The Apache Software Foundation Blog

Tuesday Feb 21, 2012

The Apache Software Foundation Celebrates the 17th Anniversary of the Apache HTTP Server with the release of v2.4

World's most popular Web Server powers nearly 400 million Websites across the globe

Forest Hill, MD – 21 February 2012 – The Apache Software Foundation (ASF), the all-volunteer developers, stewards, and incubators of nearly 150 Open Source projects and initiatives, today announced version 2.4 of the award-winning Apache HTTP Server. Celebrating its 17th anniversary with an all-time record of nearly 400 million Websites powered worldwide[1], the Apache HTTP Server has been the most popular Web server on the Internet since April 1996.

"It is with great pleasure that we announce the availability of Apache HTTP Server 2.4", said Eric Covener, Vice President of the Apache HTTP Server Project. "This release delivers a host of evolutionary enhancements throughout the server that our users, administrators, and developers will welcome. We've added many new modules in this release, as well as broadened the capability and flexibility of existing features".

Numerous enhancements make Apache HTTP Server v2.4 ideally suited for Cloud environments. They include:
•    Improved performance (lower resource utilization and better concurrency)
•    Reduced memory usage
•    Asyncronous I/O support
•    Dynamic reverse proxy configuration
•    Performance on par, or better, than pure event-driven Web servers
•    More granular timeout and rate/resource limiting capability
•    More finely-tuned caching support, tailored for high traffic servers and proxies.

Additional features include easier problem analysis, improved configuration flexibility, more powerful authentication and authorization, and documentation overhaul. For the complete feature list, please see http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.4/new_features_2_4.html

The Apache Web Server began as a fork (an independent development stream) of the NCSA httpd Web server created by Rob McCool at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). After McCool's departure from NCSA in 1994, an online community of individuals called the Apache Group formed to support and enhance its software via email collaboration. The Apache Group’s founding members included Brian Behlendorf, Roy Fielding, Rob Hartill, David Robinson, Cliff Skolnick, Randy Terbush, Robert Thau, and Andrew Wilson.

Within less than a year of the Apache Group's formation, the Apache server surpassed NCSA httpd as the #1 server on the Internet –and remains so to this day. In March 1999, members of the Apache Group formed The Apache Software Foundation to provide organizational, legal, and financial support for the Apache HTTP Server.

Availability and Oversight
Apache HTTP Server software is released under the Apache License v2.0, and is overseen by a self-selected team of active contributors to the project. A Project Management Committee (PMC) guides the Project’s day-to-day operations, including community development and product releases. Apache HTTP Server source code, documentation, mailing lists, and related resources are available at http://httpd.apache.org/

About The Apache Software Foundation (ASF)
Established in 1999, the all-volunteer Foundation oversees nearly one hundred fifty leading Open Source projects, including Apache HTTP Server — the world's most popular Web server software. Through the ASF's meritocratic process known as "The Apache Way," more than 350 individual Members and 3,000 Committers successfully collaborate to develop freely available enterprise-grade software, benefiting millions of users worldwide: thousands of software solutions are distributed under the Apache License; and the community actively participates in ASF mailing lists, mentoring initiatives, and ApacheCon, the Foundation's official user conference, trainings, and expo. The ASF is a US 501(3)(c) not-for-profit charity, funded by individual donations and corporate sponsors including AMD, Basis Technology, Cloudera, Facebook, Google, IBM, HP, Hortonworks, Matt Mullenweg, Microsoft, PSW Group, SpringSource/VMware, and Yahoo!. For more information, visit http://www.apache.org/.

"Apache", "Apache HTTP Server", and "ApacheCon" are trademarks of The Apache Software Foundation. All other brands and trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

[1] Source: Netcraft Web Server Survey http://news.netcraft.com/archives/category/web-server-survey/

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Comments:

Congratulations on the new release. I can't wait to try it.

