NGINX vs Apache Tomcat

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NGINX

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39.5K
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5.5K
Apache Tomcat

11.3K
7.8K
+ 1
200
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nginx vs Apache Tomcat: What are the differences?

Developers describe nginx 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. On the other hand, Apache Tomcat is detailed as "An open source software implementation of the Java Servlet and JavaServer Pages technologies". Apache Tomcat powers numerous large-scale, mission-critical web applications across a diverse range of industries and organizations.

nginx and Apache Tomcat can be primarily classified as "Web Servers" tools.

"High-performance http server" is the primary reason why developers consider nginx over the competitors, whereas "Easy" was stated as the key factor in picking Apache Tomcat.

nginx and Apache Tomcat are both open source tools. It seems that nginx with 9K GitHub stars and 3.41K forks on GitHub has more adoption than Apache Tomcat with 3.44K GitHub stars and 2.36K GitHub forks.

Airbnb, Uber Technologies, and Spotify are some of the popular companies that use nginx, whereas Apache Tomcat is used by ebay, Intuit, and Evernote. nginx has a broader approval, being mentioned in 8631 company stacks & 2495 developers stacks; compared to Apache Tomcat, which is listed in 562 company stacks and 419 developer stacks.

Advice on NGINX and Apache Tomcat

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 · 146.1K 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
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Apache HTTP Server
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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 · 138.9K views

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

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Decisions about NGINX and Apache Tomcat
Daniel Calvo
Co-Founder at Polpo Data Analytics & Software Development · | 5 upvotes · 6.6K 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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I was in a situation where I have to configure 40 RHEL servers 20 each for Apache HTTP Server and Tomcat server. My task was to 1. configure LVM with required logical volumes, format and mount for HTTP and Tomcat servers accordingly. 2. Install apache and tomcat. 3. Generate and apply selfsigned certs to http server. 4. Modify default ports on Tomcat to different ports. 5. Create users on RHEL for application support team. 6. other administrative tasks like, start, stop and restart HTTP and Tomcat services.

I have utilized the power of ansible for all these tasks, which made it easy and manageable.

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Pros of NGINX
Pros of Apache Tomcat
  • 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
  • 79
    Easy
  • 72
    Java
  • 48
    Popular
  • 1
    Spring web

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Cons of NGINX
Cons of Apache Tomcat
  • 7
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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 Apache Tomcat?

    Apache Tomcat powers numerous large-scale, mission-critical web applications across a diverse range of industries and organizations.

    Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

    Jobs that mention NGINX and Apache Tomcat as a desired skillset
    What companies use NGINX?
    What companies use Apache Tomcat?
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    What tools integrate with NGINX?
    What tools integrate with Apache Tomcat?

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    What are some alternatives to NGINX and Apache Tomcat?
    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
    How developers use NGINX and Apache Tomcat
    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.

    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.

    Promethean TV uses
    Apache Tomcat

    Apache Tomcat is part of the open source Ant Media Server platform that currently provides both LIVE and VOD video trans-coding and delivery features for the Promethean Platform.

    Kingsley Victor uses
    Apache Tomcat

    I use Tomcat to run Java enterprise web apps. Used to test enterprise applications mostly written using the Spring framework

    Cian Ó Cuinneagáin uses
    Apache Tomcat

    Use this as the application server running on our production and development environment. Hosted on AWS.

    The Independent uses
    Apache Tomcat

    Tomcat provides a fantastic application container that runs the majority of services of the site.

    simpleshow GmbH uses
    Apache Tomcat

    Apache Tomcat is being used as our application server for spring-based backend applications.