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NGINX Plus OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

NGINX Plus is the #5 ranked solution in our list of top Application Infrastructure tools. It is most often compared to IIS: NGINX Plus vs IIS

What is NGINX Plus?

NGINX Plus is the all‑in‑one application delivery platform for the modern application development.

NGINX is the world’s most popular all‑in‑one application delivery platform for the modern application development. NGINX Plus adds enterprise-ready features for HTTP, TCP, and UDP load balancing, such as session persistencehealth checksadvanced monitoring, and management to give you the freedom to innovate without being constrained by infrastructure.

NGINX Plus is a cloud‑native, reverse proxy, load balancer, and API gateway. NGINX Plus boasts scalable and reliable high availability along with monitoring to support debugging and diagnosing complex application architectures. Active health checks proactively poll upstream server status to get ahead of issues, and the integrated live activity monitoring dashboard provides a single‑pane view of your app environment. The NGINX Plus API enables integration with existing tools, optimizing resources and reducing tool sprawl.

NGINX Plus extends NGINX Open Source with many additional features and support, providing customers with a complete application delivery solution.

NGINX Plus is also known as NGINX.

Buyer's Guide

Download the Application Delivery Controllers (ADC) Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: October 2021

NGINX Plus Customers

Locaweb, AppNexus, Wix, Reliam, Montana Interactive, MuleSoft, Warpwire, Discovery Education, InkaBinka, WordPress.com, Gogo, GOV.UK, NASA

NGINX Plus Video

Archived NGINX Plus Reviews (more than two years old)

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Fabio Azambuja
CTO at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Its most valuable features are load balancing and application delivery

Pros and Cons

  • "Its most valuable features are load balancing and application delivery. This is the most efficient application for these features because of stability and its efficiency."
  • "They should do in the open source version of what they did to Advanced HTTP, TCP, and UDP load balancing."

What is our primary use case?

I use it for eCommerce web servers and to reverse proxy in a different cases. I also use it for high availability, load balancing, and failover.

How has it helped my organization?

An example of how this product has improved my organizational functions is the form of how I work in failover cases and how this improves my capability to repair or reestablish communication.

What is most valuable?

Its most valuable features are load balancing and application delivery. This is the most efficient application for these features because of stability and its efficiency.

What needs improvement?

They should do in the open source version of what they did to Advanced HTTP, TCP, and UDP load balancing. They are always creating improvements and working towards new features.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their technical support is great.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We previously used Apache2. We switched to NGINX because I read about the better throughput that NGINX offers.

How was the initial setup?

NGINX initial configuration is straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

I do not know about this.

What was our ROI?

I do not know about this.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I do not know about this.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No.

What other advice do I have?

It is a great product. It serves us well and is the best solution. I have been using it since 2012.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Darren Whitfield
CTO at a tech vendor
Real User
Helped us painlessly deploy sites over a number of servers to balance the load

Pros and Cons

    • "Our most challenging part was to run an older PHP website reverse-proxied through NGINX. That was not fun."

    What is our primary use case?

    We build all our websites (of which we have multiple, from production sites to development environments), through webpack, so we use NGINX to quickly host them, while easily binding to the relevant (sub)domains. Our entire service stack runs on Linux. Our most challenging part was to run an older PHP website reverse-proxied through NGINX. That was not fun.

    How has it helped my organization?

    NGINX isn’t itself a productivity tool, but rather a cog in the engine of a solid service stack. In a way, it's the same as adding RAM to a PC. While you don’t necessarily feel the new improvement, you’ll definitely know when it’s gone.

    What is most valuable?

    Our primary use for NGINX is as a Web server, so that’s where we derive the most value. Recently, we’ve needed to deploy sites over a number of servers to balance the load, which was not only painless but also super valuable.

    What needs improvement?

    We used the standard tried-and-tested features of NGINX. Everything is done through the CLI over a secure connection and there have not been any issues or additions to our wish list.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    One to three years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    NGINX has an amazing developer base which ensures amazing stability.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We’re only just getting into the scalability side of things, so no issues yet.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Never needed technical support (which speaks for itself).

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We tried to use some "golden bullet" solutions but we never needed most of their features (like a built-in database environment). NGINX is a direct way to satisfy a specific need.

    How was the initial setup?

