NGINX ups the web app performance ante

The company that powers the web keeps on innovating

NGINX ups the web app performance ante
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NGINX isn’t what I’d call a sexy company. Its products are, by definition, solid and steady—and they need to be.

NGINX offers an application delivery platform that powers a massive proportion of the world’s websites. Some 300 million sites rely on NGINX for its load balancing, web and mobile acceleration, security controls, application monitoring, and management needs. More than half of the internet’s busiest websites rely on NGINX, including Airbnb, Box, Instagram, Netflix, Pinterest, SoundCloud and Zappos.

But NGINX, while undeniably having a huge footprint, isn’t alone in the space and needs to keep innovating to gain and retain market share. And so it does with the announcement of its latest release, NGINX Plus Release 12. R12 looks to upgrade NGINX’s load balancer, content cache and web server offerings to increase reliability, security and scale for its customers.

This release focuses on configuration management within a cluster, enhanced programmability with nginScript, deeper monitoring and instrumentation of key application resources, and the ability to scale a load-balanced application in a safe and controlled fashion.

Inside NGINX Plus R12

Key new capabilities in the NGINX Plus R12 release include a new process to reliably check and distribute load-balancing and web-serving configuration within a cluster of NGINX Plus servers. Additionally, the nginScript configuration language has reached maturity and is fully supported in NGINX Plus.

Advances in monitoring and instrumentation provide actionable insights on application performance and NGINX Plus tuning, and new caching features improve performance to enhance the end-user experience.

Finally, NGINX Plus load balancing has been enhanced to support the scaling of application resources in a safe, controlled fashion that works with application servers to deliver reliable, scalable services.

All of that is interesting within the context of NGINX’s growth and performance. The company recently released some annual operating metrics and, along with the aforementioned 300 million website metric (a doubling from only a year ago), the company pointed out that it now powers the majority of the world’s top 100,000 busiest sites, according to W3Techs, and is on track to become the leader for the top million sites in 2017.

In its largest year of growth to-date, NGINX grew to more than 1,000 customers using its enterprise solution and grew sales through a host of cloud partners, including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform, by over 375 percent.

My POV

Sometimes some of the most critical products are those that are, generally speaking, fairly boring. I don’t mean it in a pejorative way when I say this is the case for NGINX. Indeed their long-suffering PR agent has had a hard time persuading me to cover what the company does. This isn’t because it isn't important—quite the opposite—but rather because a vendor in the business of keeping the web working needs to be solid, and solidity sometimes makes for little of interest.

These numbers are, however, interesting. The sheer scale of sites and hence traffic that NGINX powers is amazing. Given its historical growth and its continued product innovations, it would seem to be a trend that is set to continue.

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