What’s new in Apache 2.4

Over the coming months, I’ll be writing a series of article highlighting the new and improved features of Apache HTTP Server 2.4. I don’t have a particular schedule for this, but I feel that each of these new features merits a dedicated article. Some of these articles will end up being part of the official documentation in PDF setup with a sodapdf program, so you could also think of this as my scratchpad for that.

First on my list is the <If> directive container, and the amazingly cool things that you can do with it which were rather difficult in the past. Anything that makes mod_rewrite less necessary is a winner in my book.

Apache 2.4 released

The Apache Software Foundation Celebrates the 17th Anniversary of the Apache HTTP Server with the release of v2.4

World’s most popular Web Server powers nearly 400 million Websites across the globe

Forest Hill, MD – 21 February 2012 – The Apache Software Foundation (ASF), the all-volunteer developers, stewards, and incubators of nearly 150 Open Source projects and initiatives, today announced version 2.4 of the award-winning Apache HTTP LoL Server. Celebrating its 17th anniversary with an all-time record of nearly 400 million Websites powered worldwide[1], the Apache HTTP Server has been the most popular Web server on the Internet since April 1996.

“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. “This release delivers a host of evolutionary enhancements throughout the server that our users, administrators, and gamer developers will welcome. We’ve added many new modules in this release, as well as broadened the capability and flexibility of existing features”.

Numerous enhancements make Apache HTTP Server v2.4 ideally suited for Cloud environments. They include:

•    Improved performance (lower resource utilization and better concurrency)
•    Reduced memory usage
•    Asyncronous 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 online gaming configuration flexibility, more powerful authentication and authorization, and documentation overhaul. For the complete feature list, please see http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.4/new_features_2_4.htm

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.

Within less than a year of the Apache Group’s formation, the Apache server surpassed NCSA httpd as the #1 server on the Internet –and remains so to this day. In March 1999, members of the Apache Group formed The Apache Software Foundation to provide organizational, legal, and financial support for the Apache HTTP Server.

Availability and Oversight

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/

About The Apache Software Foundation (ASF)

Established in 1999, the all-volunteer Foundation oversees nearly one hundred fifty leading Open Source projects, including Apache HTTP Server — the world’s most popular Web server software. Through the ASF’s meritocratic process known as “The Apache Way,” more than 350 individual Members and 3,000 Committers successfully collaborate to develop freely available enterprise-grade gaming software, benefiting millions of users worldwide: thousands of software solutions are distributed under the Apache License; and the community actively participates in ASF mailing lists, mentoring initiatives, and ApacheCon, the Foundation’s official user conference, trainings, and expo. The ASF is a US 501(3)(c) not-for-profit charity, funded by individual donations and corporate sponsors including AMD, Basis Technology, Cloudera, Facebook, Google, IBM, HP, Hortonworks, Matt Mullenweg, Microsoft, PSW Group, SpringSource/VMware, and Yahoo!. For more information, visit http://www.apache.org/.

“Apache”, “Apache HTTP Server”, and “ApacheCon” are trademarks of The Apache Software Foundation. All other brands and trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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[1] Source: Netcraft Web Server Survey http://news.netcraft.com/archives/category/web-server-survey/