Posted by Brett Alton on February 21, 2012 at 09:31 PM GMT+00:00 #

Thumbs up to the Apache team, great new features. I'm quite confident that this release can reverse the recent shift to other web servers: http://w3techs.com/technologies/history_overview/web_server

Posted by Tommy Brenton on February 21, 2012 at 11:19 PM GMT+00:00 #

Reverse the trend, I don't know yet, or I'd doubt. It will stop the (relative) bleeding though. (I don't like the word bleeding though) I will not preach for any http server, I'm agnostic at full extent... All have their perks and advantages, and at use, I'd say a wise move (today) is a tight mix of different daemons (not demons ;-) ). My general case today is simply placing an nginx in front of an Apache to take away alot of load without losing well learnt features, user-managed ,with Apache (that .htaccess for example). Apache, imho, is by far a great http server when it comes to versatility, the vast range of functionality has been the source of it's biggest defect, it got a tad heavy, not by it's core alone, true, but some of the common modules (ok, mod_php/perl/whatever, or cgi-style, I could have lightened it up, but still) and it's natural overhead... where others, for atomic sized operations could spit out files in a blitz (and become a cheap forward proxy for bigger operations, those that represent <10/15% of the hits) ... Lighty, Nginx, name it, they deserve a crown of laurels just as well as Apache... They will remain complementary, and I wish they continue to co-exist, even if 2.4 seems lighter... I still see them work together (add some Varnish on top too :-) ) no competition, no fuss, no "Mine is smaller (ram footprint) than yours", just friend deamons, playing poker around a table, doing their best to make IIS lose and pay a pint of market share to the others! Less "drunk" note: The reduced memory footprint is appealing, I'll test it, and might impatiently wait for it to get packaged (yeah, not alone on the machinery, so sticking to distros)

Posted by jaxx on February 22, 2012 at 12:52 AM GMT+00:00 #

Awww, too bad, my comment was too long and had blacklisted words (trying to figure out which ones though). Anyways, Even though I doubt it reverses the shift to other http servers (they do have numerous advantages != less functionality than our good ol' Apache), a lighter Apache can be no harm at all, au contraire...

Posted by jaxx on February 22, 2012 at 12:58 AM GMT+00:00 #

NGINX RULES!!!

Posted by karl mccoy on February 22, 2012 at 07:09 AM GMT+00:00 #

@Karl Nginx doesn't "rule", it does quite a number of things very well though... And yes, I am an Nginx user since a nice bit of time already. Apache is versatile, and is well understood for many non-techies... plus, most of the bloggers in the world know how to manage a .htaccess since some time, doing the same with Nginx can be a stiff learning curve for many. (This is why I host sites on an Apache behind an Nginx... If it was only my websites, I would have avoided it since a while) pre 2.4 Apache is bloated, we have to admit it, so let's see how 2.4 turns out. But my bottom thought is this: They are complementary, and non-exclusive... use both together and you get an intelligent mix between performance and comfort of use (especially when you host sites for others)

Posted by jaxx on February 22, 2012 at 09:03 AM GMT+00:00 #

Uh, that's Asynchronous, with an h.

Posted by cja on February 22, 2012 at 01:29 PM GMT+00:00 #

G8...keep going!

Posted by Raj on February 22, 2012 at 03:37 PM GMT+00:00 #

Congratulations on the successful release of 2.4. Looking forward to testing it soon.

Posted by Pothi Kalimuthu on February 22, 2012 at 04:03 PM GMT+00:00 #

[Trackback] It&#39;s been half a dozen years since Apache last released a new version of its venerable HTTP server

Posted by MirroredBlog on February 23, 2012 at 09:15 AM GMT+00:00 #

I am absolutely LOVING this news... can't wait to get through updating and benchmarking. Thumbs up to the whole Apache team. :-)

Posted by TechNode Johnny on February 23, 2012 at 09:21 AM GMT+00:00 #

Thanks Apache! If there is any benchmarks to back this statement "Performance on par, or better, than pure event-driven Web servers", I am looking forward to see it get shared to the public.

Posted by Frank Wang on February 27, 2012 at 09:10 AM GMT+00:00 #

Any news on when the apache 2.4 windows x86 msi will be released?

Posted by capitanqueso on February 28, 2012 at 10:03 AM GMT+00:00 #

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