Alternatives to Microsoft IIS logo

Alternatives to Microsoft IIS

Apache Tomcat, nginx, SharePoint, Apache HTTP Server, and OpenResty are the most popular alternatives and competitors to Microsoft IIS.
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What is Microsoft IIS and what are its top alternatives?

Internet Information Services (IIS) for Windows Server is a flexible, secure and manageable Web server for hosting anything on the Web. From media streaming to web applications, IIS's scalable and open architecture is ready to handle the most demanding tasks.
Microsoft IIS is a tool in the Web Servers category of a tech stack.

Microsoft IIS alternatives & related posts

Apache Tomcat logo

Apache Tomcat

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An open source software implementation of the Java Servlet and JavaServer Pages technologies
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Microsoft IIS

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Java
Java
Spring
Spring
JUnit
JUnit
Apache HTTP Server
Apache HTTP Server
Apache Tomcat
Apache Tomcat
MySQL
MySQL

Java Spring JUnit

Apache HTTP Server Apache Tomcat

MySQL

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nginx logo

nginx

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A high performance free open source web server powering busiest sites on the Internet.
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Docker
Docker
Docker Compose
Docker Compose
Jenkins
Jenkins
Kubernetes
Kubernetes
Amazon EC2
Amazon EC2
Heroku
Heroku
FeathersJS
FeathersJS
Node.js
Node.js
ExpressJS
ExpressJS
PostgreSQL
PostgreSQL
React
React
Redux
Redux
Semantic UI React
Semantic UI React
AVA
AVA
ESLint
ESLint
nginx
nginx
GitHub
GitHub
#Containerized
#Containers
#Backend
#Stack
#Frontend

Recently I have been working on an open source stack to help people consolidate their personal health data in a single database so that AI and analytics apps can be run against it to find personalized treatments. We chose to go with a #containerized approach leveraging Docker #containers with a local development environment setup with Docker Compose and nginx for container routing. For the production environment we chose to pull code from GitHub and build/push images using Jenkins and using Kubernetes to deploy to Amazon EC2.

We also implemented a dashboard app to handle user authentication/authorization, as well as a custom SSO server that runs on Heroku which allows experts to easily visit more than one instance without having to login repeatedly. The #Backend was implemented using my favorite #Stack which consists of FeathersJS on top of Node.js and ExpressJS with PostgreSQL as the main database. The #Frontend was implemented using React, Redux.js, Semantic UI React and the FeathersJS client. Though testing was light on this project, we chose to use AVA as well as ESLint to keep the codebase clean and consistent.

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Node.js
Node.js
Ubuntu
Ubuntu
MySQL
MySQL
npm
npm
Framework7
Framework7
Vue.js
Vue.js
Webpack
Webpack
nginx
nginx
#Lenovo
#HapiJS
#Framework7
#Plaid

I just designed, developed, and deployed my own budgeting app, dailybudget.cc, which allows me to automate my budgeting the way I have always done it, in a way that I could never fully capture with other budgeting apps, such as Mint, EveryDollar, or YNAB. I spent 4 years from the time I first had the idea to the time I actually sat down to design it and start development. During this time I evaluated many other budgeting app solutions, and had even architected a prototype that I never ended up using. But boy, have technologies come much further in 4 years.

Though my first prototype used Java and Tomcat, I completely abandoned those 4 years later in favor of Node.js technologies, which I have found are equally as stable, more flexible (for better or for worse), and capable of significantly more rapid development. Since what I have deployed now is in beta and is primarily for limited user use, I favored rapid development over slower development where I would write more automated unit tests. I chose to build the app as a HTML5 web application (rather than native iOS or Android, for now), and I used a separated API backend/Web frontend model. My target platform for use with the app is mobile handheld touch devices, though it can work on any laptop or desktop with a touchscreen. Given these design targets, many of the technologies I chose were because of familiarity with them as well as a strong online community, and some technologies I chose that I had to learn anew, because they appeared to fit my needs.

