NGINX is a well known open source project originally written by Igor Sysoev, a Russian engineer. Igor started the project in 2002 and made it public in 2004. Since that time NGINX has become a de‑facto standard for high‑performance, scalable websites. Tens of millions of active websites use NGINX, including the majority of the 100,000 busiest websites in the world. Companies like Airbnb, Box, Dropbox, Netflix, Tumblr, WordPress.com, and many others deploy NGINX for scalability and performance reasons.
NGINX is a high‑performance, highly scalable, highly available web server, reverse proxy server, and web accelerator (combining the features of an HTTP load balancer, content cache, and more). NGINX offers a highly scalable architecture that is very different from that of Apache (and many other open source and commercial products in the same category). NGINX has a modular, event‑driven, asynchronous, single-threaded architecture that scales extremely well on generic server hardware and across multi-processor systems. NGINX uses all of the underlying power of modern operating systems like Linux to optimize the usage of memory, CPU, and network, and extract the maximum performance out of a physical or virtual server. The end result is that NGINX can often serve at least 10x more (and often 100–1000x more) requests per server compared to Apache – that means more connected users per server, better bandwidth utilization, less CPU and RAM consumed, and a greener environment too!
For more information about the NGINX architecture please refer to a chapter dedicated to NGINX in the “Architecture of Open Source Applications” book.