    This was installed on an Ubuntu system. The setup and deployment is well documented which lead to creating an easy hosting environment.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    The idea of using other lightweight solutions, or a native Ubuntu Web server, was completely overshadowed by NGINX.

    What other advice do I have?

    Support the developers and the product, they’ve worked really hard to give you something you’ll always be satisfied with. First, set up a free environment and see your limitations, and then pay for what you need.

    Always do a setup and test on a small (possibly in-house) server. Work out all your kinks and processes, then deploy it to a production environment. Having something like docker helps immensely.

    I rate NGINX a 10 out of 10. Really, the only other options are native solutions that are either super convoluted or don’t have the needed features.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Find out what your peers are saying about F5, HAProxy, Kemp and others in Application Delivery Controllers (ADC). Updated: October 2021.
    542,721 professionals have used our research since 2012.
    Fabio Peruchi
    Devops Specialist And Infrastructure Leader at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
    Real User
    Provides load-balancing for our two Keycloak single sign-on instances

    What is our primary use case?

    We use NGINX 1.12.x free version as reverse proxy to Java application servers (WildFly and Tomcat) on single instances, and use it as a load-balancer for our two Keycloak single sign-on instances too. We use AWS EC2 instances here.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We were just Apache 2.0 before NGINX. However, we have not compared the results of both.

    What is most valuable?

    Load-balancer feature, because I tried to do same with Apache 2.0 and HAProxy without sucess.

    What needs improvement?

    Instance service health check on the NGINX load balancer feature could be improved.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    One to three years.

    What is our primary use case?

    We use NGINX 1.12.x free version as reverse proxy to Java application servers (WildFly and Tomcat) on single instances, and use it as a load-balancer for our two Keycloak single sign-on instances too. We use AWS EC2 instances here.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We were just Apache 2.0 before NGINX. However, we have not compared the results of both.

    What is most valuable?

    Load-balancer feature, because I tried to do same with Apache 2.0 and HAProxy without sucess.

    What needs improvement?

    Instance service health check on the NGINX load balancer feature could be improved.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    One to three years.
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Daniel Gordi
    Linux System Administrator at a comms service provider with 51-200 employees
    Real User
    A lightweight web server which can be used for micro caching and load balancing

    Pros and Cons

    • "NGINX works much better than HAProxy in our current hardware and architecture for HTTP/HTTPS load balancing. ​​"
    • "If NGINX brings some features for health check in the open source version, it would be better. ​"

    What is our primary use case?

    I am using the NGINX web server as my web server, especially to run PHP applications and Python. The main reason that I am using NGINX in these environments is micro caching. NGINX is a lightweight web server. 

    How has it helped my organization?

    Writing rules and configurations in NGINX can be more handy than Apache. Another usage is as a load balancer. NGINX works much better than HAProxy in our current hardware and architecture for HTTP/HTTPS load balancing. 

    What is most valuable?

    Because of our usage:

    • Micro cache
    • Rate limit
    • Upstream (load balancing).

    What needs improvement?

    If NGINX brings some features for health check in the open source version, it would be better. 

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    First, I used NGINX as a reverse proxy web server for Apache.

    What other advice do I have?

    I love NGINX, which is why I am rating it as a 10 out of 10.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    JacquesGuerrero
    Linux System Administrator at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
    Real User
    The robust software architecture allows for it to be scalable and very stable

    Pros and Cons

    • "The robust software architecture allows for it to be scalable and very stable."
    • "​The flexibility of its modules allow it to be scalable.​"
    • "​Zero Downtime has always been a strength in recommending infrastructure web services. NGINX allows me to execute such infrastructure with less complications and the ability to switch from server to server easily.​"
    • "Make modules easier to enable or disable. The beauty and ugly side of the NGINX modules is you have to know how to compile the module. For beginners or non-very technical aspirant(s) going for NGINX, they have to learn how to compile the modules.​"

    What is our primary use case?

    NGINX has been primarily used as a web server, which is also used as a load balancer. The robust software architecture allows for it to be scalable and very stable.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Zero Downtime has always been a strength in recommending infrastructure web services. NGINX allows me to execute such infrastructure with less complications and the ability to switch from server to server easily.

    What is most valuable?

    NGINX's multi-thread compatibility has been the integral part of it being a robust enterprise solution. 

