Nginx Web server goes commercial with new release

Nginx hopes to offer a high-speed all-software alternative to application delivery controllers

By , IDG News Service |  Data Center

"The advanced functionality enhances the capabilities of Nginx in regards to load balancing, request routing, health monitoring and general control and monitoring of Nginx instances in mission critical environments," said Andrew Alexeev, Nginx co-founder and head of business development.

One of the most significant new features is the ability to make configuration changes to a running copy of Nginx, without the need to restart the software for the changes to take affect. Typically configuration changes to Web server software, such as Nginx or Apache, require the software to be stopped and then restarted, which can momentarily disrupt operations.

"Even graceful restarts can affect the operation, and adds slight overhead. [Users] want to change aspects of Nginx on the fly," Alexeev said.

With monitoring, the commercial package provides metrics of a running copy of Nginx, in the JSON (JavaScript Simple Object Notation) format. "You can import these metrics into any standard commercial or open source monitoring system, or you could use your own template through HTML or JavaScript," Alexeev said. The software package also comes with its own metrics dashboard as well.

The health check can alert an administrator when a back-end component of a Web application has failed, such as the database. It does this by comparing the size of a new Web page with the size it should be. It can also automatically take out of service those servers relying on the failing components. Nginx has also collaborated with New Relic to integrate the data generated by health checks to show up in New Relic's application performance management (APM) software.

Other features of the commercial edition include additional load balancing capabilities, and advanced media streaming for Adobe HDS and Apple HLS video formats.

Although Nginx Plus should run on any standard Linux distribution, Nginx has certified that the software runs on Amazon Linux, Red Hat, CentOS, Ubuntu, and Debian distributions.

Nginx Plus will cost $1,350 per instance per year and is available now.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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