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NGINX (pronounced "engine-X") is a high-performance, open-source web server and reverse proxy server software. Originally created by Igor Sysoev in 2004, NGINX has gained widespread popularity for its ability to efficiently handle web traffic, serve static content, and act as a load balancer to distribute incoming requests across multiple servers. NGINX is known for its lightweight architecture, low resource usage, and high concurrency capabilities, making it a popular choice for serving web applications and optimizing website performance.
Key features and functionalities of NGINX include:
Reverse Proxy: NGINX functions as a reverse proxy, receiving incoming client requests and forwarding them to the appropriate backend server. This helps distribute the load and improves security by keeping backend servers hidden.
Load Balancing: NGINX can be configured as a load balancer to distribute incoming traffic across multiple backend servers, improving application scalability, availability, and performance.
Caching: NGINX supports caching of static content, reducing the load on backend servers and improving response times for frequently requested resources.
SSL/TLS Termination: NGINX can handle SSL/TLS encryption and decryption, offloading this resource-intensive task from backend servers.
HTTP/2 and HTTP/3 Support: NGINX supports the latest HTTP protocols, offering improved performance, reduced latency, and enhanced security for modern web applications.
Virtual Hosting: NGINX enables hosting multiple websites or applications on a single server by configuring virtual server blocks.
Security and Access Control: NGINX provides features for access control, preventing unauthorized access to resources, and protecting against common web vulnerabilities.
Web Application Firewall (WAF): NGINX can be extended with additional modules to act as a WAF, protecting applications from various types of attacks.
Dynamic Content Support: While NGINX is optimized for serving static content, it can also be configured to handle dynamic content through FastCGI, proxying requests to backend application servers.
Configuration Flexibility: NGINX's configuration is written in a declarative syntax, making it flexible and highly customizable. It supports features like URL rewriting, request and response manipulation, and more.
Open-Source Ecosystem: NGINX has an active open-source community that contributes to its development, as well as a commercial version called NGINX Plus that offers advanced features and support.
NGINX is used by organizations of all sizes, from small websites to large-scale applications and services, to improve website performance, scalability, and reliability. Its versatility, efficiency, and ease of configuration have made it a popular choice for serving and optimizing web content in modern IT environments.