HAProxy vs NGINX

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HAProxy

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1.8K
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NGINX

88.6K
39.5K
+ 1
5.5K
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HAProxy vs nginx: What are the differences?

Developers describe HAProxy as "The Reliable, High Performance TCP/HTTP Load Balancer". HAProxy (High Availability Proxy) is a free, very fast and reliable solution offering high availability, load balancing, and proxying for TCP and HTTP-based applications. On the other hand, nginx is detailed as "A high performance free open source web server powering busiest sites on the Internet". 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.

HAProxy belongs to "Load Balancer / Reverse Proxy" category of the tech stack, while nginx can be primarily classified under "Web Servers".

"Load balancer", "High performance" and "Very fast" are the key factors why developers consider HAProxy; whereas "High-performance http server", "Performance" and "Easy to configure" are the primary reasons why nginx is favored.

nginx is an open source tool with 9K GitHub stars and 3.41K GitHub forks. Here's a link to nginx's open source repository on GitHub.

According to the StackShare community, nginx has a broader approval, being mentioned in 8631 company stacks & 2495 developers stacks; compared to HAProxy, which is listed in 452 company stacks and 205 developer stacks.

Advice on HAProxy and NGINX

I am diving into web development, both front and back end. I feel comfortable with administration, scripting and moderate coding in bash, Python and C++, but I am also a Windows fan (i love inner conflict). What are the votes on web servers? IIS is expensive and restrictive (has Windows adoption of open source changed this?) Apache has the history but seems to be at the root of most of my Infosec issues, and I know nothing about nginx (is it too new to rely on?). And no, I don't know what I want to do on the web explicitly, but hosting and data storage (both cloud and tape) are possibilities. Ready, aim fire!

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Replies (1)
Simon Aronsson
Developer Advocate at k6 / Load Impact · | 3 upvotes · 146.2K views
Recommends
NGINX

I would pick nginx over both IIS and Apace HTTP Server any day. Combine it with docker, and as you grow maybe even traefik, and you'll have a really flexible solution for serving http content where you can take sites and projects up and down without effort, easily move it between systems and dont have to handle any dependencies on your actual local machine.

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Needs advice
on
Apache HTTP Server
and
NGINX

From a StackShare Community member: "We are a LAMP shop currently focused on improving web performance for our customers. We have made many front-end optimizations and now we are considering replacing Apache with nginx. I was wondering if others saw a noticeable performance gain or any other benefits by switching."

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Replies (3)
Recommends
NGINX

I use nginx because it is very light weight. Where Apache tries to include everything in the web server, nginx opts to have external programs/facilities take care of that so the web server can focus on efficiently serving web pages. While this can seem inefficient, it limits the number of new bugs found in the web server, which is the element that faces the client most directly.

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Leandro Barral
Recommends
NGINX

I use nginx because its more flexible and easy to configure

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Christian Cwienk
Software Developer at SAP · | 1 upvotes · 139K views

I use Apache HTTP Server because it's intuitive, comprehensive, well-documented, and just works

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Pros of HAProxy
Pros of NGINX
  • 130
    Load balancer
  • 100
    High performance
  • 68
    Very fast
  • 56
    Proxying for tcp and http
  • 55
    SSL termination
  • 30
    Open source
  • 27
    Reliable
  • 20
    Free
  • 18
    Well-Documented
  • 12
    Very popular
  • 7
    Runs health checks on backends
  • 7
    Suited for very high traffic web sites
  • 6
    Scalable
  • 5
    Ready to Docker
  • 4
    Powers many world's most visited sites
  • 2
    Work with NTLM
  • 2
    Ssl offloading
  • 2
    Simple
  • 1.5K
    High-performance http server
  • 899
    Performance
  • 730
    Easy to configure
  • 606
    Open source
  • 529
    Load balancer
  • 286
    Scalability
  • 285
    Free
  • 222
    Web server
  • 174
    Simplicity
  • 133
    Easy setup
  • 29
    Content caching
  • 19
    Web Accelerator
  • 14
    Capability
  • 13
    Fast
  • 11
    Predictability
  • 10
    High-latency
  • 6
    Reverse Proxy
  • 6
    Fast and lightweight
  • 6
    Supports http/2
  • 4
    The best of them
  • 4
    Lots of Modules
  • 4
    Great Community
  • 4
    Enterprise version
  • 3
    Embedded Lua scripting
  • 3
    Reversy Proxy
  • 3
    Streaming media delivery
  • 3
    Streaming media
  • 3
    High perfomance proxy server
  • 2
    Lightweight
  • 2
    saltstack
  • 2
    Fast and easy to set up
  • 2
    Slim
  • 1
    GRPC-Web
  • 1
    Narrow focus. Easy to configure. Fast
  • 1
    Ingress controller
  • 1
    Along with Redis Cache its the Most superior
  • 1
    Virtual hosting
  • 0
    A

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Cons of HAProxy
Cons of NGINX
  • 3
    Becomes your single point of failure
  • 7
    Advanced features require subscription

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- No public GitHub repository available -

What is HAProxy?

