Gotta Love Apache

Posted by Jim Jagielski on Thursday, August 24. 2006 in ASF

Often times I am pleased and proud on how well Apache HTTP Server (OK, OK, "Apache") works and in how many different types of environments it is being used. As much as web servers are commodities and ubiquitous, people forget how they are core parts of the infrastructure. Consider the two extremes: LAMP type environments where Apache is the web infrastructure, and others where Apache is the conductor. For example, I'm working with a client now (Covalent hat on) that uses Apache pretty much as an intelligent HTTP router. The web server itself does very little web serving, instead directing traffic to either image store servers or backend Weblogic servers. Yet as "simple" as this appears, the actual implementation is complex, with lots of interactions and places where you can get caught up, or mess up performance. But even so, Apache itself provides the fine control and capability that makes it all possible. What is so cool is how Apache masterfully handles both ends of the spectrum. Yeah, there might be other web servers that are designed for a specific use-cases, but they simply blow chunks when used in other applications. Apache is able to reach 95-98% of what those "special purpose" web servers are supposed to do, yet it fills all the nooks and crannies as well. Having something as general purpose as Apache yet able to also do the jobs of more focused servers is really neat. And it makes life easier for architects and admins. Gotta love it. PS: Happy Birthday to my Dad! He's 75 today.

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