Why NGINX is the New Foundation for Modern Web Applications

by Pete SonsiniOct 14, 2013

A striking consequence of today’s cloud-enabled, SaaS-based world has been the development of highly demanding websites. Modern consumer and enterprise applications must serve richer media, to more users, and at faster speeds than was imaginable just a few years ago. It’s no surprise that existing web infrastructure software (much of which was developed in the 1990s) is struggling to meet modern needs. Scalability is a central concern for developers, who are on the front lines fighting the devastating “Fail Whale” every day.

Today we’re thrilled to announce our investment in Nginx Inc., which has answered this battle cry with a powerful open source software platform. At its core is a cutting-edge web server developed by Igor Sysoev to enable a new level of web scalability. Igor’s brilliant and continued work on the NGINX server has made him famous in the open source community and led to NGINX’s tremendous rise in popularity.

Thanks to an extremely efficient way of handling web connections, NGINX-based web sites can achieve tremendous scale and performance with limited hardware resources, lowering the CapEx and OpEx requirements for building cutting-edge sites. Furthermore, NGINX features powerful configurability and extensibility options demanded by today’s web architects. These advantages have made NGINX the web server of choice for any web site or app that is being built for success at cloud-scale.

As a result, NGINX has gone from being the best-kept secret of modern web companies to taking over the world. Today, NGINX serves 30% of all web traffic and is the only web server software that is meaningfully growing its market share. It powers 35% of the top 1,000 web sites in the world, and over 120 million web sites total, including leaders like Netflix, Facebook, Box, and Cloudflare.

For these sites, NGINX is both a mission-critical enabler as well as a strategically important middleware platform. Cloudflare, for example, uses NGINX for its reverse proxy service, load balancing, monitoring, and caching. Because NGINX can serve simultaneous connections with significantly less memory than alternatives like Apache, it is uniquely able to handle Cloudflare’s heavy traffic and vast scale. In fact, Nginx Inc. is at the forefront of the infrastructure re-architecting that is enabling web apps and rich online media. Modern systems like Cloudflare require NGINX’s speed, scalability, and sophistication, and NGINX is the only software that can deliver.

We’re also thrilled that NGINX is an open source project. Software like this thrives as open source, and it is the community that will ensure its continued success. The full-time Nginx Inc. team is committed to NGINX’s open source distribution, and is continuing to lead extraordinary open development efforts, while also building on the successful release of NGINX Plus with added support, advanced monitoring, and analytics for enterprise needs. We’re confident that commercial support will further strengthen the community: this is an ecosystem model we’ve seen achieve great success for other NEA companies such as XenSource, SourceFire, MuleSoft, and MongoDB.

We couldn’t be happier to be joining CEO Gus Robertson, CTO Igor Sysoev, and the rest of the team in this amazing story. Shoot over to to learn more and try it out!