The Apache Software Foundation, developers of the most popular web server used all over the world, just announced a major upgrade to their platform in an attempt to take back some of the market share they’ve lost to Microsoft and NGINX. Apache HTTP Server 2.4 is the latest incarnation of a platform that hasn’t seen any major upgrades since 2005. While it still remains the dominant server across the Internet, Apache has been losing ground to several of its competitors.
According to Apache officials, version 2.4 improves performance, manages memory better, handles high traffic servers much better, and improves cloud environments. The new version is also allegedly easier to customize and overhaul when needed. It hopefully sets the stage for Apache to continue being the dominant leader even as the trend toward cloud computing revolutionizes commercial web hosting. Estimates suggest that Apache currently powers more than 400 million websites globally; a number that represents about 65% of the total.
In official remarks HTTP Server Project vice present Eric Covenor said, “This release delivers a host of evolutionary enhancements throughout the server that our users, administrators, and developers will welcome. We’ve added many new modules in this release, as well as broadened the capability and flexibility of existing features.”
It remains to be seen whether or not the new Apache version will slow down the success of the Foundation’s closest rival, NGINX. As an open-source project NGIIX has enjoyed great success over the last year, even to the extent that it overtook Microsoft’s IIS for the number two slot among Web servers. With recently added commercial support they may continue to gain ground. Apache is hoping to prevent that with this latest release.