/Why Nginx has become the most popular web server

Why Nginx has become the most popular web server

Data released by W3 in November showed that Nginx ranked first in the global web server market share of 33.0%, while Apache ranked second with 31.6%. Nginx is a widely used open source web server software initiated by Igor Sysoev in 2002 and officially released in October 2004. It was originally created to solve the problem of C10k, which is defined as the challenge of managing ten thousand connections simultaneously.

Introduction to Nginx

Nginx is now part of F5 Networks, which was completed by F5 in 2019 to help them grow from a hardware company to a more service-centric company.

Initially, Nginx was only used for HTTP network services. To date, Nginx has also served as a reverse proxy, HTTP load balancer, media streaming, and email proxy for IAMAP, POP3, and SMTP. Nginx has long been one of the preferred web servers for handling high-traffic websites because of its ability to handle a large number of connections at breakneck speeds.

Advantages of Nginx

Nginx can effectively scale to web servers and reverse proxies. It does not allow processes to be assigned to specific connections, but creates a pool of processes that can be easily shared among multiple connections within a network. Whenever a request is made, a process is allocated resources, improving resource utilization and making it easy to handle a large number of connections.

  • Nginx uses fewer resources than Apache, supports more concurrent connections, and demonstrates greater efficiency, which makes Nginx especially popular with web hosting providers. Capable of supporting 50,000 concurrent connections, Nginx chose epoll as its development model.
  • As a load balancing server, Nginx can either support Rails and PHP directly internally, or it can support external services as an HTTP proxy server. Nginx is written in C, and is much more efficient than Perlbal in terms of both system resource overhead and CPU usage.
  • As a mail proxy server, Nginx is also a very good mail proxy server (one of the purposes of the first development of this product was also to serve as a mail proxy server), Last.fm describes a successful and wonderful experience.
  • Nginx installation is very simple, the configuration file is very concise (also supports perl syntax)
  • Very few servers with bugs
  • Nginx is particularly easy to start, and it can run almost 7*24 uninterrupted, even if it runs for several months without restarting.
  • ability to upgrade software versions in the case of uninterrupted service.
  • the code base written is more consistent than other alternatives.
  • It provides a friendly configuration format and has a more modern design than any other web server alternative.
  • event-based, allowing you to handle multiple connections without incurring overhead due to context switching.
  • Nginx uses less memory and resources.
  • Nginx has good compatibility with common web applications such as ruby, python, Joomla, etc.
  • it’s easy to convert dynamic content to static content.

Advantages of Nginx over Apache

  • Provides only a single entry point – In a containerized environment, containers can be deployed or destroyed when needed, but a single entry point that gives users access to services is a better approach. Nginx offers a better solution, so you can use Nginx servers at will, with a stable public IP address to load balance and route traffic. The Nginx server gets the user’s request and forwards it to the appropriate container.
  • Caching – The Nginx server provides caching for both static and dynamic content, improving performance by routing each data request to the microservice that generated it. Reduce back-end infrastructure load by implementing micro-caching to cache data in a short period of time, so that applications are isolated for smooth operation during periods of high traffic without the need to scale resources again.
  • Offering multiple back-end applications – Nginx clusters are favored by many cloud providers because they can more efficiently manage traffic for a variety of applications. Nginx servers are used to proxy incoming traffic to individual HTTP endpoints that route each request to the appropriate service and also allow rules to be updated without downtime.
  • A/B testing – Nginx comes with A/B testing capabilities to help launch microservices applications faster. With Nginx, it’s easy to distribute incoming traffic across multiple destinations. Whenever a new microservice is deployed, traffic can be split and a subset of users can be routed to this application, and traffic can be monitored and KPIs measured to feel the difference between the two versions in handling live traffic.
  • Merge logs – Nginx comes with a standard HTTP log format that allows full web traffic to be recorded on the Nginx front end instead of creating a separate log for each microservice traffic. With Nginx, you can reduce the complexity of creating and maintaining access logs.
  • Scalability and Fault Tolerance – Nginx’s load balancing, health checking capabilities allow the back-end infrastructure to be scaled so that adding or removing any microservices does not impact the user experience. If you want to deploy more microservices, simply notify the Nginx server that a new instance has been added to the load balancing pool. If an instance fails, Nginx does not route traffic to the instance until it recovers.
  • Zero Downtime – Nginx ensures maximum network server operation, even seamlessly updates or upgrades system software without disrupting connectivity, and avoids any application downtime.
  • Mitigating DoS attacks – Nginx is known for handling large volumes of incoming requests or HTTP traffic, securing applications during periods of high traffic, caching responses generically, and smoothly passing requests, Nginx also acts as a shock absorber for applications, and also controls traffic to protect vulnerable APIs and URLs from overloading requests. These avoid server overload by applying concurrent throttling and queuing requests.

Disadvantages of Nginx compared to Apache

  • There was less community support than Apache, but there are now more cases than Apache.
  • Compared to Apache, fewer modules and extensions are available.
  • Because of these two points, many applications still prefer Apache.


In most cases, Nginx’s overall resource footprint is also smaller than Apache or other popular web servers. It takes up less storage space and consumes less memory. For these reasons, Nginx can help users save money because it works well on lower-configured servers. (This is not to say that any web server needs truly high-end hardware.) However, NGINX tends to do better than Apache because of its lower resource consumption, and it can handle a large number of connections even when running on cheaper hardware. )