Nginx, the popular open-source Web server, goes commercial

Nginx, the popular open-source Web server, goes commercial

Summary: Following in the footsteps of open-source companies like Red Hat and SUSE, Nginx's developers are offering a commercial version of its flagship open-source program, the popular Nginx Web server.


Anyone who pays any attention to Web servers knows that Apache is the most popular Web server. What only professional Web developers and administrators know is that Nginix, a high-performance, open-source Web server, is battling with Microsoft's Internet Information Services (IIS) for second place.

Nginx Logo

Now, in order to leapfrog IIS and claim the No. 2 spot for itself, Nginx (pronounced Engine-X) has announced the availability of Nginx Plus, a fully supported version of the server program. This new version comes not only with professional support services, which have been available since February 2012, but with additional features. The commercial version has been developed and supported by Nginx's core engineering team and is available on a subscription basis starting at $1,350 per instance per year.

“There has been immense interest in a commercial version of our open source software for customers that require enterprise oriented features and services,” said Gus Robertson, CEO of Nginx. “The launch of Nginx Plus provides businesses with precisely all the innovation of our open-source product paired with advanced features and services that deliver greater agility and reduce complexity for our customers.” Robertson concluded, "It's all the things that people know and love about Nginx plus additional features and support."

According to the company, "As business requirements continue to evolve rapidly, such as the shift to mobile and the explosion of dynamic content on the Web, CIOs are continuously looking for opportunities to increase application performance and development agility, while reducing dependencies on their infrastructure. Nginx Plus provides a flexible, scalable, uniformly applicable solution that was purpose-built for these modern, distributed application architectures.

Specifically Nginx Plus will offer Web application health checking, commercial-grade activity monitoring, advanced load balancing, dynamic reconfiguration, extended logging capabilities, high availability, and adaptive media streaming. The advanced Web server has been tested and certified for use in production on Amazon Web Services' Linux instances, Red Hat, CentOS, Ubuntu, and Debian.

The new product is likely to find customers. According to the August Netcraft survey, Nginx has 14.55-percent of the total Web market, with more than 100-million active Web sites. Of the top million sites, Netcraft shows that, with 136,815 sites, Nginix is the second most popular Web server with 14.89-percent of the world's busiest Web sites.

The company claims that Nginx is the most used Web server among the world’s top 1,000 busiest sites. The business also asserts that it powers 35-percent of the world’s top 10,000 busiest sites, and 44-percent of the sites on Amazon AWS. Among Nginx's current users are such Web powerhouses as Netflix, Dropbox, Pinterest, Airbnb,, Box, Instagram, GitHub, SoundCloud, Yandex, and Zappos.

In short, there's more than enough of a customer base for Nginix, the company, to have every expectation for the commercial version of Nginx, the open-source Web server, to be a rousing success.

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Topics: Servers, Enterprise Software, Networking, Open Source, Web development

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    It's the name of the server Nginx or NGIИХ?
    • Nginx is the server

      NGIИХ is the logo.
  • Nginx, the popular open-source Web server, goes commercial

    Kudos Nginx.
    • Kudos indeed

      Nginx continues to provide the free as in $0 version of NGINX at
  • Kudos to Nginx

    By raising your price from $0 to over $1000, you are sure to surpass IIS now.

    Boy, and they said that MS's recent price increases were big.

    • No raise

      They haven't "raised" their price, the normal version is still the same, nothing axed. They have just made a way for themselves to make money.

      They are ( and have been ) doing a great job making such a high-performance webserver, they deserve to make some money from it, don't they?
    • Re: you are sure to surpass IIS now

      Guess who has already knocked IIS into third place?
      • NginX

        Kudos NginX for providing another alternatives for webserver. NginX is one of the fastest webserver around !

        Kudos NginX for knocking MS IIS off the third place
  • Nginx Plus is fully supported on Amazon Linux

    According to its news release:

    Steven, why haven't you written an article on Amazon's Amazon Linux AMI distro which is based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux? According to Wikipedia, it's been in development since 2010 and in production since 2011:

    Looks like Oracle, with its Oracle Enterprise Linux, isn't the only corporation trying to make money off of Red Hat's RHEL source code.
    Rabid Howler Monkey
    • P.S. Former ZDNet blogger Dana Blankenhorn wrote it up in Sepetember, 2010
      Rabid Howler Monkey
  • This is about a "proprietary" not a "commmercial" edition.

    Open source software is "commercial", by definition, and it's common for open source software's authors sell support services -- or, for that matter, for anyone who has the expertise to sell support services for a given piece of open source software.

    What this article is about is a *proprietary* version of nginx, and an apparently simultaneous decision on the part of prominent nginx developers to sell support services for the new proprietary version. They're certainly free to do so, but that's no reason for us to mix up the commerciality of the support offering with the proprietariness of the code being supported. What's really going on here is: "open source nginx gets a proprietary fork, which in turn is focus of a new commercial support offering".

    You don't have to go proprietary to "go commercial" -- as the Linux kernel and Wordpress (to pick but two examples) show -- so it's useful to distinguish between the two.

    • Right words helps us to understand better

      Echoing your thoughts, Karl.
  • I hope they don't abandon the open-source version

    Ngynx is great, but $1350 per instance per year is not business viable for startups. I'd rather go back to Apache.
  • Commercial open source model growing rapidly

    It is interesting to see them also go commercial open source. We are seeing this across the spectrum of companies and it benefits the community and also professional business. In ERP @xTuple is growing rapidly in Project Management @ProjectLibre will be doing the same. It is great to see the commercial open source ecosystem grow!
  • Need Support for NGINX

    Hello experts. would you be interested in offering remote services on NGINX to our customer. Please let me know using