Apache HTTP is an open-source web server developed and maintained by Apache Software Foundation. Known for its fast, secured, reliable, and free service, Apache server runs on 67% of all web servers in the World Wide Web, and by far, the most popular web server today.
But before moving to our main topic, first, we must know what is a web server.
A web server, according to Wikipedia, refers to server software, or hardware dedicated to running said software, that can serve contents to the World Wide Web. A web server processes incoming network requests over the HTTP protocol (and several other related protocols). In Layman’s terms, web server enables users to set foot on the World Wide Web, serves requested contents, and ensures online accessibility.
In this article, I will briefly talk about the Apache server and its alternatives including their features and the history behind each of them.
Apache HTTP, or also called Apache Server, is the most popular and used a web server in the world. It first launched in 1995, running on a Linux operating system. But it can also be deployed on Windows and OS X. Apache Server boasts itself in overall popularity among its competitors. Apache is developed and maintained by an open community of developers, which means it is open source, under the authority of the Apache Software Foundation. You can download Apache Software for free.
So now we’ve learned the nature of Apache Server, what are some good web server alternatives of it? Well, continue reading to know more about them.
Nginx is a web server with the goal to outperform Apache. It can also be used as a reverse proxy, load balancer, mail proxy, and HTTP cache. The software was created by Igor Sysoev back in 2002 and first publicly released in 2004. Nginx can run on Linux, Windows, OS X, and BSD. Nginx can handle better load per second than Apache but at the cost of decreased flexibility of use. In addition, Nginx is open-source software and can be downloaded for free.
Lighttpd is a free open-source web server for speed while still maintaining standards-compliant, secure and flexible. It runs on OS X, Windows, and Linux systems. It is the creation of Jan Kneschke and has since been running from March 2003. Furthermore, a number of high-traffic websites are using it – among them are Bloglines and xkcd. And Lighttpd is free-to-download.
Apache Tomcat also referred to as Tomcat Server, is open-source downloadable software. An open community of web developers is maintaining the Tomcat. Apache Software Foundation founded it in 1999. Tomcat has been of use in several Java EE specifications including Java Servlet, JavaServer Pages (JSP), Java EL, and WebSocket, and offers a Java web server environment in which Java codes can run on. One of its features is its high availability, high-load handling, and web environment support. It is continually implementing additional features.
There you have it! That is what you have to know about the web server, Apache Server, and its alternatives: Nginx, Lighttpd, Tomcat Server, and Node.js.
Having to know this basic information, you can now research more to expand your fountain of knowledge and apply it to your own purposes.
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