tomcat brings with it a 30-45 second outage."

Remember, in 4.x, a command-line admin tool to insert/reload contexts at runtime has been added. A GUI is planned to follow.

Re:My company uses tomcat exclusively (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4103653)

I was one of the five developers who redid from ASP to JSP. We had to build an infrastructure to handle the existing 300 million page views a month as well as be able to scale indefinately. Management would only let us go to a Java platform if they could see benchmarks showing performance as good as or better than their current IIS/ASP setup. We benchmarked Tomcat, Resin, and Orion. Tomcat just did not perform under the loads we needed; however, both Resin and Orion performed fine. We settled on Resin because at the time (maybe still are) they touted their software as open source (one of the big selling points of migrating from IIS). We did not kick Tomcat to the curb -- it is so simple to use that we keep it on each developer's machine as their isolated development environment. Hopefully it will continue to improve in the speed department. (And while I'm making wishes, hopefully someone will make an XMLDOM faster than MSXMLDOM!)

sUck iT (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4103423)

Suck it, bitches. Suck it hard.

Yes: Production Tomcat (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4103424)

We use Tomcat in production, as a replacement for JRun, which we used to use. It's working quite nicely.

Novell (5, Informative)

Scutter (18425) | about 12 years ago | (#4103427)

Novell's Groupwise version 6 runs on Tomcat with Apache. It's actually set up to run on Netware, of course, but I've gotten it running quite nicely on linux as well.

Hmmm... (0)

Pumpernickel (602102) | about 12 years ago | (#4103433)

'So I'm thinking, am I missing something by not using Tomcat? Do I have anything to lose?'"

The only thing you have to lose, due to the fact the Tomcat is open source, is real support for technicians. But real men don't call tech support, right? Anyways, Tomcat == BEA - tech support.

Use a condom! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4103438)

Why the fuck would you want open sores?

JBoss (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4103442)

Take a look at JBoss, we replaced BEA with it for commercial product deploys and have been thrilled. It can also be integrated with Tomcat or Jetty.

Free application server from Sun (2, Interesting)

MikeApp (151816) | about 12 years ago | (#4103443)

I know that you are probably looking for an open-source solution, but Sun has promised to release a free version of their application server this fall.

Sun "basic" application server []

It will run on Linux.

Re:Free application server from Sun (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4103490)

That version is only decent for developers.

Dont use it in production unless you're a mom & pop company and only mom is accessing the site.

Re:Free application server from Sun (1)

MikeApp (151816) | about 12 years ago | (#4103576)

Er, interesting comment, since it hasn't been released yet.

From everything I've read, it is definitely targeted at production use.

Tomcat is bad but alternatives are even worse (3, Informative)

MSBob (307239) | about 12 years ago | (#4103447)

I'm no fan of tomcat myself but if you're doing servlets then it is probably your best option (and cheapest). Being in a situation similar to yours I've evaluated JRun, WebSphere and Tomcat and liked Tomcat the most. It was most up to date with the J2EE spec and wasn't trying to be everything I didn't want it to be. It simply got its job done. Having said that, Tomcat on the back end means Apache on the web tier and I'm no big fan of Apache (or its configuration nightmare specifically).

Tomcat 4.x series is designed and built for production use unlike the 3.x series which was a reference implementation donated by Sun.

Anyway if you're not doing EJB tomcat is a reasonable choice. If you ARE doing EJB work you can pick up JBoss which integrates well with Tomcat. Pick up GLUE for web services and a decent persistence layer (OJB for example) and you're all set for enterprise level development with $0 spent on infrastructure software.

Re:Tomcat is bad but alternatives are even worse (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4103517)

Having said that, Tomcat on the back end means Apache on the web tier

Why? Tomcat can be used stand-alone and it can be integrated with other webservers, even IIS!

Re:Tomcat is bad but alternatives are even worse (2, Troll)

nervlord1 (529523) | about 12 years ago | (#4103523)

I'm no big fan of Apache (or its configuration nightmare specifically).
Sigh, its amazingly simple, just because you don't have a pretty GUI, does not make it a nightmare to configure, more to the point, there are many programs that offer GUI configuration of apache, have a look around before dismissing apache because you can't set it up right

Re:Tomcat is bad but alternatives are even worse (0)

sirinek (41507) | about 12 years ago | (#4103625)

I bet he comes up with a lame answer like "IIS".

The AC above was right, theres nothing that touches apache these days for a web server. I dont see a "configuration nightmare".


Re:Tomcat is bad but alternatives are even worse (2)

T3kno (51315) | about 12 years ago | (#4103685)

Just an observation, but it seems like a lot of Ja*a programmers feel this way. Not sure why.

Re:Tomcat is bad but alternatives are even worse (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4103529)

And just what web server do you prefer? There isnt a product out there that can touch the versatility, reliability and stability of apache.


Re:Tomcat is bad but alternatives are even worse (3, Informative)

Hrunting (2191) | about 12 years ago | (#4103616)

Try Resin [] , a non-free open-source servlet/JSP server. It can run standalone or as an Apache plugin and absolutely screams. It works great with the IBM JDK under Linux and has very cheap licensing fees and incredible developer support. I myself am not partial to the whole Java phenomena, but if I had to use a web server for serving up such code, I wouldn't hesitate to use Resin.

Sometimes, one has to step back from the plethora of big-name projects and realize that people are making considerable effort righting the mistakes made by the early pioneers of that medium.

