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Turning Nginx into a Full-fledged Web App Server
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What is OpenResty?

OpenResty (aka. ngx_openresty) is a full-fledged web application server by bundling the standard Nginx core, lots of 3rd-party Nginx modules, as well as most of their external dependencies.
OpenResty is a tool in the Web Servers category of a tech stack.
OpenResty is an open source tool with 8.8K GitHub stars and 1.2K GitHub forks. Here’s a link to OpenResty's open source repository on GitHub

Who uses OpenResty?

2043 companies reportedly use OpenResty in their tech stacks, including Shopify, Strava, and GrubHub.

76 developers on StackShare have stated that they use OpenResty.

OpenResty Integrations

Public Decisions about OpenResty

Here are some stack decisions, common use cases and reviews by companies and developers who chose OpenResty in their tech stack.

Chris McFadden
VP, Engineering at SparkPost · | 7 upvotes · 206.7K views
Shared insights

We use nginx and OpenResty as our API proxy running on EC2 for auth, caching, and some rate limiting for our dozens of microservices. Since OpenResty support embedded Lua we were able to write a custom access module that calls out to our authentication service with the resource, method, and access token. If that succeeds then critical account info is passed down to the underlying microservice. This proxy approach keeps all authentication and authorization in one place and provides a unified CX for our API users. Nginx is fast and cheap to run though we are always exploring alternatives that are also economical. What do you use?

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At Kong while building an internal tool, we struggled to route metrics to Prometheus and logs to Logstash without incurring too much latency in our metrics collection.

We replaced nginx with OpenResty on the edge of our tool which allowed us to use the lua-nginx-module to run Lua code that captures metrics and records telemetry data during every request’s log phase. Our code then pushes the metrics to a local aggregator process (written in Go) which in turn exposes them in Prometheus Exposition Format for consumption by Prometheus. This solution reduced the number of components we needed to maintain and is fast thanks to NGINX and LuaJIT.

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Shared insights

I use OpenResty because it combines a high-performance, battled-tested network/protocol handler, with the facilities to write both prototype- and production-grade code in a performant runtime. We can easily test complex and prove complex business logic in a highly-performant (on the scale of hundreds of thousands of requests per second) environment, without worrying about maintaining a lot of plumbing code.

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Blog Posts

OpenResty Alternatives & Comparisons

What are some alternatives to OpenResty?
The core software is built by hundreds of community volunteers, and when you’re ready for more there are thousands of plugins and themes available to transform your site into almost anything you can imagine. Over 60 million people have chosen WordPress to power the place on the web they call “home” — we’d love you to join the family.
Python is a general purpose programming language created by Guido Van Rossum. Python is most praised for its elegant syntax and readable code, if you are just beginning your programming career python suits you best.
Node.js uses an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model that makes it lightweight and efficient, perfect for data-intensive real-time applications that run across distributed devices.
nginx [engine x] is an HTTP and reverse proxy server, as well as a mail proxy server, written by Igor Sysoev. According to Netcraft nginx served or proxied 30.46% of the top million busiest sites in Jan 2018.
Kong is a scalable, open source API Layer (also known as an API Gateway, or API Middleware). Kong controls layer 4 and 7 traffic and is extended through Plugins, which provide extra functionality and services beyond the core platform.
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OpenResty's Followers
133 developers follow OpenResty to keep up with related blogs and decisions.