NGINX vs Puma vs Unicorn

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NGINX

104.1K
53.3K
+ 1
5.5K
Puma

429
254
+ 1
19
Unicorn

485
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+ 1
295
Advice on NGINX, Puma, and Unicorn

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 · | 4 upvotes · 441.8K views
Recommends
NGINXNGINX

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
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Apache HTTP ServerApache HTTP Server
and
NGINXNGINX

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
NGINXNGINX

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
NGINXNGINX

I use nginx because its more flexible and easy to configure

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Christian Cwienk
Software Developer at SAP · | 1 upvotes · 420.2K views

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

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Decisions about NGINX, Puma, and Unicorn
Daniel Calvo
Co-Founder at Polpo Data Analytics & Software Development · | 8 upvotes · 122.2K views

For us, NGINX is a lite HTTP server easy to configure. On our research, we found a well-documented software we a lot of support from the community.

We have been using it alongside tools like certbot and it has been a total success.

We can easily configure our sites and have a folder for available vs enabled sites, and with the nginx -t command we can easily check everything is running fine.

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Grant Steuart
  • Server rendered HTML output from PHP is being migrated to the client as Vue.js components, future plans to provide additional content, and other new miscellaneous features all result in a substantial increase of static files needing to be served from the server. NGINX has better performance than Apache for serving static content.
  • The change to NGINX will require switching from PHP to PHP-FPM resulting in a distributed architecture with a higher complexity configuration, but this is outweighed by PHP-FPM being faster than PHP for processing requests.
  • The NGINX + PHP-FPM setup now allows for horizontally scaling of resources rather vertically scaling the previously combined Apache + PHP resources.
  • PHP shell tasks can now efficiently be decoupled from the application reducing main application footprint and allow for scaling of tasks on an individual basis.
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Pros of NGINX
Pros of Puma
Pros of Unicorn
  • 1.4K
    High-performance http server
  • 894
    Performance
  • 729
    Easy to configure
  • 607
    Open source
  • 530
    Load balancer
  • 288
    Free
  • 288
    Scalability
  • 224
    Web server
  • 175
    Simplicity
  • 136
    Easy setup
  • 30
    Content caching
  • 21
    Web Accelerator
  • 15
    Capability
  • 14
    Fast
  • 12
    Predictability
  • 12
    High-latency
  • 8
    Reverse Proxy
  • 7
    The best of them
  • 7
    Supports http/2
  • 5
    Enterprise version
  • 5
    Great Community
  • 5
    Lots of Modules
  • 4
    High perfomance proxy server
  • 3
    Embedded Lua scripting
  • 3
    Reversy Proxy
  • 3
    Streaming media
  • 3
    Streaming media delivery
  • 2
    Blash
  • 2
    Lightweight
  • 2
    Fast and easy to set up
  • 2
    Slim
  • 2
    saltstack
  • 1
    Ingress controller
  • 1
    Virtual hosting
  • 1
    Narrow focus. Easy to configure. Fast
  • 1
    Along with Redis Cache its the Most superior
  • 1
    GRPC-Web
  • 3
    Convenient
  • 3
    Free
  • 3
    Easy
  • 2
    Multithreaded
  • 2
    Default Rails server
  • 2
    First-class support for WebSockets
  • 2
    Consumes less memory than Unicorn
  • 1
    Lightweight
  • 1
    Fast
  • 81
    Fast
  • 59
    Performance
  • 36
    Web server
  • 30
    Open Source
  • 30
    Very light
  • 27
    Rack http server
  • 18
    Load balancing
  • 14
    Great process management

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Cons of NGINX
Cons of Puma
Cons of Unicorn
  • 8
    Advanced features require subscription
  • 0
    Uses `select` (limited client count)
  • 4
    Not multithreaded

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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.

What is Puma?

Unlike other Ruby Webservers, Puma was built for speed and parallelism. Puma is a small library that provides a very fast and concurrent HTTP 1.1 server for Ruby web applications.

What is Unicorn?

Unicorn is an HTTP server for Rack applications designed to only serve fast clients on low-latency, high-bandwidth connections and take advantage of features in Unix/Unix-like kernels. Slow clients should only be served by placing a reverse proxy capable of fully buffering both the the request and response in between Unicorn and slow clients.

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      Blog Posts

      What are some alternatives to NGINX, Puma, and Unicorn?
      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.
      lighttpd
      lighttpd has a very low memory footprint compared to other webservers and takes care of cpu-load. Its advanced feature-set (FastCGI, CGI, Auth, Output-Compression, URL-Rewriting and many more) make lighttpd the perfect webserver-software for every server that suffers load problems.
      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.
      Caddy
      Caddy 2 is a powerful, enterprise-ready, open source web server with automatic HTTPS written in Go.
      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.
      See all alternatives