Aside from making Nginx easier to run and providing access to a streaming media server edition, it also gives AWS users a way to run Nginx for a flat $1,500-a-year fee regardless of machine type.
The Nginx Web server, vaunted for its speed and reliability, exists in a plain-vanilla open source version and a high-end commercial version. The open source edition is available through multiple channels, including the software repositories for various Linux distributions available on AWS.
The commercial version, available only as a paid productfrom Nginx Inc., sports a slew of higher-end features: cache control, load balancing, app health monitoring, and professional support and service features provided by the company. Costs for support range from $1,350 to $2,700 per year.
The AWS edition of Nginx Plus is offered with both hourly and annual pricing. Rates vary between 6 cents and $1.19 per hour, depending on the machine type used, so costs could vary from $518 to $10,281 a year. An annual instance of Nginx Plus is $1,500 per year regardless of the machine type -- it's the same whether you're running a t1.micro instance or a m3.2xlarge instance.
AWS users also have access to the Nginx Streaming Media Server, a variant of Nginx Plus optimized specifically forstreaming video and audio. Those optimizations include being able to adaptively stream H.264/AAC-content for different bandwidth demands. People on lower-end devices or connections are automatically served a lower-bandwidth stream than those on high-speed connections, all from the same file. The functionality is native to the H.264 format, but its needs proper support from a server for clients.
Despite Nginx's rising popularity, both Apache's server and Nginx can run side by side for different use cases. Apache has 20 years of experience serving dynamic content, while Nginx is best for railgunning static content and providing high-speed reverse-proxying. To that end, the biggest threats posed by Nginx in its commercial form may not be to Apache itself, but rather the media-streaming and reverse-proxy products Nginx is clearly also seeking to one-up.
This story, "Amazon cloud users can now get a piece of Nginx Plus" was originally published by InfoWorld.