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Apache Celebrates 17th Anniversary with HTTP Server 2.4

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Apache has released the HTTP Server version 2.4 with performance improvements, enhanced concurrency, asynchronous I/O support, lower resource footprint and others.

In order to celebrate the 17th anniversary of their HTTP Server which is tightly related with the birth of the organization supporting it, the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) has announced version 2.4, more than 6 years after the previous major version (2.2) was released in December 2005 and followed by 22 minor released over the years.

This version makes the server “ideally suited for Cloud environments”, according to the release statement, and it comes with a number of new features for better performance, security, and lower resource footprint:

  • Improved performance
  • Reduced memory usage – lower than what 2.2 needed
  • Multi-processing Modules can be built at compile time and loaded at runtime
  • Better support for asynchronous read/write
  • New modules and enhancements of the old ones
  • Better caching support for high traffic servers and proxies

A complete list of enhancements details all the features that have appeared or have been improved since 2.2. Apache encourages developers to upgrade to this latest version.

According to a survey of 582,716,657 websites performed by Netcraft in January 2012, Apache HTTP Server is used by 57.93% active sites across all domains and by 64.91% of top servers. While Microsoft’s IIS was close to catch up with Apache back in 2008-2009, IIS current holds only 12.14% of all active sites, having approximately the same coverage as nginx at 12.18%, surpassing Google Web Server which accounts for 7.90% of active sites, and powers some of Google’s services. Some have replaced Apache HTTP with nginx citing better performance, but ASF published their own benchmark test results (PDF) using the latest version of the server, and concluding that httpd is on par with nginx when it comes to concurrency, and it is better at doing transactions. 

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