    What needs improvement?

    Make modules easier to enable or disable. The beauty and ugly side of the NGINX modules is you have to know how to compile the module. For beginners or non-very technical aspirant(s) going for NGINX, they have to learn how to compile the modules.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    Three to five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It is very stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The flexibility of its modules allow it to be scalable. You just have to know how to integrate them with various enterprise scenarios.

    What about the implementation team?

    I have been using NGINX for five years. I have implemented various NGINX solutions to different client requirements.

    What other advice do I have?

    I have no problems with it. Its stability is what makes it very much recommended as a solution for any enterprise to utilize.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user860769
    Information Security Team Leader at a energy/utilities company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Stable and reliable against DoS and DDoS attacks

    Pros and Cons

    • "When I worked in a security research center, we tested NGINX to support DoS and DDoS attacks, and its results were great."
    • "I would like it to have a more user-friendly graphical interface."

    What is our primary use case?

    We are using NGINX to provide a reverse proxy in an environment of web services.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The product is free, reliable, and safe. 

    When I worked in a security research center, we tested NGINX to support DoS and DDoS attacks, and its results were great.

    What is most valuable?

    It is reliable.

    What needs improvement?

    I would like it to have a more user-friendly graphical interface.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    More than five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    No issues yet.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No issues yet.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We used Microsoft ForeFront and changed because it was not stable during DDoS attacks.

    How was the initial setup?

    It was a simple setup.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    NGINX is a free tool in Brazil. There are some companies which do support it. The price is the cost to contract support with a specialized company, usually during consulting hours.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    No.

    What other advice do I have?

    I have been using it for eight years.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Derek DeJonghe
    Director of Architecture at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
    Real User
    Valuable features include authentication, caching, reverse proxy routing, and load balancing

    Pros and Cons

    • "Valuable features include authentication, caching, reverse proxy routing, and load balancing."
    • "The best solution, by far, for web traffic control for things in production and just around the house."
    • "The biggest room for improvement would be to allow NGINX Core machines to cluster for memory zones in some way with a plug and play module. ​"

    What is our primary use case?

    By far the best solution for web traffic control - in production and just around the house.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We have used it in every project since 2013, setting it as our standard. Our organization is able to use it effectively in multiple applications. 

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable features would be the following:

    • Reverse proxy routing
    • Authentication
    • Caching
    • The ability to manipulate requests and responses
    • Load balancing, etc. 

    What needs improvement?

    I would say ModSecurity 3.0 for NGINX Core, but they just released that. 

    The biggest room for improvement would be to allow NGINX Core machines to cluster for memory zones in some way with a Plug and Play module. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    More than five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    No issues. Never.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No issues. Never.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I have never had to use it. However, the community is very strong and supportive. I often answer people's questions on Reddit, etc. 

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    When I was young, I used Apache2, because that is all I knew. I switched to NGINX once I learned of it. That's the story. 

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is straightforward for those who are used to reverse proxies and/or load balancer terminology. The NGINX default install sets up an example web server, modifying it from there is very straightforward, and their documentation is fairly good. 

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    NGINX Plus is worth it, if you need it. If you do not need the features or support, the free and open source package is more than capable. 

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I have evaluated many types of products that fall into this category. They are all far less superior than NGINX: F5 BIG-IP, HAProxy, Apache2, and IIS. I am sure the list goes on. 

    What other advice do I have?

    Install it, test it out, download, and read this free ebook: https://www.nginx.com/resources/library/complete-nginx-cookbook/.

    I use this product on AWS. I would suggest the ELB/ALB sandwich model. There is a section in the ebook about this model.

    Personally, I have written a book for O'Reilly Media that was sponsored by NGINX, Inc.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Andrii Stesin
    Startup Founder at a tech services company
    Real User
    Extremely efficient in terms of the connection rate to the CPU cycles ratio

    Pros and Cons

    • "Nginx is extremely efficient in terms of the connection rate to the CPU cycles ratio, and in terms of the bandwidth to CPU cycles."
    • "Application Gateway with application-level firewall tool and load distributor and balancer (also serves for A/B testing)."

      What is our primary use case?

