Apache 2.4: enhanced MPMs and cache handling; a bid to halt Nginx gains
After over half a decade Apache Software Foundation comes to realize that its reign as world’s number one web server is now threatened by a smart competitor, the Nginx.
Nginx has outshined Microsoft’s IIS web server in terms of latest deployments, according to Netcraft, it is the only web server that gained market share through January to February at the expense of Apache and IIS. If such trend is to continue, Nginx could easily takeover Apache in few years.
Apache Software Foundation isn’t sitting idle either, in its bid to retain its market share and to puncture Nginx growth Apache introduced much more powerful Multi-Processing Modules (MPMs); MPMs can now perform asynchronous I/O operations that result in handling significantly more requests simultaneously while using less memory. MPMs can be configured in two different ways; for fast response Prefork MPM is better on the other hand Event MPM is great for high concurrency environment.
Another remarkable improvement is being done in cache module, server administrators can now use mod_cache as a replacement for Varnish (a popular front end cache server) and load balancing and session handling features have also been revamped. If someone wants single piece of software to handle web front-end as well as the caching layer for a huge traffic site, Apache 2.4 could be the way.
However, independent benchmarks still favor Nginx; it still leads in performance and scalability while consuming lesser memory than Apache 2.4. There is no doubt that Apache 2.4 is much powerful product than its predecessor 2.2, but more efforts are required to make it as efficient as Nginx.