Priming the engine

Nginx switches on to WebSockets

Elliot Bentley
nginx1

Latest release of asynchronous server brings support for persistent connection protocol.

Nginx, the lightweight
open-source web server, has added support for the WebSocket
protocol as part of its 1.3.13
release
.

WebSockets are a major feature of the HTML5 specification, allowing
persistent connections to be maintained between the server and
client – particularly useful for online games and IRC clients. With
the specification finalised, the WebSocket protocol is now
supported by practically
all web browsers
, as well as Java servers GlassFish, Jetty and
Tomcat.

Work on implementing the protocol into Nginx was sponsored by cloud
platforms Apcera and CloudBees, the latter of which uses Nginx to
power its specialist Java PaaS and is
already offering support
in “limited production form”.

Nginx was created in 2004 by Igor Sysoev and now powers around 18% of
the top 10,000 websites in the world. Asynchronous and
event-driven, it has risen in popularity thanks to its small
footprint and speed. The next big feature to hit Nginx is support
for Google’s SPDY
protocol
, which can reduce
load times by almost 50%
. A second draft of the functionality
is due in milestone 1.3.14, which is scheduled to arrive in three
weeks’ time.

For those interested in using WebSockets with their application,
check out this
month’s edition of JAX Magazine
for a tutorial on using the
protocol with GlassFish.

Photo by Paul
Downey
.

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