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RK: Igor Sysoev

At first I thought Lighttpd was the cat's meow. After talking with Andrei (who maintains PHP-FPM) I thought - if he got PHP-FPM right, he must know his stuff. He recommended I try nginx - and boy am I glad I did.

Igor is an interesting character to me. He is very matter-of-fact, he has no problem issuing patches almost instantly to enhance his product, and he also has no problem being short with people when rejecting an idea or informing them they're wrong. To me it seems like sometimes people who maintain projects try to be more politically correct, but from what I've seen, Igor seems to be extremely technical by heart, and does not really stop to smell the flowers (at least on the mailing list...)

Igor gets mad props for creating nginx - quite possibly the most efficient web/proxy server on earth. For a bit I was using it to proxy 4+ million web requests a day (small php, html, graphics and even larger file and video downloads) through a single server, doing gzip as well - and it handled it all without using more than 14 megs of physical RAM. Nginx is such an engineering feat that I've actually started contemplating how to re-do my architecture since it is totally viable now to have a single frontend server proxying all the dynamic requests to dedicated FastCGI servers. No need really to be running multiple nginx instances anymore... one handles everything!

Anyway, back to Igor - my new goal in life is not only to help promote PHP-FPM but now nginx as well. There's only a couple minor things I wish nginx would do a bit better, but otherwise, it is my web solution and possibly even my proxy solution to replace LVS. Who would have thought a userland daemon could be so efficient? Even though Igor maintains nginx almost 100% by himself, releases come out often, he can produce patches to fix bugs or add features within a couple hours, and he usually replies to emails within the same day on the mailing list. I haven't seen that level of support from any other open source project, much less commercial products. "Want a patch? Wait for our next release in six months!"

Igor's website is at http://sysoev.ru/en/, however it doesn't really have much info on it - and you'll probably be looking for nginx at http://nginx.net/ anyway. Thanks Igor 🙂

Categories: Respect Knuckles
  1. Nepto
    July 28th, 2008 at 02:52 | #1

    You are right. Nginx is a wonderful piece of software. We are using it for several months and it cut off our webserver load multiple times. Not mentioning fact, that we are serving static content now incredibly fast.

    I must admit that firstly I refused an idea about reverse proxy, but after I saw the results on our servers, I started to be a huge fan of nginx!

    Igor, thank you for all the good work you did on this project!

  2. xazax
    August 7th, 2008 at 12:43 | #2

    I agree... wrote a quick guide for nginx + wpmu at http://wpmu.org/nginx-wordpress-26/ if anyone wants to try it out. Recently updated with your "error_page-trick".

  3. mike
    August 7th, 2008 at 12:55 | #3

    Yeah, I think your whole calling out static files separately can be completely removed, and replaced purely with that 404 handler.

    Also, I have noticed that it still doesn't work right if index.php is put in the URL:
    http://michaelshadle.com/2008/06/14/rk-igor-sysoev/index.php

    It serves up a WordPress 404 page, which means WP is trying to process it, so it seems to me a small bug in how it handles URLs. I want to report it, just haven't had the time. It should basically normalize the URL and remove index.php off the end if there is one prior to executing the resolving of a URI to a post ID...

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