Apache vs. nginx

Paul Schmehl pschmehl_lists at tx.rr.com
Tue Jul 17 19:26:30 UTC 2012

Thanks, Chuck.  That's very useful input.

--On July 17, 2012 10:40:30 AM -0700 Chuck Swiger <cswiger at mac.com> wrote:

> On Jul 17, 2012, at 7:40 AM, Paul Schmehl wrote:
>> I'm the admin for a small hobby website (Stovebolt.com - about 7 million
>> hits/mo).  We're fixin to buy a new server, and since I have to start
>> from scratch (install FreeBSD and all the needed ports), I'm wondering
>> if anyone on this list has switched from Apache to nginx.
>> If you have, what has your experience been like?  Was the change
>> relatively easy?  (I'm not intimidated by technical details.  I've been
>> running FreeBSD on these servers for about 12 years now.)  Was the
>> performance better?  (We've not been having any problems with Apache to
>> this point.) Is there sufficient support from addon apps to run a site
>> with a php-driven forum?
> I've compared them; since I know Apache...rather well, switching to nginx
> didn't strike me as a useful change at any of the sites for which I've
> setup or managed their webservers.  You have to invoke external scripts
> like a PHP forum via FastCGI (what nginx calls ngx_http_fastcgi_module);
> using and tuning FastCGI separately from the webserver itself definitely
> has some advantages, but those same advantages can be obtained in Apache
> by using mod_fcgi instead of using mod_php directly.
> Apache is bulkier per process than nginx but has more modules and config
> options available for it; nginx seems to have been tuned more for server
> farms hosting a lot of low-volume vanity domains, so it has minimal
> overhead, implements IP-based and name-based virtual hosting eloquently,
> implements bandwidth rate controls as a core functionality, etc.
> I cannot recall encountering a circumstance where the base performance of
> the webserver itself turned out to be the primary criterion for "website
> performance"; sites are almost always constrained by bandwidth and/or the
> performance of the dynamic scripts, database backend, etc-- and not by
> the webserver's ability to serve static resources.
> Regards,

Paul Schmehl, Senior Infosec Analyst
As if it wasn't already obvious, my opinions
are my own and not those of my employer.
"It is as useless to argue with those who have
renounced the use of reason as to administer
medication to the dead." Thomas Jefferson
"There are some ideas so wrong that only a very
intelligent person could believe in them." George Orwell

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