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

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.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

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.

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, WordPress.com, 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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