Latest NGNIX Web server release supports SPDY protocol

The new release of the commercial version of the popular NGINX Web server looks like it will bring great performance improvements.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

NGNIX, now the third most popular Web server, has just come out with a new commercial release, NGINX Plus Release 3, which promises greater speed than ever.


This open-source Web server has long been known for its great speed. Indeed, it's used by the most demanding Web services company of all, Netflix, for its video content starved users. NGINX also supports more than 20 percent of all Web sites and nearly 40 percent of the top 1,000 websites by traffic rank.

With this edition, "NGINX Plus [Release 3] builds a complementary application delivery solution on top of the NGINX open-source software technology, focusing on web application acceleration, content and application delivery, Layer 7 load balancing and request routing. Users benefit from reduced complexity of operations, additional features, certified builds and expert support."

Specifically, NGINX Plus, the new features allow you to:

  • Shape and control traffic to application servers for improved performance and reliability, particularly under unexpectedly-high traffic spikes;
  • Support dynamic DNS-based load balancing configuration;
  • Enable highly-available SPDY and WebSockets load balancing in conjunction with Amazon ELB, through support of the novel PROXY protocol

From where I sit, NGINX's SPDY (pronounced speedy) support is the best update. SPDY is Google's more efficient HTTP replacement. It's being considered for incorporation in the forthcoming HTTP 2.0 standard (PDF Link). It's currently supported by Google Chrome and Google's Web sites, Firefox, Twitter, and other Web services as a fundamentally faster way to deliver Web pages.

Looking ahead, these speed increases should help NGINX re-challenge Microsoft's IIS for second place in the Web server races.

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