      In my architecture (which is a microservice architecture with some special advances), NGINX serves multiple purposes. Namely:

      • Application Gateway with an application-level firewall tool and load distributor & balancer (also serves for A/B testing).
      • Rate limiter and bandwidth limiter (session-based).
      • Source of real-time logs, consumed by intrusion detection system.
      • "Circuit breaker" for the whole complex of microservices.

      No other tool can compare to it.

      How has it helped my organization?

      I have never seen a single case where programmatic tools can change an organization. Tools are not subjects. They are passive objects. Organizations and people are subjects. Tools are just reflections of the organisation and people. Tools mirror people's faces and habits, never vice versa.

      What is most valuable?

      NGINX is extremely efficient in terms of the connection rate to the CPU cycles ratio, and in terms of the bandwidth to CPU cycles. It is configurable enough so smart engineers (which team consists of) can configure virtually anything which a product manager (say "business") is able to imagine. Even more because business does not always know all the quirks of DevOps and operations.

      What needs improvement?

      I am not so happy with their pricing policy, but this is not the worse thing in my life. I can tolerate it.

      For how long have I used the solution?

      More than five years.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      Stable as a rock. On the stable host OS and stable hardware, your connectivity channels will be saturated (and dead) long before NGINX will mention any difficulties.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      No scalability issues at all. Just add more horsepower to the VM. Horizontal scalability also works well, but you definitely need an engineer who knows how to do this and is ready to take his/her part of the responsibility. 

      How are customer service and technical support?

      I've never asked for anything. Everything was done in-house.

      Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

      Before NGINX, there was Squid. I have been using NGINX since its arrival on the market.

      Squid is a tool of a different age, from a different (previous) generation. I started using Squid many years ago, from its pre-release beta. It was a good tool for its time and purpose: just caching proxy, which allows you to somehow save on traffic and bandwidth. At these times, the web was mostly static so it worked.

      Later, both the capacities of the channels had grown 1,000-10,000 times from megabits to a 10th of gigabits per second. The web moved to mostly dynamic content, so caching proxies lost their appeal.

      On the other hand, NGINX is mostly an application level gateway, not a proxy per se. It is a different tool for different tasks.

      How was the initial setup?

      Get a real good engineer who will do this for your business. I did, and I am happy with it.

      What about the implementation team?

      Only an in-house team was in the game for implementation. I doubt that the vendor has enough engineers of this level available for assigning them to the kind of customers that we are.

      What was our ROI?

      Who calculates "ROI" for every single component of a large system with more than 100 components in it? 

      The whole system brought ROI even better than what was expected.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      There were not any other real options. 

      Squid is too heavy. Apache in reverse proxy mode is also over-bloated, resource hungry, and not suitable for the task.

      What other advice do I have?

      NGINX is the best available tool today for the tasks it covers.

      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
      it_user718461
      Lead Engineer at a tech services company
      Consultant
      Simple To Configure And Very Stable In A Highly Utilized Environment

      Pros and Cons

      • "Nginx is simple to configure, very stable in a highly utilized environment and very modular, allowing DevOps to create it's own modules for interactive use with Nginx."
      • "Only improvement needed that I would point to is scalability. With it, I mean clusterized organisation on a low level. At the moment, the best alternative is RHEL HA."

      What is most valuable?

      Simplicity, stability, and modularity. Because, if you are familiar with Apache, you will know why my first reason is simplicity. Nginx is simple to configure, very stable in a highly utilized environment and very modular, allowing DevOps to create it's own modules for interactive use with Nginx.

      How has it helped my organization?

      It lowered overall bugs and increased system stability. Also, it allowed our system to serve many more clients than the old system did.

      What needs improvement?

      Only improvement needed that I would point to is scalability. With it, I mean clusterized organisation on a low level. At the moment, the best alternative is RHEL HA.

      For how long have I used the solution?

      Around four to five years.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      No.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      Yes. As I explained in areas for improvement.

      How are customer service and technical support?

      I have no experience with the Nginx technical team.

      Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

      Yes, Apache. It was terribly complex for usage and unstable in a production environment.

      How was the initial setup?

      Complex. It needed a complete product rework.

      What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

      I have no advice. Nginx is free. I don't have experience with the Plus version.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      No.

      What other advice do I have?

      Use community knowledge. Nginx is widely used worldwide and there are many experts on the web that will help you out. Also, read the documentation. Its documentation is excellent.

      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.