HAProxy (High Availability Proxy) is a free, very fast and reliable solution offering high availability, load balancing, and proxying for TCP and HTTP-based applications.

What is NGINX?

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.

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What are some alternatives to HAProxy and NGINX?
Traefik
A modern HTTP reverse proxy and load balancer that makes deploying microservices easy. Traefik integrates with your existing infrastructure components and configures itself automatically and dynamically.
Envoy
Originally built at Lyft, Envoy is a high performance C++ distributed proxy designed for single services and applications, as well as a communication bus and “universal data plane” designed for large microservice “service mesh” architectures.
Squid
Squid reduces bandwidth and improves response times by caching and reusing frequently-requested web pages. Squid has extensive access controls and makes a great server accelerator. It runs on most available operating systems, including Windows and is licensed under the GNU GPL.
Varnish
Varnish Cache is a web application accelerator also known as a caching HTTP reverse proxy. You install it in front of any server that speaks HTTP and configure it to cache the contents. Varnish Cache is really, really fast. It typically speeds up delivery with a factor of 300 - 1000x, depending on your architecture.
Pound
Pound was developed to enable distributing the load among several Web-servers and to allow for a convenient SSL wrapper for those Web servers that do not offer it natively.
See all alternatives
How developers use HAProxy and NGINX
MaxCDN uses
NGINX

The original API performed a synchronous Nginx reload after provisioning a zone, which often took up to 30 seconds or longer. While important, this step shouldn’t block the response to the user (or API) that a new zone has been created, or block subsequent requests to adjust the zone. With the new API, an independent worker reloads Nginx configurations based on zone modifications.It’s like ordering a product online: don’t pause the purchase process until the product’s been shipped. Say the order has been created, and you can still cancel or modify shipping information. Meanwhile, the remaining steps are being handled behind the scenes. In our case, the zone provision happens instantly, and you can see the result in your control panel or API. Behind the scenes, the zone will be serving traffic within a minute.

Cloudcraft uses
NGINX

Nginx serves as the loadbalancer, router and SSL terminator of cloudcraft.co. As one of our app server nodes is spun up, an Ansible orchestration script adds the new node dynamically to the nginx loadbalancer config which is then reloaded for a zero downtime seamless rolling deployment. By putting nginx in front or whatever web and API servers you might have, you gain a ton of flexibility. While previously I've cobbled together HAProxy and Stun as a poor man's loadbalancer, nginx just does a much better job and is far simpler in the long run.

datapile uses
NGINX

Used nginx as exactly what it is great for: serving static content in a cache-friendly, load balanced manner.

It is exclusively for production web page hosting, we don't use nginx internally, only on the public-facing versions of static sites / Angular & Backbone/Marionette applications.

SIA Monkey See Monkey Do uses
NGINX

We use NGINX both as reverse HTTP proxy and also as a SMTP proxy, to handle incoming email.

We previously handled incoming email with Mandrill, and then later with AWS SES. Handling incoming email yourself is not that much more difficult and saves quite a bit on operational costs.

Trello uses
HAProxy

We use HAProxy to load balance between our webservers. It balances TCP between the machines round robin and leaves everything else to Node.js, leaving the connections open with a reasonably long time to live to support WebSockets and re-use of a TCP connection for AJAX polling.

Wirkn Inc. uses
NGINX

NGINX sits in front of all of our web servers. It is fantastic at load balancing traffic as well as serving as a cache at times when under massive load. It's a robust tool that we're happy to have at the front lines of all Wirkn web apps.

The Independent uses
HAProxy

HAProxy manages internal and origin load balancing using KeepaliveD. Two small servers host the entire site, never moving about 15% load even during the largest load spikes.

Equinix-metal uses
HAProxy

We use HAProxy to balance traffic at various points in our stack, includgin nginx nodes on different physical machines, and api nodes on the backend.

ssshake uses
HAProxy

I use HAproxy primarily for application routing and SSL termination. I also use its logs and statistics to visualize incoming traffic in Kibana.

Clarabridge Engage uses
HAProxy

We use HAProxy to load balance web requests for our web application, but also for some internal load balancing of microservices.