Book Image

Nginx HTTP Server - Fourth Edition

By : Martin Bjerretoft Fjordvald, Clement Nedelcu
Book Image

Nginx HTTP Server - Fourth Edition

By: Martin Bjerretoft Fjordvald, Clement Nedelcu

Overview of this book

Nginx is a lightweight HTTP server designed for high-traffic websites, with network scalability as the primary objective. With the advent of high-speed internet access, short loading times and fast transfer rates have become a necessity. This book is a detailed guide to setting up Nginx in ways that correspond to actual production situations: as a standalone server, as a reverse proxy, interacting with applications via FastCGI, and more. In addition, this complete direct reference will be indispensable at all stages of the configuration and maintenance processes. This book mainly targets the most recent version of Nginx (1.13.2) and focuses on all the new additions and improvements, such as support for HTTP/2, improved dynamic modules, security enhancements, and support for multiple SSL certificates. This book is the perfect companion for both Nginx beginners and experienced administrators. For beginners, it will take you through the complete process of setting up this lightweight HTTP server on your system and configuring its various modules so that it does exactly what you need quickly and securely. For more experienced administrators, this book provides different approaches that can help you make the most of your current infrastructure. Nginx can be employed in many situations, whether you are looking to construct an entirely new web-serving architecture or simply want to integrate an efficient tool to optimize your site loading speeds.
Table of Contents (13 chapters)

Preface

It is a well-known fact that the web server market has a long-established leader: Apache. According to recent surveys, as of October 2015, almost 35 percent of the World Wide Web is served by this 20-year-old open source application. However, for the past few years, the same reports reveal the rise of a new competitor: Nginx, a lightweight HTTP server originating from Russia—pronounced engine X. There have been many questions surrounding this young web server. What is the reason causing so many server administrators to switch to Nginx since the beginning of year 2009? Is this tiny piece of software mature enough to run my high-traffic website? To begin with, Nginx is not as young as one might think. Originally started in 2002, the project was first carried out by a standalone developer, Igor Sysoev, for the needs of an extremely high-traffic Russian website, namely Rambler, which received as of September 2008 over 500 million HTTP requests per day. The application is now used to serve some of the most popular websites on the web, such as Reddit, Wikipedia, WordPress, Dropbox, and many more. Nginx has proven to be a very efficient, lightweight yet powerful web server. Throughout this book, you will discover many features of Nginx and progressively understand why so many administrators have decided to place their trust in this new HTTP server, often at the expense of Apache.

There are many aspects in which Nginx is more efficient than its competitors, first and foremost, speed: making use of asynchronous sockets, Nginx does not spawn processes as many times as it receives requests. One process per core suffices to handle thousands of connections, allowing a much lighter CPU load and memory consumption. Second, ease of use: configuration files are much simpler to read and tweak than with other web server solutions, such as Apache. A couple of lines are enough to set up a complete virtual host configuration. Last but not least, modularity: not only is Nginx a completely open source project released under a BSD-like license, but it also comes with a powerful plug-in system—referred to as modules. A large variety of modules are included with the original distribution archive, and many third-party ones can be downloaded online. All in all, Nginx combines speed, efficiency, and power, providing you the perfect ingredients for a successful web server; it appears to be the best Apache alternative as of today.