eWEEK at 30: The Lamp Stack Switches on Large-Scale Web Development - Page 2

In 2014, Red Hat is a billion dollar software company and it owes some of its early success to the LAMP stack. Wesley noted that LAMP in the early days helped spur the growth of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

"We were one of the first companies that recognized the demand from customers for a stable, reliable platform for application development and deployment and we delivered that in Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which included a complete LAMP stack," Wesley said. "That helped drive customer adoption and further reinforced Red Hat's focus on improving the LAMP offering in the product."

LAMP's success was something that eWEEK reported on in the early 2000s and was something that Microsoft noticed as well. In 2002, eWEEK published a story titled, "Microsoft Steps Up Its War on LAMP," which reported on an effort to offer developers a Windows-based alternative to LAMP that never truly matured into a strong competitive threat.

"Is Microsoft at last conceding that the open-source world may have some new tricks to teach the old dogs in Redmond? Or is the Redmond software giant simply using new tactics to infiltrate the Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP (LAMP) camp?" eWEEK wrote at the time.

A decade later and Microsoft's market position against LAMP is relatively unchanged statistically. In 2014, Microsoft has still not made any significant share gains against LAMP or Apache specifically. According to Netcraft's February 2014 web server survey, Microsoft now holds a 29 percent share of all Websites. In contrast, Apache holds a 42 percent market share.

In 2002, Microsoft also only had a 29 percent share, though Apache's share at the time stood at 58 percent. In recent years, the open-source Nginx Web server has made significant inroads, some of it at the expense of Apache's share.

Overall, even now in 2014, the LAMP stack remains a dominant force on the Web landscape. Wesley said that Linux is the dominant operating system platform for Web application deployments and the vast majority of these deployments use the Apache Web server.

"MySQL, or derivatives of it like MariaDB, are widely used for database storage and the 'P' languages—PHP, Python, and to a lesser extent, Perl—continue to be the tools of choice for both small projects and large scale web services," Wesley added. "So I would say that the LAMP stack continues to play an important role on the web today."

The importance of LAMP is echoed by the Linux Foundation's McPherson. She commented that the LAMP stack helped bring enterprise-level attention to using a fully open-source suite of components to build and run technologies better and faster.

"Linux and open source software run most of modern day technology infrastructure, including the majority of the web (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Twitter and more) and the major cloud services," McPherson said. "I know quite a few software-as-a-service start ups and they all either use cloud-based services or run the LAMP stack along with automation tools in their own environments."

The idea of an open-source based set of software components all pieced together to form a software stack was a new one in the late 1990s but it's one that still continues to evolve today. Whether it's the use of Nginx for the Web server, different databases like MariaDB or different programming models like node.js, the open source stack concept continues to drive Web innovation forward.

"The interesting thing is to witness the evolution of the stack concept, bringing in alternative database technologies or new languages, but still modeled on the original LAMP concept," Wesley said. "I think that speaks to the power of the original solution, it's ability to stand the test of time while adapting to new environments."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.