What is and why to use the Apache server – WAU

Apache is open source software owned by the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) that guarantees performance, stability and security for a web server. It has become very popular with programmers due to its modularity and constant updating by the community, which actively contributes to the high capacity of this tool.

Initially, you may be curious about the name of the Apache server, which references the native american tribe known for their great resistance in combat and the superiority of their war strategies.

Some say that the reference is related to a specific and most important feature of the software: open code, is free from private interests and immune to vulnerabilities and threats, as it is constantly updated.

In addition, it can be considered a patchy server, that is, a server “patched” by numerous patches. The software is still extremely stable and capable to support varied requests on the web.

But what really intrigues is the success of this software, used by 43% of all the websites we know. Giants like Netflix, Airbnb, eBay, Cisco, BBC, IBM, Nike, Microsoft, among many are just a few examples that enjoy the features of this server that serves content access requests from multiple users simultaneously.

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What is Apache?

Apache Software Foundation (ASF) or Apache Foundation is a non-profit organization that, according to the Apache.org website:

“(…) Develops, guides and incubates hundreds of enterprise-level projects, available for free, that serve as the backbone of some of the most visible and widely used applications in computing today.

Through the ASF merit-based process known as “The Apache Way”, more than 730 individual volunteer members and more than 7,000 code contributors on six continents collaborate successfully on innovations in Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning, Big Data, Data Management Build, Cloud Computing, Content Management, DevOps, IoT and Edge Computing, Mobile, Servers and Web Frameworks, among other categories ”.

Apache was created in 1995 and is the core technology responsible for the initial growth of the Internet. In short, it is open source software, that is, it receives contributions from developers around the world, since the original source code is freely available for viewing and collaboration.

For this reason, it has become very popular with programmers, who configure their own modules, apply specific functionality and enhance your resources to work on various projects in the technology area.

According to the website itself, they are:

  • more of 200 millions lines of code in administration;
  • 1,058,321,099 lines of code confirmed;
  • 3,022,836 code confirmations;
  • 730 individual ASF members;
  • 7,000 Apache code checkers;
  • active community of volunteers;
  • more of 350 projects and initiatives;
  • more than 300 higher level projects;
  • 52 projects in the Apache incubator.

Along with other components (LAMP – Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP), provides content on the web. While Linux is the operating system that performs the operations, Apache is the software that processes requests via HTTP.

MySQL is a database, which stores all processed information in an intelligible format and PHP is the programming language that creates dynamic content.

Most applications are run from LAMP components, especially since it is easy to create and free of charge. O Apache communicates on the network using the TCP / IP or HTTP / S protocol (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure), which defines how messages are formatted and transmitted from requests and commands on port 443.

How does Apache work?

The process of running Apache is simple and basically comprises the following steps:

  • obtaining the domain’s IP address from the cached search or through the DNS (Domain Name System) server – all sites receive an IP address when first created on the web server;
  • request for the complete URL by the browser;
  • response from the server, which sends the requested pages or an appropriate message to the user, in cases where the pages do not exist (404 error message) or in the occurrence of another error – the 401 error, for example, which occurs when access is denied due to lack of credentials.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of Apache over other web servers?

The NGINX software was created to solve the problem of processing failure when more than 10,000 user connections occurred simultaneously (c10k) and has also been gaining popularity.

This is basically the biggest advantage of NGINX over Apache. It handles one request at a time from a single process and therefore performs better in the face of a higher volume of requests. In contrast, the Apache is easier to configure and more user friendly.

Tomcat was created by ASF itself and therefore its official name is Apache Tomcat. Like Apache, it is an HTTP server, but it serves Java-like requests instead of static websites.

Apache’s superiority over Tomcat is that it understands other programming languages, being more flexible. In addition, Tomcat has a more difficult configuration, especially if the demand is to run a website or landing page in WordPress.

Why use Apache?

Price

Apache is open source software, which means that it is available for download or modification by anyone, free of charge. Its source code can be adapted to meet the individual needs of each business.

This allows Apache to have a significant advantage over other servers: no resources need to be sacrificed, no software license and support fees are charged to maintain the continuity of programs that use it as a web server.

Resources

Apache is a powerful tool, with features that compare to your high-value competitors. The software includes:

  • administrative control panel;
  • sending custom error messages;
  • authentication schemes;
  • virtual host module that allows you to run multiple sites simultaneously;
  • Domain Name Service;
  • SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol);
  • FTP (File Transfer Protocol).

In addition, there are several other features added by third parties that can be installed, so you can customize the web server. That’s because the Apache developer community constantly updates the code, without restricting access to the latest security features and patches for other users.

Compatibility

Apache is compatible with numerous hardware configurations and operating systems. It runs on:

  • Linux;
  • Windows NT;
  • MacOS;
  • Unix, among other systems.

Each installation can be adjusted to suit the technical features of the hardware used. Apache includes support for programming languages ​​like PHP, Perl and Python. Additionally, it allows SSL and TLS encryption for sites that require a higher level of security.

Support

THE documentation for Apache technical support is available on multiple sites in different languages. This allows software owners to access reference articles and receive help whenever needed.

This allows Apache to be more advantageous over other programs that only have the institutional website as a source of support. When a new bug is found, the open source user community usually creates a patch to fix it immediately and publishes the resolution of the problem for free on forums and technology sites in general.

Modularity

One of the most fantastic features of Apache is its ability to handle a high volume of traffic with minimal configuration additional. It is easily scaled by means of modules, which can be individually configured to personalize user demand.

You can also remove unwanted modules to make the Apache server lighter and more efficient. The most popular modules that can be added are:

  • SSL (Secure Sockets Layer);
  • PHP (Server Side Programming Support);
  • load balancing configurations.

When hosting websites it is essential that Apache is the tool of choice, as it guarantees flexibility and performance required for a web application. If you don’t know how to create an institutional website or a blog, from this article you will start to understand how the processes behind all the technology’s capacity work.

The biggest advantage of Apache is its source code, which is freely available to anyone, with no license required. The ease in correcting errors also guarantees the stability of the page, an essential factor for the credibility of your company on the Internet.

In addition, your modular capability, with the possibility of constant addition of new features makes it a scalable, reliable and required software by most developers and technicians.

Its ease of installation and execution on almost all operating systems, in addition to the possibility of alteration and high performance, makes Apache one of the most reliable options on the market.

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