Apache HTTP Server

The Apache HTTP Server Project is an open-source HTTP server for modern operating systems including UNIX and Windows NT. The Apache HTTP Server Project provide a secure, efficient and extensible server that provides HTTP services in sync with the current HTTP standards.

Apache httpd has been the most popular web server on the Internet since April 1996, and nearly 70% of the world's top web servers run on Apache HTTP server.

Features

Apache supports a variety of features, many implemented as compiled modules which extend the core functionality. These can range from server-side programming language support to authentication schemes. Some common language interfaces support Perl, Python, Tcl, and PHP. Popular authentication modules include mod_access, mod_auth, mod_digest, and mod_auth_digest, the successor to mod_digest. A sample of other features include Secure Sockets Layer and Transport Layer Security support (mod_ssl), a proxy module (mod_proxy), a URL rewriter (also known as a rewrite engine, implemented under mod_rewrite), custom log files (mod_log_config), and filtering support (mod_include and mod_ext_filter).

Popular compression methods on Apache include the external extension module, mod_gzip, implemented to help with reduction of the size (weight) of web pages served over HTTP. ModSecurity is an open source intrusion detection and prevention engine for web applications. Apache logs can be analyzed through a web browser using free scripts such as AWStats/W3Perl or Visitors.

Virtual hosting allows one Apache installation to serve many different actual websites. For example, one machine with one Apache installation could simultaneously serve www.example.com, www.example.org, test47.test-server.example.edu, etc. Apache features configurable error messages, DBMS-based authentication databases, and content negotiation. It is also supported by several graphical user interfaces (GUIs). It supports password authentication and digital certificate authentication. Apache has a built in search engine and an HTML authorizing tool and supports FTP.

Performance

Although the main design goal of Apache is not to be the "fastest" web server, Apache does have performance similar to other "high-performance" web servers. Instead of implementing a single architecture, Apache provides a variety of MultiProcessing Modules (MPMs) which allow Apache to run in a process-based, hybrid (process and thread) or event-hybrid mode, to better match the demands of each particular infrastructure. This implies that the choice of correct MPM and the correct configuration is important. Where compromises in performance need to be made, the design of Apache is to reduce latency and increase throughput, relative to simply handling more requests, thus ensuring consistent and reliable processing of requests within reasonable time-frames.

The Apache version considered by the Apache Foundation as providing high-performance is the multi-threaded version which mixes the use of several processes and several threads per process. This architecture, and the way implemented in Apache 2.4.0, provides for performance at least equal to other event-based webservers.

More about Apache HTTP Server:
http://httpd.apache.org/

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