The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) celebrated the 17th anniversary of the Apache HTTP Server by delivering version 2.4 of the technology.
ASF officials said as of Feb. 21 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.
Within less than a year of the Apache Group's formation in 1994, the Apache server surpassed NCSA httpd as the No. 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 organizational, 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," Eric Covener, vice president of the Apache HTTP Server Project, said 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 time-out and rate/resource limiting capability; and
¢ 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.
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 Groups founding members included Brian Behlendorf, Roy Fielding, Rob Hartill, David Robinson, Cliff Skolnick, Randy Terbush, Robert Thau and Andrew Wilson.
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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 projects day-to-day operations, including community development and product releases. Apache HTTP Server source code, documentation, mailing lists and related resources are available here.