My entire app runs on a #lenovo IdeaCentre desktop on my home network, on which I have installed Ubuntu 18.04. Ubuntu is something I have switched to after a long time of use and familiarity with RedHat Enterprise Linux and CentOS, because the online support for Ubuntu is now tremendous, and there is so much documentation and examples online of how to configure and use Ubuntu; not to mention I have not been thrilled with the direction new releases of CentOS. Ubuntu is also a good environment for development - it is so easy to follow the many online examples. Lastly, I may migrate my app and configuration to Amazon AWS, which also uses Ubuntu for its EC2 Linux VMs, so having Ubuntu now is helpful for that prospect.

The API backend uses Node.js, with #HapiJS as the API server framework and MySQL as my persistence database. HapiJS is something I have had familiarity with and is just a phenomenal framework to plug into and configure, especially if you use it for a route-based API. #Mysql has a great online community. I could've used PostgreSQL too, but I am more familiar with MySQL. Also, if I migrate to Amazon AWS, Amazon's RDS uses MySQL. I use npm as a one-stop-shop package manager and environment manager.

The Web frontend uses a combination of Framework7 and Vue.js. I cannot evangelize Framework7 enough! It is a fantasic tool by @nolimits4web (GitHub) that is really easy to use, really well thought out, and really performant. Framework7 simulates the native iOS or Android (Google Material) experiences, all using HTML5 constructs (HTML+CSS+JS). Vue.js is another very fantastic binding and frontend framework which has a good online community and is well documented and easy to use. I had to choose between VueJS and ReactJS, and ultimately chose VueJS over ReactJS because it seemed to favor more rapid development with less ramp-up time, whereas I understood ReactJS to be more of an enterprise level framework (though still good for smaller projects like mine). When using Framework7 with VueJS, NodeJS is used along with Webpack to transpile my code into browser-friendly JavaScript, HTML, etc. Webpack was nice to use because it has a hot-deploy development mode to enable rapid development without me having stop, recompile, and start my server (this was one of several reasons against using Java with Tomcat). I had no familiarity with Framework7, VueJS, or Webpack prior to this project.

I use nginx as my web server and have the API running behind a reverse proxy, and all of the web frontent content hosted as static content.

I use the plaid API to sync my bank transactions to my database. This is another fantastic framework (though not free beyond development use) that it turns out is extremely easy to use for the complex job that it solves.

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SharePoint logo

SharePoint

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    related Apache HTTP Server posts

    Tim Abbott
    Tim Abbott
    Founder at Zulip · | 7 upvotes · 92K views
    atZulipZulip
    nginx
    nginx
    Apache HTTP Server
    Apache HTTP Server

    We've been happy with nginx as part of our stack. As an open source web application that folks install on-premise, the configuration system for the webserver is pretty important to us. I have a few complaints (e.g. the configuration syntax for conditionals is a pain), but overall we've found it pretty easy to build a configurable set of options (see link) for how to run Zulip on nginx, both directly and with a remote reverse proxy in front of it, with a minimum of code duplication.

    Certainly I've been a lot happier with it than I was working with Apache HTTP Server in past projects.

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    Marcel Kornegoor
    Marcel Kornegoor
    CTO at AT Computing · | 7 upvotes · 66.9K views
    nginx
    nginx
    Apache HTTP Server
    Apache HTTP Server

    nginx or Apache HTTP Server that's the question. The best choice depends on what it needs to serve. In general, Nginx performs better with static content, where Apache and Nginx score roughly the same when it comes to dynamic content. Since most webpages and web-applications use both static and dynamic content, a combination of both platforms may be the best solution.

    Since both webservers are easy to deploy and free to use, setting up a performance or feature comparison test is no big deal. This way you can see what solutions suits your application or content best. Don't forget to look at other aspects, like security, back-end compatibility (easy of integration) and manageability, as well.

    A reasonably good comparison between the two can be found in the link below.

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    OpenResty logo

    OpenResty

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    Turning Nginx into a Full-fledged Web App Server
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      Chris McFadden
      Chris McFadden
      VP, Engineering at SparkPost · | 7 upvotes · 134.1K views
      atSparkPostSparkPost
      nginx
      nginx
      OpenResty
      OpenResty
      Lua
      Lua

      We use nginx and OpenResty as our API proxy running on EC2 for auth, caching, and some rate limiting for our dozens of microservices. Since OpenResty support embedded Lua we were able to write a custom access module that calls out to our authentication service with the resource, method, and access token. If that succeeds then critical account info is passed down to the underlying microservice. This proxy approach keeps all authentication and authorization in one place and provides a unified CX for our API users. Nginx is fast and cheap to run though we are always exploring alternatives that are also economical. What do you use?

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      Prometheus
      Prometheus
      Logstash
      Logstash
      nginx
      nginx
      OpenResty
      OpenResty
      Lua
      Lua
      Go
      Go

      At Kong while building an internal tool, we struggled to route metrics to Prometheus and logs to Logstash without incurring too much latency in our metrics collection.

      We replaced nginx with OpenResty on the edge of our tool which allowed us to use the lua-nginx-module to run Lua code that captures metrics and records telemetry data during every request’s log phase. Our code then pushes the metrics to a local aggregator process (written in Go) which in turn exposes them in Prometheus Exposition Format for consumption by Prometheus. This solution reduced the number of components we needed to maintain and is fast thanks to NGINX and LuaJIT.

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      LiteSpeed logo

      LiteSpeed

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      A drop-in Apache replacement and the leading high-performance, high-scalability server
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        LiteSpeed
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        Gunicorn logo

        Gunicorn

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        A Python WSGI HTTP Server for UNIX
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        Gunicorn
        Gunicorn
        uWSGI
        uWSGI
        Heroku
        Heroku
        AWS Elastic Beanstalk
        AWS Elastic Beanstalk

        I use Gunicorn because does one thing - it’s a WSGI HTTP server - and it does it well. Deploy it quickly and easily, and let the rest of your stack do what the rest of your stack does well, wherever that may be.

        uWSGI “aims at developing a full stack for building hosting services” - if that’s a thing you need then ok, but I like the principle of doing one thing well, and I deploy to platforms like Heroku and AWS Elastic Beanstalk where the rest of the “hosting service” is provided and managed for me.

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        Cowboy logo

        Cowboy

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        Small, fast, modular HTTP server written in Erlang.
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        Unicorn logo

        Unicorn

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        Rack HTTP server for fast clients and Unix
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        Simon Bettison
        Simon Bettison
        Managing Director at Bettison.org Limited · | 7 upvotes · 141K views
        atBettison.org LimitedBettison.org Limited
        PostgreSQL
        PostgreSQL
        Elasticsearch
        Elasticsearch
        Sidekiq
        Sidekiq
        Redis
        Redis
        Amazon ElastiCache
        Amazon ElastiCache
        Rails
        Rails
        RSpec
        RSpec
        Selenium
        Selenium
        Travis CI
        Travis CI
        Ruby
        Ruby
        Unicorn
        Unicorn
        nginx
        nginx
        Amazon CloudFront
        Amazon CloudFront
        Amazon SES
        Amazon SES
        Amazon SQS
        Amazon SQS
        Amazon Route 53
        Amazon Route 53
        Amazon VPC
        Amazon VPC
        Docker
        Docker
        Amazon EC2 Container Service
        Amazon EC2 Container Service

        In 2010 we made the very difficult decision to entirely re-engineer our existing monolithic LAMP application from the ground up in order to address some growing concerns about it's long term viability as a platform.

        Full application re-write is almost always never the answer, because of the risks involved. However the situation warranted drastic action as it was clear that the existing product was going to face severe scaling issues. We felt it better address these sooner rather than later and also take the opportunity to improve the international architecture and also to refactor the database in. order that it better matched the changes in core functionality.

        PostgreSQL was chosen for its reputation as being solid ACID compliant database backend, it was available as an offering AWS RDS service which reduced the management overhead of us having to configure it ourselves. In order to reduce read load on the primary database we implemented an Elasticsearch layer for fast and scalable search operations. Synchronisation of these indexes was to be achieved through the use of Sidekiq's Redis based background workers on Amazon ElastiCache. Again the AWS solution here looked to be an easy way to keep our involvement in managing this part of the platform at a minimum. Allowing us to focus on our core business.

        Rails ls was chosen for its ability to quickly get core functionality up and running, its MVC architecture and also its focus on Test Driven Development using RSpec and Selenium with Travis CI providing continual integration. We also liked Ruby for its terse, clean and elegant syntax. Though YMMV on that one!

        Unicorn was chosen for its continual deployment and reputation as a reliable application server, nginx for its reputation as a fast and stable reverse-proxy. We also took advantage of the Amazon CloudFront CDN here to further improve performance by caching static assets globally.

        We tried to strike a balance between having control over management and configuration of our core application with the convenience of being able to leverage AWS hosted services for ancillary functions (Amazon SES , Amazon SQS Amazon Route 53 all hosted securely inside Amazon VPC of course!).

        Whilst there is some compromise here with potential vendor lock in, the tasks being performed by these ancillary services are no particularly specialised which should mitigate this risk. Furthermore we have already containerised the stack in our development using Docker environment, and looking to how best to bring this into production - potentially using Amazon EC2 Container Service

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        Jerome Dalbert
        Jerome Dalbert
        Senior Backend Engineer at StackShare · | 6 upvotes · 97.7K views
        atStackShareStackShare
        Unicorn
        Unicorn
        Puma
        Puma
        Rails
        Rails

        We switched from Unicorn (process model) to Puma (threaded model) to decrease the memory footprint of our Rails production web server. Memory indeed dropped from 6GB to only 1GB!

        We just had to decrease our worker count and increase our thread count instead. Performance (response time and throughput) remained the same, if not slightly better. We had no thread-safety errors, which was good.

        Free bonus points are:

        • Requests are blazing fast on our dev and staging environments!
        • Puma has first-class support for WebSockets, so we know for sure that Rails ActionCable or GraphQL subscriptions will work great.
        • Being on Puma makes us even more "default Rails"-compliant since it is the default Rails web server these days.
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        Jetty logo

        Jetty

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        An open-source project providing an HTTP server, HTTP client, and javax.servlet container
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        Jetty
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        Jerome Dalbert
        Jerome Dalbert
        Senior Backend Engineer at StackShare · | 6 upvotes · 97.7K views
        atStackShareStackShare
        Unicorn
        Unicorn
        Puma
        Puma
        Rails
        Rails

        We switched from Unicorn (process model) to Puma (threaded model) to decrease the memory footprint of our Rails production web server. Memory indeed dropped from 6GB to only 1GB!

        We just had to decrease our worker count and increase our thread count instead. Performance (response time and throughput) remained the same, if not slightly better. We had no thread-safety errors, which was good.

        Free bonus points are:

        • Requests are blazing fast on our dev and staging environments!
        • Puma has first-class support for WebSockets, so we know for sure that Rails ActionCable or GraphQL subscriptions will work great.
        • Being on Puma makes us even more "default Rails"-compliant since it is the default Rails web server these days.
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        Caddy logo

        Caddy

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        The HTTP/2 Web Server with Automatic HTTPS
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        Scott Mebberson
        Scott Mebberson
        CTO / Chief Architect at Idearium · | 5 upvotes · 70.8K views
        nginx
        nginx
        Caddy
        Caddy

        We used to primarily use nginx for our static web server and proxy in-front of Node.js. Now, we use Caddy. And we couldn't be happier.

        Caddy is simpler on all fronts. Configuration is easier. Free HTTPS out of the box. Some fantastic plugins. And for the most part, it's fast.

        Don't get me wrong, it's not lost on me that Nginx is actually a superior product.

        But for the times when you don't need that extra performance, and complexity - take a look at Caddy.

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        lighttpd logo

        lighttpd

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        A secure, fast, compliant, and very flexible web-server that has been optimized for high-performance environments
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        Microsoft IIS
        JBoss logo

        JBoss

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        An open source Java EE-based application server
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          JBoss
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          Microsoft IIS
          Wildfly logo

          Wildfly

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          A Java EE8 Application Server
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          Wildfly
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          Microsoft IIS