Apache Releases First Major New Version of Popular Web Server in Six Years

Apache has just released its first major new version of its web server in six years.

Apache has just released its first major new version of its web server in six years.

The Apache Software Foundation has just announced the release of version 2.4 of its Apache HTTP Server. This is the first major release of the Apache web server in over six years. Long before the version of Apache 2.2 on December 1, 2005 however, Apache was already the most popular web server in the world. Today Apache powers nearly 400 million websites.

“It is with great pleasure that we announce the availability of Apache HTTP Server 2.4,” Eric Covener, vice president of the Apache HTTP Server project said in a statement. “This release offers a host of scalable improvements across the server that our users, administrators and developers will appreciate. We have added many new modules in this release, as well as expanded the capacity and flexibility of existing features.

The Foundation claims that there are many improvements that make Apache HTTP Server v2.4 ideally suited for cloud environments. These include:

    • Improved performance (lower resource usage and better concurrency) • Reduced memory usage • Asynchronous I / O support • Dynamic reverse proxy configuration • Equal or better performance than pure event web servers • Timeout and more granular capacity / rate limiting • Support for finer caching, suitable for high traffic servers and proxies.

Additional Apache 2.4 Features include easier problem analysis, improved configuration flexibility, more powerful authentication and authorization, and a redesign of documentation.

It is this first point, improved performance, that most users have been waiting for. While Apache remained very popular, many users wanted a faster web server.

This update was long overdue, but it couldn’t be better for Apache. These last months NGINX, a low-latency, high-performance web server, flew over Microsoft’s Internet Information Server (IIS) to become the world’s second-largest web server. While it seems unlikely that NGINX will be able to surpass Apache’s dominant lead, NGINX has recently started offering commercial support and its popularity has grown in popularity compared to Apache and IIS in recent months.

Related stories:

Commercial support now available for NGINX open source web server

Apache’s Hadoop Cloud Computing Framework Reaches Status 1.0

Winners and losers of open source enterprise software

NGINX takes 2nd place in Microsoft IIS web servers

Apache and IIS’s Web Server Rival NGINX Grows Rapidly

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