Revving up

NGINX Plus R6 unveiled with more everything

Coman Hamilton

Faster load-balancing, better availability and SSL authentication for SMTP mail protocol are among the features in NGINX’s latest premium model. CEO Gus Robertson talks to JAXenter about being open source, the new offering and a developer innovator program.

Not many technologies can claim to have quite such an impact on how the web works without many people noticing. Like a good house elf, NGINX is always present and yet rarely visible (to users of the 140 million sites using it).

The open-source server has now announced its latest (and even more invisible) version of its commercial web acceleration technology: NGINX Plus Release 6 (R6).

NGINX CEO Gus Robertson told us the new premium version of its open-source solution adds a number of enhancements that provide total application delivery for enterprises, “whether for modern web applications or for legacy enterprise applications like relational databases and mail servers”. Robertson continued that the new product aims to help businesses “deliver the best possible online experience for web users around the globe.”

Some of the new features are faster load-balancing, full-featured TCP load balancing, SSL authentication for the SMTP mail protocol, high availability, unbuffered upload support and an extended status dashboard.

Developer innovator program

The announcement of R6 coincides with the launch of a new developer innovator program, which aims at supporting developers using the open-source technology.

“As a company shaped by developers, we are recognizing those developers who are driving innovation and helping build the next generation of businesses by offering the NGINX Innovators Program,” Robertson told us.

The program provides customers with unlimited developer licenses and free usage of NGINX Plus for verified startups (with less than $2 million in annual revenue and less than $10 million in fund raising), as well as discounts on large volumes of NGINX Plus for SaaS applications.

“The launch of the NGINX Innovators Program further supports the millions of developers using NGINX to build the next generation of high performance web applications,” says Robertson. “We’re excited to introduce this new program into the market and continue to support innovation and the advancements of digital businesses everywhere.”

SEE ALSO: Why NGINX is outmanoeuvring Apache

Last week, NGINX announced another major investment round of $20 million (USD), bringing its total funding up to $33 million. Robertson told us that the NGINX team have been using the finances “to continue driving NGINX’s community, marketing and geographic expansion outside of the U.S., and to fuel product development.” Venturbeat reports that NGINX wants to build a larger company around its existing technology.

Scaling with open source

One thing we recently learned about open source is that it means different things to different companies. For some it means better transparency and dialogue, while others appreciate the longevity of open solutions, unlike some short-lived proprietary wares like Silverlight and Flash.

“From day one, we’ve been committed to open source–we got our start 10 years ago as an open source project,” says Robertson about NGINX. “It’s an exciting time to be involved given the industry’s evolution over the past few years.”

For NGINX the decision to take the open-source route means scalability and flexibility. “Some of the world’s most disruptive companies are experiencing exponential growth with no signs of stopping, and so much of their ability to scale and be flexible is due to open source. Today, companies across the board are realizing they need open source to stay relevant and agile, especially in the age of mobility and the explosion of IoT.”

Coman Hamilton
Coman was Editor of at S&S Media Group. He has a master's degree in cultural studies and has written and edited content for numerous news, tech and culture websites and magazines, as well as several ad agencies.

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