Updated April 5, 2023
Difference between Nginx vs Tomcat
Nginx is an open-source, feature-rich web server that uses the asynchronous and event-driven approach to process static and dynamic requests. It can process multiple requests simultaneously with the minimum use of hardware and memory. Because of its flexible and high-end architecture, it can handle the high and fluctuating load very easily. It also makes the smart use of a load balancer in order to handle the load of multiple requests of web applications.
Tomcat is an open-source, high-performance HTTP server used to serve the HTTP request, which Apache Software Foundation maintains. It is considered to be one of the most secure and efficient web servers to handle HTTP requests. It supports almost all types of Operating systems, including all the versions of Unix, and provides full support for Windows. Many new versions of Apache are released over the years showing the new ways to process the request more efficiently and securely.
Head to Head Comparison Between Nginx vs Tomcat (Infographics)
Below are the top differences between Nginx vs Tomcat:
Key Differences between Nginx vs Tomcat
Some of the Key Differences between Ngnix and Tomcat server are explained in detail below:
- Apache Tomcat is an HTTP web server that is basically designed to process Java servlets, whereas Nginx is an open-source, efficient, and very high-performance web server and a reverse proxy server.
- Apache Tomcat is developed and maintained by one of the most famous Apache Software Foundation, so all the bug fixes, issues, maintenance is reported to the various channels and are handled by a large community of users around the world. Commercial support of Apache is also available from third-party companies like OpenLogic, whereas all the issues related to the Nginx are handled by the company having the same name ‘ Nginx Plus’, which was founded in 2011. However, users can post the queries across the various third-party channels. It also provides various in-house training sessions and tutorials with videos and other data on various topics to have a better understanding.
- One of the major differences between the Nginx and Apache Tomcat is the way these two servers handle the request. Nginx has an excellent ability to handle multiple client requests simultaneously and that too with the minimal use of hardware resources, whereas Tomcat, on the other hand, cannot handle multiple requests at the same time, but it uses a large variety of multiprocessing modules to handle the requests.
- Nginx uses the event-driven and asynchronous approach to handle the multiple client requests, which provide high performance to the user even in the case of heavy traffic, whereas Apache Tomcat uses the multi-threaded approach in order to handle the requests, but it is not efficient enough so lacks scalability.
- Nginx can serve the static and dynamic content using the FastCGI and SCGI, etc., very easily and that too very fast, but when it comes to deal with the static content using Apache Tomcat, it is comparatively slow and lower than that of Nginx.
- One of the advantages of the Apache Tomcat is that it can process the static HTML, XML, JSON, etc., files using the conventional methods and dynamic files on the webserver itself, whereas Nginx can serve the static content well but cannot serve the dynamic content internally. For the execution of dynamic files, it uses an external source.
Comparison table between Nginx vs Tomcat
Though both the Nginx and Tomcat are famous and well-known web servers that process client requests differently, but both of them serve different purposes for dealing with web content. It is important to understand the difference between them to have a clear and in-depth understanding. Below given is the comparison table showing the head to head comparison between Nginx and Tomcat servers:
|1.||Nginx is basically a web server that is used to process static and dynamic content or as a reverse proxy.||Tomcat is basically a servlet container that is used to serve Java servlets.|
|2.||Ngnix has limited support for Windows, and it runs on modern Unix-like systems.||Tomcat runs on all Unix-like systems and provides full support for Windows.|
|3.||In terms of Flexibility, dynamic content cannot be loaded natively. It allows the admin to first compile the modules in Nginx binary.||In Flexibility, Apache Tomcat wins the race as Apache has a dynamic module loading, and the dynamic content can be processed easily within the webserver. Customization is also possible in the case of Apache Tomcat as the writing of modules can be done easily.|
|4.||In order to process the client requests, Nginx uses the event-driven and asynchronous approach.||Apache Tomcat uses the multi-threaded approach in order to process client requests.|
|5.||In terms of Performance, Nginx is far better than Apache Tomcat. It can handle multiple requests of both the static and dynamic content concurrently with using the least memory.||Though the Apache server is good at handling the Java servlets, the performance when dealing with the static content is lower than that of Nginx.|
|6.||Nginx can be served as a good load balancer that can distribute the traffic to the various application servers and hence improve the performance and scalability of web applications.||Tomcat also supports load balancing, but it is not as good as Nginx.|
|7.||Nginx has the ability to handle multiple requests concurrently, and that too with the limited hardware resources as it has good load balancing capabilities.||Apache Tomcat cannot handle multiple requests concurrently because of the heavy traffic.|
|8.||Multiple connections can be processed using a single thread in Nginx.||Only a single connection can be processed using a single thread in Apache Tomcat.|
The above description clearly explains the Nginx and Tomcat server and the major difference between the two. Both the Apache Tomcat and Nginx serve different purposes; if one needs to deal with maximum static content, Nginx is the king. But when dealing with the dynamic content, both perform well, but Apache Tomcat works great. It depends on the requirement of the user, and we can make the best web content by combining both of them utilizing their best features.
This is a guide to Nginx vs Tomcat. Here we discuss the Nginx vs Tomcat key differences with infographics and comparison table. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –