Hello? Is This Thing On?

Welcome to the NGINX blog! We’ve started this to keep you all more informed about the open source NGINX project, the company NGINX, Inc., and our new commercial product NGINX Plus.

I’m Sarah Novotny, NGINX’s newly-hired evangelist. You might know me from my work as co-chair of the O’Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON), or within the MySQL community. I’m delighted to join and learn from the community and users of NGINX.

I’m going to kick off this first post by offering an overview of our progress in 2013, and make an exciting announcement for 2014.

The Product

In 2013, we released version 1.4 of NGINX, which added features such as support for SPDY and WebSocket. The engineering team continued to stomp out 14 major bugs and 2 security fixes, and made 4 additional dot releases to version 1.4.

There was lots of work on the 1.5 branch of the code as well. We saw the addition of cache revalidation for both proxying and FastCGI. There was also the addition of an HTTP authentication module which allows dependencies on subrequests.

We also released our first commercial product, NGINX Plus, targeted at enterprise customers who want the superior scalability of the OSS NGINX server along with enterprise-level support and services that let them sleep comfortably at night. At a recent event I attended, a number of CIOs said their number one infrastructure bet in 2014 was open source software. The enterprise is beginning to recognize that the F/OSS movement builds better software.

Early in 2013 we brought in a CEO, Gus Robertson, to support the amazing founders and engineering team that’s based in Russia. Gus came to NGINX from a long stint with Red Hat. His focus is to grow NGINX’s adoption: work that takes many forms. We’re committed to a robust open source product, and a thriving business to support it, as well as offering peace of mind through support and services to enterprise customers.

To that end, Gus’ first order of business was to make sure the company can continue to provide excellent software. During 2013 Gus and the founders spent time raising a round of funding. In October they closed our Series B round of venture funding, led by NEA, and including e.Ventures and long-time supporters Runa Capital. This allows the engineering team to continue pushing the NGINX product forward and for the rest of the company to grow to support the community behind 140 million websites.

And the Community

The new funding means we’ve also been able to hire positions that directly benefit the user community, including a dedicated technical writer to focus on making our documentation more helpful and user friendly, and to revitalize the aging wiki which was maintained for a long time by community member Cliff Wells. As Cliff’s volunteer time slimmed, many of our users noticed that the wiki documentation hasn’t kept up with our new releases. While many community members still update the wiki, we do miss Cliff’s stewardship.

Yaroslav Zhuravlev
Our Intrepid Technical Writer, Yaroslav Zhuravlev

Fear not! Yaroslav is on the job now, and we’ll be focusing on improving our documentation across the board.

Last year also saw the release of a few NGINX books, which the engineering team had the privilege of reviewing (and even one that Andrew contributed to). There’s Packt’s Mastering NGINX by Dimitri Aivaliotis and Creative Commons published The Architecture of Open Source Applications: Volume II.

In the physical world, 2013 saw the first NGINX meetup in the San Francisco area, as well as our first conference sponsorship. Five of us attended AWS re:Invent in Las Vegas, staffed a booth, and sponsored drinks one evening in the expo hall. Re:Invent was my first introduction to the user community that exists around NGINX. It was amazing to have a steady influx of people in the booth just asking to shake the hands of our engineers. They were effusive in their praise and excitement about the product. It was immediately after that event that I accepted a position with NGINX, to be sure there was continued focus on outreach and to provide a conduit for user feedback and community engagement. We want to make sure your voice is heard and prioritized in our product planning.

Announcing the NGINX User and Developer Summit

Now for some fun in 2014! Please join us at our first User and Developer Summit, on February 25th in San Francisco. This won’t be the last event we host, or your only opportunity to meet and talk with our team, but there is no better time to hear what we’re working on and let us know what you think about our plans. Later in 2014 is the 10th anniversary of the version 0.1.0 public release of NGINX, and we need your help to be sure it only improves from here.

Cover image
Free O'Reilly Ebook
Your guide to everything NGINX