And sometimes, paying a little for a server engine ain't such a bad thing. Most companies with budgets can afford cheapo licenses.

How about Resin? (2)

martinde (137088) | about 12 years ago | (#4103692)

I've got no experience with Resin and not too much with Tomcat. (I've used JRun and Websphere in the past and I like them both.) Anyways, there is a company at my local Java Users group that really speaks highly of Resin - I think this is the link [] .

Obviously it's not open source which isn't exactly what you're looking for. On the other hand, what I hear is that it is fast, stable, and inexpensive. ($500 per deployed server.)

BEA is buggy as hell anyhow..... (4, Informative)

codepunk (167897) | about 12 years ago | (#4103451)

We use a BEA app server at work for our order processing system. Generally it works ok, but serious bugs in it cause us a lot of greif and downtime. First off it has serious memory leaks in the performance pack (trading speed for stability). We have to boot the BEA app server at least once a week least it runs out of memory and crashes. We are currently looking at JBOSS as our new production application server due to it's stability. If you code smartly you can move the code back and forth so you really have nothing to loose....

Support? (1, Insightful)

MicroBerto (91055) | about 12 years ago | (#4103454)

I'm not completely familiar with the software at hand, but when you are dealing with a corporation, they are often willing to pay money for support contracts or for an in-house support team.

One thing execs don't like about "free" is, whose fault is it when it breaks? They need somebody to yell at, and don't ilke anything being their fault. So as long as you can get good support for when all hell breaks loose, you should have your ground covered.

Re:Support? (2)

Tet (2721) | about 12 years ago | (#4103493)

One thing execs don't like about "free" is, whose fault is it when it breaks? They need somebody to yell at

That's fine, so long as they're aware that yelling is all they can expect to be able to do. Read the fine print in your support contract. You'll see that there's no guarantee to fix anything, and no liability if they don't fix it.

We use it (2, Informative)

istvandragosani (181886) | about 12 years ago | (#4103456)

I won't give out the company name, but the shop I work for has several server-side software products we deploy on Solaris that use Tomcat & Apache, for use in IP telephony. A solid combination IMHO (although my personal preference on Unix is Apache & mod_perl). (1)

headwick (247433) | about 12 years ago | (#4103458) [] is the leading online print job auction company and they their entire operations on open source software.
Here [] is a case study.

Is Tomcat crap? (3, Informative)

jukal (523582) | about 12 years ago | (#4103460)

I don't know, but I archived this article [] when I saw it. The article contains some benchmarks made by an obvious geek, he also talks about the price.

"In conclusion, yes - in my book Tomcat is crap. I haven't actually really touched on the problems with Tomcat here (other than it has bad performance and bad developer productivity) and I apologise for that. Perhaps I'll get to them another day. For now, consider the other alternatives until Tomcat improves (which I hope - but doubt - it will)."

Get away from Java (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4103462)

Hmmm.. if you're got them on linux, you can also break away from the silly Java-does-everything culture. Common Lisp makes an excellent server-side tool, and is blazingly fast*, plus better OO than virtually anything else.

* People _still_ trot out "Lisp is slow", despite the fact that that reputation originated when 1MHz was fast... compiled lisp is certainly faster and less resource-hungry than any useful Java Virtual Machine I've seen.

Re:Get away from Java (1)

Viol8 (599362) | about 12 years ago | (#4103676)

Gawd , I'm so sick of hearing about how wonderful lisp is. How many people know lisp? Not many. How many people know Java or C++? Lots. How much do you think supporting it will cost when Joe Lisp-Expert leaves for a $$$$ elsewhere and you can't find anyone else to do the job for love nor money? Personally I'm no Java fan but if you're not going to use C++ (which would be my 1st choice) then at least use a language where you can be pretty certain that you can get people to maintain it. Use Lisp , jeez , why not just go the whole way and use Object Prolog?? After all , its waaay powerfull and has even more geek kudos!

Re:Get away from Java (1)

EJB (9167) | about 12 years ago | (#4103710)

"What's the best language"-arguments aside, when you line up 10 programmers and ask them: "How many of you know Java and how many of you know Common Lisp", I think you'll have the answer to why there aren't more people doing this...

Ask Sun's New Software Czar, He Can Maybe Help (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4103464)

why ask us when you can ask Sun's Jonathan Schwartz [] , he's sure to give you some cool advice on not using Sun's software!

JBoss ! (5, Informative)

FullClip (139644) | about 12 years ago | (#4103465)

JBoss [] is an excellent fullfledged J2EE application server.

They even offer consultancy if you cannot get it right the first time.
Excellent award winning server, excellent support, what do you need more ?

It has Jetty integrated and gives you the full J2EE stack.
You can get it to work with Tomcat too: no problem.

Check it out, the design is awesome for the techies.
The support option is great for the management.
Everyone's happy :)

Re:JBoss ! (1)

glh (14273) | about 12 years ago | (#4103658)

I've heard about JBoss, it sounds pretty cool. A friend [] of mine is changing over his PHP Nuke site to run JBoss. Do you know how it is in terms of production sites? What are some "big sites" that are using it? How well does it scale? That sort of thing..

M... mu... mu wa ha ha ha ha. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4103467)

This guy must have made this scenario up. No one in their right mind would jump off a stable Sun setup just to use Java and Linux.

Re:M... mu... mu wa ha ha ha ha. (2)

mabinogi (74033) | about 12 years ago | (#4103549)

They would once the bean counters come in....

My answer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4103468)

I like Jetty over Tomcat because they don't like Sun.

C'mon man, do your own homework and figure out what to do yourself. Resourcefulness is one thing, asking a public messageboard because you're lazy is another. Now quit posting messages and go and do some work...

Just make sure it's good hardware (2, Insightful)

ch-chuck (9622) | about 12 years ago | (#4103469)

don't get too cheap on the Intel HW, I mean quality hardware - no software runs well when the tin memory contacts get flaky or the fans seize up after a week. Use a percentage of sw saving for quality stuff and rest is punching buttons with minimal finger pointing at the resident screwdriver jocky & board swapper.The last production box we got even for Msft 2K server was just a 1.1Ghz P3 w/ PC133 ram, and 2 40Gb SCSI disks (low voltage differential, new one on me). Giving untrusted hw a weeks thrashing under simulated production conditions builds confidence immensely and avoids em-bareass-ment.

Re:Just make sure it's good hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4103559)



Good Crucial/Kingston RAM ECC/Reg.
Promise w/ Hot Swap if I don't need a high bandwidth on HDD subsystem. Otherwise I use Adaptec RAID.
With a Hot Swap case.

Intel NICs. Anymore Antec cases.

You can save money. But, don't get too cheap.

we have tomcat & Jetty with JBoss in productio (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4103487)

I also working for a 'global financial institution' and we are using Jetty+JBoss in production now. We also have many tomcat/apache installation globally. I personally pefer Jetty over Tomcat for the performance.

last time I used it, it was slooowwww (2)

AssFace (118098) | about 12 years ago | (#4103497)

Apache is nice and fast for serving up static pages, and really nice with php pages.
But in my own personal experience, and this was 2 years ago, Tomcat was really slow. It seemed to be just average with jsp pages, and then the more towards the j2ee route you went, the more worthless it was.
we were mainly using it as a quick and dirty testing/training server system, so I would assume that perhaps it has either come a long way since then, or it is only really meant to server jsp pages.

Tomcat 4 is much improved over the old tomcat 3 (1)

MCRocker (461060) | about 12 years ago | (#4103657)

Tomcat 4.0.x is the latest and greatest. From what I can tell and have read on the various mailing lists, it is a significant performance improvement over the older Tomcat 3.x line. Heck, even the Jetty folks acknowledge that Tomcat 4 is almost as fast a Jetty ;)

Tomcat (4, Insightful)

PacketMaster (65250) | about 12 years ago | (#4103500)

We've been using Tomcat in a production environment for 1 1/2 years and before that we were using Tomcat's predicessor JServ. It's been rock solid. 4.0 brought a lot of nice changes (like not overwriting the logs on startup!) and 4.1 is a refactoring release for performance. The one thing to keep in mind about Tomcat is that you have to write your own wrapper script/program to make Tomcat start up as a non-root user. If you're going to use it in conjunction with Apache, Apache2 will only work properly with the ajp13 connector. The webapp/warp connector doesn't seem to work properly yet.

If you're going to replace BEA though, consider looking at JBoss which is a true J2EE server unlike Tomcat which is just a servlet container. To replace a commercial product such as Weblogic, WebSphere or iPlanet, you want to look at JBoss for a complete J2EE/EJB solution.

Tomcat in our company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4103502)

We use tomcat in our company (a Fortune 500 to remain nameless) for all of our J2EE stuff. I hear Jetty is faster/more lightweight, but there are more books and other docs out there on Tomcat. If your company is looking to save money, why would they go to linux to save a little $$ on hardware then turn around and use BEA products to spend a lot of $$ on software? Makes no sense to me.

We use Tomcat - *mostly* (1)

cramped bowels (516728) | about 12 years ago | (#4103510)

Don't know if I can give the name, but it is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies on the planet. Some BEA.

We've almost convinced our management to switch :) (1) (311067) | about 12 years ago | (#4103512)

I'm leading a dev group that is stuck on a Java based App server (Silverstream) which we are not very happy with. As half my team would prefer to be linux based, we would like to migrate from windows to linux for development (hell, servers too).

We've been playing the "more stable/reliable", "more flexible", "more standard", and "less bugs" cards and I am actually seeing upper management start to sway. But I am still looking for some more fodder, anyone know of any good performance reviews or any reviews at all the put tomcat/apache against any app servers?

Re:We've almost convinced our management to switch (1)

Epesh (2854) | about 12 years ago | (#4103673)

Silverstream has some nice performance numbers of its own, but it has the same problem WebLogic, WebSphere, and JBoss (to a somewhat lesser degree) have: you have to buy into the management process of each package in order to get anywhere with it.

BEA's a good server, if slow, once you get around the absolutely awesomely bad management tools they tout as being so good. (Hint: they're not. If they work for you, great. We've found that we end up deploying the same applications multiple times, with restarts, in order to get the thing working correctly; this is with BEA support riding alongside to make sure we're not doing something stupid. We weren't.

WebSphere... IBM, IBM, IBM. The best compliment I've ever heard about Websphere was from a fan, a developer who loved it: "It's not that bad..." (Yes, it is. In IBM's sales meetings, they crow about how they helped design the entity aspects now-hopelessly-muddled EJB spec... and then later in the meetings they denounce using entity beans altogether because WAS can't give you any good performance with them. Plus, being tied to WSAD isn't my idea of a good time.)

JBoss is really pretty nice - it's built entirely around a component architecture, so you can swap out the Tomcat crap if you need to and replace it with something that actually works. (The default servlet container that comes with JBoss is Jetty, which you should replace with the current version of jetty if you use JBoss. The Jetty that ships with JBoss has a jasper error, jasper being a component from Tomcat.) The only issues I have with JBoss are related to its strengths: the component architecture means that each component chooses how it's administered, so you end up not only learning how to handle JBoss itself, but you have to learn how to configure Jetty, or this product, or THIS product, or THIS OTHER product... I prefer one ring to rule them all, etc.

As far as performance reviews, use google! :) I've done some informal performance reviews, and I've found the two best performers were Resin [] and Orion [] , with Resin being a few milliseconds behind Orion in terms of servlet and JSP performance.

Choosing Tomcat over others (5, Insightful)

TheICEBear (536953) | about 12 years ago | (#4103516)

I come from a similar situation and have managed to do what you want to do. To sound a little zen don't try to change their minds just show them the benefits. In my case I drew on my knowledge on the lack of vendor lock-in combined with the economics of the situation and the inclusion of support in our seperate support contract (really cheap support at that).

As for support that was never really and issue with us so I have no argument there. Now Tomcat has some flaws (most in the JSP compiler Jasper and their live redeploy area), but is otherwise a very sweet little servlet engine (don't call it an appserver it isn't one in the J2EE sense of the word and that is the game you're playing when you use things like servlets).

Once it has compiled your JSPs it works just fine and the sweet things and the selling argument for our projects was redundancy of providers. You have a change of enviroments like going to another servlet engine. With a very minimal amount of care in your coding and everything is portable in fact if you stick to the Servlet/JSP api then you're good to go.

In fact we had some time one evening and switched between Tomcat, Resin and Jetty with only a few minutes spent making the configurations fit and the files unpack and install.

On a sidenote if you can delay any lock-in on a specific version of Tomcat, try and see if you can get your system over on the upcoming Tomcat 4.1 I am loving the improvements it brings esspecially in speed.

You should try to change his opinion on jBoss though. jBoss has been the most loved thing about that recent projects (and EJB writing is in combination with a good Ant script and XDoclet not that big a pain). It is probably the most stable thing about this entire project with hot redeploy (great for development), good performance and great ease of use and install on top. In fact the new 3.x version is even greater with clustering, failover and some very interesting innovations in the area of control over which parts of the server to actually run via SARs and JMX. But enough about all this.

My company uses Tomcat + Apache + PostgreSQL.... (3, Informative)

rjkimble (97437) | about 12 years ago | (#4103518)

running on Linux for all our clients. We build and deploy customized web apps for our growing client list. We have been running Tomcat for more than a year, and its performance has been superb. Of course, our clients don't have high volume web sites. And we're not a large company.

What savings are perceived with Intel hardware? (1)

christophersaul (127003) | about 12 years ago | (#4103524)

What savings do you think you're getting on the Intel hardware over, say, the newer Sun kit such as the v480 and v880? The newer Sun boxes are more scalable, more powerful and have better support if needed and similar prices to the Intel kit.

Don't you need anything more than a few 1 or 2 cpu boxes, with no requirements for scaling in the future?

If all else fails, test yourself (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4103535)

I'm not a Java guy (I know the language and have written small apps, but it's not my primary or preferred language), so the answer to the following may be obvious to anyone with more Java experience, but...

How different are the implementations of each app server? If it only takes relatively small changes to be able to deploy some test code across multiple Java app servers, why not do a comparison between them with your company's own code (or a portion thereof)? That would be more accurate than a generalized benchmark (which, as we all know, can be manipulated to make any arbitrary product/implementation look better than the others).

For all I know, though, this may not be feasible if each app server requires vastly different deployments and application design to get the best bang out of each. Even if that is the case, it may actually be worth your while to spend some time up front to find out which app server would work best for your company. If the app servers do require significant changes in the applications, you're committing yourself to a platform that will not be easy to switch away from if it turns out to not suit your company's needs.

Any well managed project of moderate to large scales should involve some sort of product/platform/tool analysis anyway, or look to recent analyses for other similar company projects. Asking other people what app server they recommend will bring a lot of subjective comments. Best if you just grab the choices yourself and test to find which one will truly suit your company's need best.

Suggestion: Use Tomcat/Jetty in JBoss (1)

Hop-Frog (28712) | about 12 years ago | (#4103537)

If you end up using Tomcat, I would suggest you deploy it as part of JBoss, even if you don't use EJB. The reason is the enhancements to Tomcat delivered by the JBoss integration. These include hot-deploy for Tomcat, which Tomcat (afaik) doesn't give you on its own, JMX, clustering, security, connection pooling (maybe Tomcat does this ...), etc.

Also, as a further suggestion, ensure that you get information on Tomcat 4.x, as it is intended for production use. The 3.x versions were not.

Good luck!


Tomcat is fine (3, Informative)

Hard_Code (49548) | about 12 years ago | (#4103539)

We use Tomcat pretty extensively over here (major league northeastern university). I have heard that Jetty and Resin are much faster. I have also heard TONS of praise for Resin (faster, easier to configure, deploy, etc.), so you might want to look into that.

That said, Tomcat is perfectly adequate. Unless you are running Ebay or or something, your main bottleneck will probably be your database IO. Typically Tomcat (and any servlet engine, in general) is set up with mod_jk hooked into Apache, so that Apache is the frontend that serves all static files, and *only* those paths which are servlet/jsp get forwarded to Tomcat. In the recent past there seems to have been some flakiness in the Apache->Tomcat connector, but I presume that has been solved by now. Also, until 4.x, the configuration file format, and class loading mechanism were changing each release, but I believe that has settled down.

Like many Apache (or maybe Open Source in general) projects you pay for not having the depth of features a commercial product would, but you get in return breadth of features, and the comfort of a de facto standard with tons of inertia and support behind it. Besides, the J2EE specs are written sufficiently well, that any servlet engine implementation is basically a dime a dozen. You won't lose with going with Tomcat - and you can always switch to a commercial product if/when you feel you need richer/deeper features (I know people who develop on Tomcat, but deploy on Resin).

I must still be naive because I still can't fathom the absolute craptacular $$$,000 amount companies spend on commodity software. Unless there is something you *really* need in a commercial product, it is usually not worth the hassle chaining yourself in.

listen to his boss words (5, Insightful)

imr (106517) | about 12 years ago | (#4103545)

to tune your answers.
he doesnt want to know what he can gain by using either of them, he wants to know he wont lose anything.

Tomcat on IBM AS/400 (1)

labil (410837) | about 12 years ago | (#4103546)

After IBM started charging for WebSphere on AS/400 (I think it was after V5 was released) we switched all our development to Apache/tomcat, and strangely, this is what IBM recommends. IBM ships apache and tomcat with OS/400 and it works like a charm.

We just deployed a servlet/jsp application on the AS/400 last week and we're just about finishing another major application for deployment next month.

Performance-wise we've seen very little difference between WebSphere and tomcat, at least on iSeries, though I can't really speak for other platforms.


Dont dive into tomcat headfirst (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4103548)

Dont run all your applications on tomcat. I understand the cost savings, but there's something to be said for prudency.

Nobody got fired for going with IBM.

Get a 30 or 60 day Weblogic/Websphere demo .. test applications running on it versus tomcat. Tomcat will be noticably slower and unscalable for large apps. If your test results are inconclusive as to whether it meets your needs,
dish out the cash for BEA or Websphere, and have some of your apps running on it (JSP is portable so it wont be a biug deal). Then as time goes migrate everyuthing over to tomcat.

That way you know it can handle the load.

You can also find out what your peak times are .. have websphere or weblogic deal with peak times at first ... and then have tomcat slowlyt move in on pealk times until you're websphere and weblogic free.

Oh, anpther thing you can tell your boss is that you can easily move your apps from tomcat to weblogic anyway. and since tomcat is free, ypou wouldnt have wasted money when you switch to higher ebnd software.

Well (1)

Hobophile (602318) | about 12 years ago | (#4103551)

I find that our Tomcat [] does an excellent job of keeping the programmers in line.

aplaws (2)

tapiwa (52055) | about 12 years ago | (#4103552)

UK local authorites, via the Accessible and Personalised Local Authority Websites [] .

This is a web toolkit based on the Arsdigita (of Phil Greenspun fame) Community system.

Their setup is *nix, Apache, Tomcat/Resin and Oracle.

Java servlets (win32) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4103560)

Is Tomcat the best for java servlets? My company is considering tomcat for windows, however the developers are having trouble increasing the virtual memory in tomcat does anyone know or can point me in the right direction?

what about Jboss? (1)

linuxislandsucks (461335) | about 12 years ago | (#4103569)

Have you compared Jboss to Tomcat yet? Or are you still in the evaluation process?

Tomcat does suck, avoid it. (3, Interesting)

Epesh (2854) | about 12 years ago | (#4103572)

I've used Tomcat for testing against the Sun specs, and I find that it's slow and not worth the money you spend on it.

Yes, I know it's free. Pay attention.

It does a relatively poor job of implementing the spec itself, and the spec is supposed to be its reason for being. It's gotten faster over time, which is nice, but it's still not very good at handling things. Tweaks abound, but running a custom version of a servlet container isn't likely to bring comfort to you... I hope.

I'd suggest spending some money on the container, myself; Jetty [] is okay, but I personally prefer Orion [] , which is fully J2EE, fast as all get out, and very, very easy to administer. Installation of an Orion instance takes three steps: unzip, copy tools.jar, java -jar orion.jar. Done. It's also free for development, so there's no per-seat license cost for you to use it to write code.

An aside: Oracle recently posted ECPerf numbers which were very good, and Oracle licensed the Orion codebase... and Orion costs thousands less. Since ECperf yields numbers based on dollars per transaction, you'd think Orion would kick butt on ECPerf.

I find Tomcat to be acceptable only for compliance testing, because so many people think it's the best that out there (because of the price point). I've spent a lot of time having to work around Tomcat; I'd hope you didn't feel like doing the same.

Comparisons, plus some opinions (3, Interesting)

potcrackpot (245556) | about 12 years ago | (#4103592)

From my experience, Tomcat 4.x is faster than Apache and JServ.

Don't know how it compares to other servers (at least, from experience I don't), for example IIS, Resin, JRun etc.

Tomcat 3.x WAS very slow - for example, who had to combine Apache and Tomcat to get anything reasonable - using Tomcat for JSP and servlets, and Apache for static pages. This was in itself a bit of a nightmare. Tomcat 4 is miles better.

Comparing JRun to Tomcat for performance, see here [] .

Compared to Orion and Resin, Tomcat also lost comprehensively [] . The arguments raged for a while over performance (for example [] )- but not many about whether it "did what it said on the tin".

A more serious point here is that your bosses care more about the name and image than the quality. I'd think about trying to convince them that this is Not A Good Idea. For someone who IS using Tomcat in production, just do a google search; you'll get quite a few, for example [] .

Not sure if this helps, but.... (2)

blues5150 (161900) | about 12 years ago | (#4103595)

Primavera's [] Expedition v8.0 ships with the following.
  • Jetty Web Server v3.1.1
  • JBoss Application Server v2.43
  • Expedition database running on Sybase Adaptive Server Anywhere v7.0.3
  • Sybase JConnect v5.5 JDBC driver
  • Expedition 8.0

I just installed the Jetty Web Server the other day so I don't have any real data to provide, sorry. I know of a few people that use it and have been happy with it. The only complaint that I've heard is that the pages take long to load. The person that said this thought it might have to do with the page being Java, but I think it might just be the database itself causing the slowdown. Just my $.02 worth. is now exclusively Tomcat (5, Informative)

nevermind (19336) | about 12 years ago | (#4103598)

We have migrated to Linux, Apache, and Tomcat over the last year-and-a-half. We use it both in development and in production, across 100 or so boxes. As with everything, there are issues, but for the most part we are very happy. Even most commercial vendor's idea of a "big" site doesn't come close to what we do, so we have found very little difference between problem solving in the open-source and closed-source worlds.

For what we do, you can't beat the price... And yes, that includes the price of our time. is now exclusively Tomcat (1)

tweek (18111) | about 12 years ago | (#4103638)

I've been in the Weather Channel's server room. It made me cry.

From that point on, I understood what enterprise was ;)

caucho resin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4103606)

I used resin a while back and it worked great. These days, I'm back in the world of perl, so I don't know what's current. Also, we didn't have high load. Can someone please inform us as to whether or not you need risc processors to really get the most out of Java.

I get the idea that the best java virtual machines are made for sparc and the other big risc processors. ia-32 doesn't have a really well optimized jvm. Am I right or wrong?

Somebody had to say it... (1, Redundant)

richieb (3277) | about 12 years ago | (#4103619)

Why don't you use Resin [] ? It's not expensive, it's supported and it's fast.


slonlow (569901) | about 12 years ago | (#4103688)

If you are looking for just a servlet container, Resin is absolutly the way to go. Nicities abound- include level caching, solid connection pooling, and my personal favorite- Auto Servlet and class compliation. Resin really makes things that **should** be easy, easy. The config file is a breeze, running as an NT service is a breeze, classpath is a breeze, pretty much everything is a breeze. If Tomcat was more like Resin, server side java would rule the world.

Oh, and Resin is about 4x faster than Tomcat. See here []

Rightworks used to use Tomcat.... (2, Interesting)

andawyr (212118) | about 12 years ago | (#4103622) the catalog server. It wasn't serving up HTML per se:, but it was still used to run the application.

Since the catalog server was a major piece of the procurement software, it had to perform. If people can't populate their cart, then what's the point? This software was sold to various 'largish' companies without any complaint on the performance of the catalog....

I'm not sure what they're using now, since I bailed just before the .bomb meltdown...i2 bought the company, and we all know (!) where i2's stock price is - 0.71 yesterday. I'm not even sure if they're still selling the product, which would be a shame.

If the performance isn't good enough, throw a few caching proxies in front of the web servers. You may want to do that regardless of what web server software you run in the back end...

Perform a Tradestudy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4103623)

Choose your hardware baseline, your candidate systems, and setup up your requirements to simulate your production and use environment. Setup a realistic weighted scoring basis (what is important to you and what is not) to evaluate the outcome and present it. We thought Tomcat would be the way to go, but XYZ was selected because..... (or whatever the case may be.)

Do several quick prototype systems using and comparing the candidates.

Combining both (the trade and the prototypes), you can trade what you are able to analyze based on literature and other posted information, and prototype what specific aspects of your unique situation (plus get actual experience very quickly). You might also have actual users evaluate the prototypes against some standard criteria. Also, you will be able to look at the negative aspects of the candidates, problems with your requirements, and environments.

We just tossed out the division's internally written standard for COTS because the VP would not spend money supporting, maintaining, and extending the standard on a regular basis. An extensive trade study was the basis for the decision. It has been a year now and everyone is very happy with the outcome. We just bet (very carefully) a $100 million contract on its use a while back. The tradestudy took 5 weeks. However it drew extensively on other industry tradestudies and we relied very heavy on some university analysis who were subject matter experts. Very successful all the way around.

I also work in a large global institution (1)

bob_dinosaur (544930) | about 12 years ago | (#4103630)

The client software in my area is mostly windows based, but when it comes to anything remotely web related, we go for OSS software wherever it's available. For example, I'm doing a software release in a few weeks that will move a critical part of our infrastructure to Tomcat & Apache. For the record, the business area this supports makes something like $500m/year.

Wrt to Tomcat - it is the offical reference implementation for JSPs. It's free. Why use anything else?

Blogger (3, Informative)

mkelley (411060) | about 12 years ago | (#4103636)

I believe Blogger has moved from the ASP-based code that runs free Blogger to Jakarta & Tomcat....the Blogger API page [] is a plain Jakarta/Tomcat page. According to some of the comments Evan Williams made recently, about "moving away from ASP [] " and some of the discussion over at Blogroots [] point to it.

Web services (1)

viva_el_toro_rojo (549922) | about 12 years ago | (#4103637)

How interesting this came up on Slashdot... right now I am developing/tinkering with the web services pack for a project in development, which is using Tomcat for now as the application server. My Tomcat will host web services that will be largely consumed by other applications, but may provide some services to the web server (which is .NET/ASP). I just deployed my first "real" JAXM servlet yesterday (connects to database, does something useful, etc.), so too soon to tell how Tomcat performance will measure up. If I replace Tomcat, can I use the same WAR files on another application server? I thought all this was standards based... how portable are servlets in practice? I would expect to have to muck with the classpath, etc. if I replace Tomcat, but would prefer no servlet code changes! BTW I am running Tomcat 4 (JWSDP 1.0.01) on an UltraSPARC 420R with 2G memory (yeah, baby), will update ya'll on how it performs... -tr

How I introduced free software into my big company (3, Informative)

standards (461431) | about 12 years ago | (#4103640)

My former employer, a very large areospace company, was at one time very very much against any software that wasn't back by a "stable corporation".

The excuse was that if something went wrong, my company could sue the pants off the software provider. Of course, they almost never did that - instead, they just wouldn't pay the bills until the provider complied with company demands.

Enter terminal emulator software. The popular 3270 emulator cost about $500+ per desktop. And with 10,000's of desktops, that was... um, expensive. So I started my own little cost/benefit analysis. We could buy a shareware product for $5 per seat, and it was very robust and served 99+% of the users (except for mainframe sysadmins, of course!).

And the savings was amazing. We rolled out the product slowly. Everyone was happy. In the end, everyone used the product.

This one little step put us on the road towards purchasing more shareware. Soon afterwards, we did the same kind of argument with freeware - and won.

Conclusion: Start with something simple that you can back away from ... just in case it doesn't work out. Perform a cost/benefit analysis. Purchase a product if it's the right decision - don't let "free" blind you. Write white papers for management. Counter industry FUD "reports" ... as they're often BS that are easily attacked.

(off-topic) use Embperl and/or mod_perl (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4103643)

faster, more stable, easy to use and to install.

Production Tomcat (1)

TyrionEagle (458561) | about 12 years ago | (#4103644)

As with many other people on this list, we are using Tomcat exclusively, development, staging and production, for all our new projects.

We have a virtual press office tool that allows zip files of images to be uploaded and re-scaled to several sizes, using ImageMagick & JMagick, and we only have speed problems due to browser upload timeouts when our users upload huge zip files.

We have been using Tomcat/Jakarta for 18 months (1)

The_Ronin (202785) | about 12 years ago | (#4103646)

We began using Apache-Tomcat to replace SilverStream as our app server for awhile now. It works better, faster, and best of all... CHEAPER. At first, our developers were hesitant to switch but now they absolutely love it. Unfortunately, the Apache-Tomcat combo is the only thing stable that our dev guys do... one day they will write decent code.

Jetty in Production (0)

neilb78 (557698) | about 12 years ago | (#4103650)

We're running Jetty on an AS/400 in production. Startup times are slow, and I think we'd get much better preformance using a native language on this platform, but it works pretty well. It gets the job done.

mod_perl vs. Tomcat (1)

CyberLife (63954) | about 12 years ago | (#4103665)

I first got started with Servlets and JSPs back in the Apache JServ days before the specs had matured. At that time, things were rather klunky and needed significant work. I tried Tomcat a few months ago and was amazed at the vast improvement.

The first thing I noticed was the speed. Once compiled, servlets and JSPs ran noticeably faster than their mod_perl counterparts, on the same hardware. In addition, the structured development environment and cleanliness of Java (with respect to Perl) seriously streamlines the construction and rollout of apps.

The only thing I miss is CPAN. Perl has a vast archive of ready-made code libraries that do everything one could imagine. With Java, I was severely limited -- even having to roll-my-own UNIX-compatible MD5 password routines. However, given the improvement in overall development, I wouldn't switch back.

javaBeans vs EJBs (2)

spike666 (170947) | about 12 years ago | (#4103681)

the big question begging moving from a simple jsp/servlet engine like Tomcat/Jetty/Resin to a full blown J2EE app server like WebSphere/BEA/JBoss is Do you want to run EJBs?
i'm not an expert on EJBs by any means, and i'm trying to ask this same question of my own projects, but what i keep hearing is this: EJBs allow me to run much more scalable than servlet/javabeans.
i dont know what your prospective usage numbers are, but if they are large scale (aka site on the internet that loads of people will hit hard) then you want to use an EJB architecture because you will be able to scale up with lots of big servers. given that you are working on PCs, my guess is that this is not the case.

Also, i keep hearing that utilizing an EJB App Server will bring with it database connection architectures like Container Managed Persistance etc. BUT... there are some great examples of utilizing other data access patterns like Data Access Objects (see the jpetstore example [] )

i think it comes down to proper application architecture. make sure your applications have good design, and keep in mind scalability (especially with the data access bottleneck) and you should be ok.

oh yeah... in favor of tomcat ... Tomcat is used by IBM WebSphere to run all the jsp and servlets in webSphere, which in turn can then utilize the EJBs...

Answer to the question: Idiots! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4103687)

"Who is Using Tomcat or Jetty in Production?"

The same people that uses MySQL in production.

Tomcat in production (2)

Kintanon (65528) | about 12 years ago | (#4103691)

We're using Tomcat on servers here to replace PHP on Apache. Eventually we're going to phase out Apache and use just Tomcat. It works great except for one tiny thing for us, there's no equivelant to htaccess. Which makes setting up restricted parts of our website a tiny bit annoying. But once you get the hang of the xml config files it's pretty easy. As for robustness, one of the sites we run it on gets a few hundred thousand hits to the same 3 or 4 webapps. I think it's great. But I can't give out the company name.


tomcat is great (1)

Senjiro (143278) | about 12 years ago | (#4103694)

We use tomcat in an ASP hosting 30 clients, as well as ship it with our software license. All told we have over 50 clients using tomcat, each with user bases in the 100k's. Tomcat has been very stable, reliable, and efficient. However don't ever hope to understand anything from the docs: "fixme" is printed more than periods. The tomcat-users mailing list is an excellent resource when the docs fail you.

Just for the record... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4103697)

I honestly don't get why people are so hung up on Java on the server. This isn't intended as a flamebait, but mod_perl is a very fast, very stable and very powerful solution. There are tons of modules out there already on CPAN, and the stuff just ... works. True, you can write really bad code using Perl. Java tends to force you to do things a certain way, whereas Perl is more tolerant. But, if you know what you're doing, and know how to architect large systems, you can definitely write large systems using mod_perl. But everywhere I look these days people seem to mindlessly keep chanting "Java, Java, Java", particularly with relation to "enterprise". I know for a fact that there's nothing in the "enterprise" that is the sole domain of Java. It's just another language, but very successfully pushed by Sun. Sure, it works, and has a right to exist, and it'll get better. But I'm a little irritated that existing solutions such as mod_perl are relegated to the dustpile in many people's minds simply because of an outdated association with the slow cgi stuff.
Ok, you can mod me down now for "offtopic". Just thought I'd try to add another perspective...

We use it (1)

JediTrainer (314273) | about 12 years ago | (#4103703)

My company uses it (can't reveal name here - contact arozeluk at websoup period net directly and I can tell you)

We replaced our application, an ASP/COM deal that was horribly unstable, with two load-balanced front-end servers running RedHat Linux 7.2/Apache/Tomcat. This setup's been in place since last December.

Originally we started on Tomcat 3.2, then upgraded to 3.3. I'm in the middle of fixing up small things to make everything work correctly with Tomcat 4 (no major problems, just trying to take advantage of new features). But our production is still Tomcat 3.3 for the moment and it's been great!

If you can, go with Tomcat 4 right away. While I've found both to be stable, Tomcat 4 seems to be faster and also has built-in support for JNDI database connection pooling. Big plus.

Don't trust servlet reloading, though. I've had problems with it. Thus, no updates are made to our application during the day, which normally isn't a big deal. A quick FTP of new code at 2am, and a restart-by-crontab and the new code is loaded nightly.

Tomcat 4 also attempts to preserve sessions between restarts. This is neat, but in a load-balanced configuration won't work because the user will be transferred to another server, so their session would be lost. It takes quite long to shut down and restart Tomcat 4, but in my environment it hasn't mattered any.

I say go with it. It's been very stable for us, and if you email me I can give you further details about exactly what our app does.

Note that there's pages out there which describe how it might be possible to replicate sessions between servers. I suggest you investigate this before starting. Until now I haven't had the time, but I will be looking into it shortly as it would solve the problem of needing to restart the application during the day for me.

Sears (1)

Vladinator (29743) | about 12 years ago | (#4103706)

Sears uses them with wireless scanners for inventory control.

Resin is the best (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4103707)

Resin is the fastest server I know of. It's only $500, and the source is available. And capable of handling high loads.
Orion is nice, but not as fast as resin, and is $1000.

I think resin is the best choice. It's blazing fast and only 500 bucks. Start up in a second, and does have the dreaded classcastexception..

Also for development it's by far the best because you don't need to restart it when you change classes (orion and others throw the classcastexception, they have some classloader quirks).

I use resin in production and development.

Running on Intel machines? (2)

Brian Stretch (5304) | about 12 years ago | (#4103709)

Their position is that it will save them hardware costs to run on Intel machines instead of big IBM or Sun iron.

You mean AMD Athlon MP machines, right? :-)

I think another issue is which *version* you use (1)

DrLoveMD (52217) | about 12 years ago | (#4103715)

My company (a financial institution using tomcat 3 on AIX servers) is still using older versions of tomcat to serve up our jsp's. The main reason we use an older version is simple: tomcat can be a bitch to configure We've had tomcat 3 working for about two years, give or take, and migrating from 3 to 4 could be a potential nightmare (there are some groups who have already tried it inside the company and spent many a weekend in the office scratching their heads). While I will agree that tomcat is slower than Apache, there are tweaks that you can do to prevent the webserver from crashing and to speed things up a little bit. One such tweak is increasing the default memory allocation from whatever it is set at (i think 64MB) to 256MB(or whatever you see fit). Granted there are problems in doing this, too, but it does speed speed things up in most instances. Just make sure you have your stressball handy next time a nullPointerException rears its ugly head... :)

Re: Who is Using Tomcat or Jetty in Production? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4103720)

I've deployed a complete production setup using apache with mod_ssl as front-end and using apache 4.x in the backend with PostgreSQL 7.2.x all under linux.

first off, our production server software costs were 0. this is nice.

some folks may say apache, or tomcat or postgresql is slow. well, the vast swathes of cash you save on server licenses you can stick into decent hardware. in this case, our boxes are quad processor machines. slow? no, they are not. rock solid, very fast and easy to maintain.

so basically, if stuff runs slow then use a faster machine. works out cheaper. besides, i like tomcat a lot.
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