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Apache Marks 17th Birthday With HTTP Server 2.4

Darryl K. Taft covers IBM, big data and a number of other topics for TechWeekEurope and eWeek

Apache has celebrated the 17th anniversary of its HTTP Server by delivering version 2.4, tuned for the cloud

The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) has celebrated the 17th anniversary of the Apache HTTP Server by delivering version 2.4.

ASF officials said as of 21 February there are nearly 400 million websites powered by the Apache HTTP Server, which has been the most popular Web server on the Internet since April 1996.

Most Popular

Within less than a year of the Apache Group’s formation in 1994, the Apache server surpassed NCSA httpd as the number 1 Web server on the Internet, and remains so to this day. The initial eight developers working on the Apache HTTP Server began their efforts in 1994 and became known as the Apache Group. By March 1999, membership of the Apache Group expanded and they formed The Apache Software Foundation to provide organisational, legal, and financial support for the Apache HTTP Server.

“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, in a statement. “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.”

ASF officials said the new Apache HTTP Server version 2.4 is ideally suited for cloud computing environments, with enhancements including:

  • Improved performance (lower resource utilization and better concurrency)
  • Reduced memory usage
  • Asynchronous 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, ASF officials said. Version 2.4 is the first major upgrade of the Apache web server in several years.

Feature List

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.

For the complete feature list, go to http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.4/new_features_2_4.html

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/