I found out that nginx is used in Stack Exchange according to this question:

Which tools and technologies are used to build the Stack Exchange Network?

However, it doesn't say why nginx is use. What is nginx used for in Stack Exchange?

  • 1
    The nginx site says: "Looking to make your web app faster? Look no further! / NGINX Plus for HTTP load balancing, caching and SSL offload" So there's a hint for us at least. It's a server for... something! – doppelgreener Feb 21 '14 at 1:02
  • Yes, but how does that work in relation to IIS (the other web server they use). I believe they even use redis, but some other questions answered what redis is used for. – gonzobrains Feb 21 '14 at 1:03

Looking at this answer from Nick Craver in late 2013:

Now what we're doing is replacing that nginx SSL terminator with native HAProxy (and enabling SSL for many more things at the same time).

That would lead me to believe that nginx is being phased out and being replaced with haproxy. haproxy and nginx are used around here for load balancing and reverse proxy. So when you visit stackoverflow.com, you're actually connecting to haproxy/nginx, and they are responsible for figuring out which IIS server should be used to serve your request depending on availability and load.

  • 1
    Why not just use Microsoft-based load balancing? – gonzobrains Feb 21 '14 at 2:07
  • 1
    @gonzobrains For the specific/official reason, you'll probably want to hear from someone employed at Stack Exchange. But I know Stack Exchange has said they aren't married to the Microsoft ecosystem and will use whatever tool fits the job (can't find that quote currently). I know nginx/haproxy don't have licensing costs, are open source, very lightweight, and can be spun up with relative ease. – Steven V Feb 21 '14 at 2:16
  • 1
    Yep, this is correct. We don't use MS load balancing because HAProxy is in place and is awesome at what it does...why change? I'm not even sure Microsoft even has an equivalent product in play here. – Nick Craver Feb 21 '14 at 3:13
  • @NickCraver Is nginx still running? Or is it exclusively haproxy now? – Steven V Feb 21 '14 at 3:19
  • @Steven we may be using it in one place but I think that's apache...all main services are definitely HAProxy for termination now and I think we're off nginx completely. – Nick Craver Feb 21 '14 at 3:26

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .