Nginx (pronounced "engine X", // EN-jin-EKS) (stylized as NGINX or nginx or NginX) is a web server which can also be used as a reverse proxy, load balancer, mail proxy and HTTP cache. The software was created by Igor Sysoev and first publicly released in 2004. A company of the same name was founded in 2011 to provide support and Nginx plus paid software.
|Original author(s)||Igor Sysoev|
|Initial release||4 October 2004|
|Stable release||1.16.1 (13 August 2019 ) [±]|
|Preview release||1.17.6 (19 November 2019 ) [±]|
|Operating system||BSD variants, HP-UX, IBM AIX, Linux, macOS, Solaris, Windows, and other *nix flavors|
|Type||Web server, reverse/mail proxy server|
In March 2019, the Nginx company was acquired by F5 Networks for $670 million.
As of August 2019, Netcraft estimated Nginx served 32 percent of all active websites ranked, ranking it first just above Apache at 29 percent.
According to Netcraft's November 2016 Web Server Survey, Nginx was found to be the second-most widely used web server across all "active" sites (18 percent of surveyed sites) and for the top million busiest sites (28 percent of surveyed sites). According to W3Techs, it was used by 38 percent of the top 1 million websites, 50 percent of the top 100,000 websites, and by 57 percent of the top 10,000 websites. According to BuiltWith, it is used on 38 percent of the top 10,000 websites, and its growth within the top 10k, 100k and 1 million segments increased. A 2018 survey of Docker usage found that Nginx was the most commonly deployed technology in Docker containers. Wikipedia uses Nginx as its SSL termination proxy. In OpenBSD version 5.2 (November 2012), Nginx became part of the OpenBSD base system, providing an alternative to the system's fork of Apache 1.3, which it was intended to replace, but later in version 5.6 (November 2014) it was removed in favor of Apache with OpenBSD's own httpd(8).
Nginx can be deployed to serve dynamic HTTP content on the network using FastCGI, SCGI handlers for scripts, WSGI application servers or Phusion Passenger modules, and it can serve as a software load balancer.
HTTP proxy and Web server features
- Ability to handle more than 10,000 simultaneous connections with a low memory footprint (~2.5 MB per 10k inactive HTTP keep-alive connections)
- Handling of static files, index files and auto-indexing
- Reverse proxy with caching
- Load balancing with in-band health checks
- TLS/SSL with SNI and OCSP stapling support, via OpenSSL
- FastCGI, SCGI, uWSGI support with caching
- gRPC support since March 2018, version 1.13.10.
- Name- and IP address-based virtual servers
- WebSockets since 1.3.13, including acting as a reverse proxy and do load balancing of WebSocket applications.
- HTTP/1.1 Upgrade (101 Switching Protocols), HTTP/2 protocol support
- URL rewriting and redirection
Mail proxy features
- TLS/SSL support
- STARTTLS support
- SMTP, POP3, and IMAP proxy
- Requires Authentication using an external HTTP server or by an authentication script
Nginx vs Nginx Plus
There are two versions of Nginx: OSS Nginx and Nginx Plus. Nginx Plus offers additional features not included in OSS Nginx, such as active health checks, session persistence based on cookies, DNS-service-discovery integration, Cache Purging API, AppDynamic, Datalog, Dynatrace New Relic plug-ins, Active-Active HA with config sync, Key-Value Store, on-the-fly with zero downtime updates upstream configurations, and key‑value stores using Nginx Plus API and web application firewall (WAF) dynamic module.
Nginx vs Apache
Nginx was written with an explicit goal of outperforming the Apache web server. Out of the box, serving static files, Nginx uses much less memory than Apache, and can handle roughly four times as many requests per second. However, this performance boost comes at a cost of decreased flexibility, such as the ability to override systemwide access settings on a per-file basis (Apache accomplishes this with an .htaccess file, while Nginx has no such feature built in).
Nginx also has a reputation of being harder to install and configure than Apache. Formerly, adding third-party modules to Nginx required recompiling the application from source with the modules statically linked. This was partially overcome in version 1.9.11 on February 2016, with the addition of dynamic module loading. However, the modules still must be compiled at the same time as Nginx, and not all modules are compatible with this system; some require the older static linking process.
|Gus Robertson (CEO), Igor Sysoev (CTO)|
|Products||Nginx web server, nginx amplify saas, nginx controller, nginx unix and nginx web application firewall|
Igor Sysoev began development of Nginx in 2002. Originally, Nginx was developed to solve the C10k problem, and to fill the needs of multiple websites including the Rambler search engine and portal, for which it was serving 500 million requests per day by September 2008.
The company announced commercial support options for companies using Nginx in production. Nginx offered commercial support in February 2012, and paid Nginx Plus subscription in August 2013.Support packages focus on installation, configuration, performance improvement, etc. Support includes proactive notifications about major changes, security patches, updates and patches.
In October 2013, Nginx, Inc. raised a $10 million series B investment round led by New Enterprise Associates. That round included previous investors, as well as Aaron Levie, CEO and founder of Box.com. In December 2014, Nginx raised a $20 million series B1 round led by New Enterprise Associates, with participation from e.ventures (formerly BV Capital), Runa Capital, Index Ventures and Nginx's own CEO Gus Robertson.
In June 2018, Nginx, Inc. raised $43 million in Series C Funding in a round led by Goldman Sachs "to Accelerate Application Modernization and Digital Transformation for Enterprises".
On 11 March 2019, F5 Networks acquired Nginx, Inc. for US$670 million.
On 12 December 2019, it was reported that the Moscow offices of Nginx Inc. had been raided by police, and that Sysoev and Konovalov had been detained. The raid was conducted under a search warrant connected to a copyright claim over Nginx by Rambler—which asserts that it owns all rights to the code because it was written while he was an employee of the company.
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