Apache is a popular web server software which is developed and maintained by The Apache Software foundation in the Uinted States. It is a non-profit organization to support various projects handled by the Apache software, Including the Apache server. Majority of the web servers in the world are run by Apache Software. Top reasons for choosing Apache are its speed, reliability and the security that it provides. Another highlight of the product is that Apache can be customised according to the user’s requirement by using various extensions and modules.
How does Apache work?
Apache softwares have a wide range of products created by the Apache Software Foundation. One such application is called the Apache server. This server is not used to create any website. The purpose of this server is to redirect any network requests, especially HTTP, to other applications. These applications can later process the request.
Apache is preferred software that is easy to configure and recommended for beginners. Apache runs in an appropriate multitasking operating system. The binary code used here is called httpd under Unix and apache.exe under Win 32(3). It usually runs in the background. HTTP is quite large and takes up a lot of memory. So, sometimes other alternatives like light httpd or Nginx are used in case of high traffic. How Apache works is that it receives incoming requests from TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) ports, and fulfills the requests accordingly. Apache’s main role is to enable communication between networks. TCP ports help in this communication with IP addresses in the same network.
Pros and Cons of Apache Web server
Apache web server is proven to be one of the most successful web servers in the world ever since its creation. According to a survey conducted by Netcraft, Apache is rated as the most popular WWW series on the internet. The survey states that 67% of all web servers use Apache. However, it has its own disadvantages and advantages. The latter seems to be more in number.
Advantages of Apache Web server
• The source code of Apache is available for free to anyone and no license is required.
• It can be modified to adjust the code and also to fix errors.
• The ability to add more features and modules makes it a favorite among the techies.
• It is highly reliable and performs better.
• It can be installed easily.
• The changes made are recorded immediately, even without restarting the server.
• Apache can run on almost any operating systems like Windows, Linux etc.
• It is regularly maintained and updated.
• It is an effortless task to get help for Apache web servers, as its technical support is readily available on several websites all over the world.
• The documentation of Apache is quite useful and is very extensive.
• With Apache web server, multiple websites can be run from the same server. In other words, it can create virtual hosts on the same server.
• It is flexible.
Disadvantages of Apache Web Server
With the enormous possibilities an Apache web server can offer, there is very little that an Apache Web server cannot do. Yet it has a few disadvantages.
• One of the prominent features of Apache is its ability to modify its configuration. This, however, can cause a serious threat to the security, if not dealt properly
• While creating personalized protocol means new bugs will also be created. Thus need for debuggers arise.
• Requires a strict updating policy that needs to be done regularly without fail.
• Recognising and disabling unwanted services and modules. Leaving them on could cause serious threats.
• Apache is a process based server
In spite of these disadvantages, Apache is still considered as one of the best in the world. Apache web server has acted as the main driving force behind the web expansion that we see today. Apache has become the standard for developing other web server platforms. It is dynamic in nature, and it complies fully with the current HTTP standards. These are just a few reasons why Apache is preferred over other web servers.