Tuesday, 28 February 2012

New in Apache 2.4

New in Apache 2.4

The Apache Foundation has announced the arrival of Apache 2.4 , a major new version of the famous server HTTP . It took six years to see its outcome and since a lot of progress has been made, especially in performance. The eventual aim being to compete with the Russian challenger Nginx . Listed below are the most important improvements.

Improvements at the kernel level:
  • A reduced memory consumption compared to version 2.2.x
  • A general improvement in performance
  • The KeepAliveTimeout directive now accepts a lifetime in milliseconds
  • The choice of MPM (Multi-Processing Modules) can now be done in the execution
  • The "Event MPM" is out of the experimental stage and is now fully supported
  • A support for asynchronous reads / writes for MPMs
  • The LogLevel directive may be defined by module and directory. The new levels logfunc1 to trace8 were added above the level of debug logging
  • <If> A new tag to define a configuration based on criteria related to the application (eg <if "%{QUERY_STRING} =~ /(delete|commit)=.*?elem/">)
  • You can also specify complex conditions through common syntax guidelines as SetEnvIfExpr, RewriteCond, Header ...
  • The NameVirtualHost directive is now obsolete
The new modules

With Apache 2.4, new modules are introduced. The most important ones:
  • mod_proxy_express : this module allows for the reverse proxy mass. It is based on a DBM file containing the names and addresses of the sites to backend servers
  • mod_proxy_fcgi and mod_proxy_scgi : these modules are available FastCGI and SCGI for mod_proxy
  • mod_ratelimit : it limits the bandwidth to some clients
  • mod_reqtimeout : it defines the lifetime and the rate of minimum data transfer for receipt of requests
  • mod_remoteip : this module allows to treat the client that initiated the query as the original customer.It keeps its address IP even if through a proxy or load balancer.
  • mod_allowmethods : it allows to restrict the use of certain methods HTTP without interfering with the authentication and authorization.
  • mod_xml2enc and mod_proxy_html : these two modules developed by third parties are now officially supported
Improvements of existing modules

  • mod_proxy_balancer: configuration and adding members in a group during the performance were improved. The off-line server is also more smoothly through better management of persistent sessions
  • mod_cache can now cache HEAD requests. Moreover, it is able to serve pages from cache if a backend server is unavailable (Error 500)
  • Security has been improved for modules mod_cgi, mod_include and mod_isapi through a stricter verification of headers

The full list of new features is available here . Note that Apache is still one of the most used web server in the world with 64.92% market share, far ahead of Microsoft IIS (14.39%) and Nginx (9.89%).

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