If you have ever wondered what drives the millions of web pages you visit on a daily basis, you will be surprised to realize that a huge chunk of it all is being served by two major web servers. These very web servers are responsible for reading the web programs written by web developers and render them to you as the visitor in a manner that you will easily understand via your favorite web browser. The two giants in this niche are Nginx and Apache.

Even though they are pretty good at serving web pages, Apache and Nginx have other amazing use cases that people around the globe leverage such as being proxy servers, load balancers. Nginx has other use cases such as being API Gateways and much more. They are tools that you must encounter in your IT journey and having a good piece of their understanding will go a long way in solving common problems in your organization. It is due to that that we present this article that gives you some good resources you can use to acquaint yourself with these technologies.

Before we take a look at the resources, let us define what Nginx and Apache are:

NGINX is open source software for web serving, reverse proxying, caching, load balancing, media streaming, and more. It started out as a web server designed for maximum performance and stability. In addition to its HTTP server capabilities, NGINX can also function as a proxy server for email (IMAP, POP3, and SMTP) and a reverse proxy and load balancer for HTTP, TCP, and UDP servers

On the other hand, Apache HTTP Server, colloquially called Apache, is a free and open-source cross-platform web server software, released under the terms of Apache License 2.0. Apache is developed and maintained by an open community of developers under the auspices of the Apache Software Foundation. Source: Wikipedia

The following are some of the books you can read, digest and hopefully understand as well as apply the knowledge of Apache and Nginx.

1. Apache HTTP Server 2.4 Reference Manual

When you would wish to learn something new, where else can you get as much about it than from the people who created and documented it? Apache HTTP Server 2.4 is a Reference Manual that anybody who would wish to get serious in the business of Apache Web server can take up and use to get the best information about it. Written by Apache contributors, this reference manual is the best place to find precise, relevant and the most up to date information you can find about Apache HTTP Server.

This comprehensive Reference Manual covers everything you need to know, including:

  • Using the Apache HTTP Server
  • Apache Virtual Host documentation
  • URL Rewriting Guide
  • Apache SSL/TLS Encryption
  • Guides, Tutorials, and HowTos
  • Platform-specific Notes
  • Apache HTTP Server and Supporting Programs
  • Apache Miscellaneous Documentation
  • Apache modules
  • Developer Documentation

The good news is that Apache HTTP Server 2.4 Reference Manual is in Amazon just waiting for you to order and the rest will be done for you. To get to the store, the link below has been conveniently provided for you. Click it and you will be good to go.

Apache HTTP Server 2.4 Reference Manual 1/3 (Volume 1)

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2. Apache 2 Pocket Reference

Author Andrew Ford is an author and consulting computer programmer who has been involved with the Web since its early days which gives him the kind of experience that anyone looking to learn about the web should consider. In this resource, Apache 2 Pocket Reference, Ford gives you exactly what you need to get the job done without forcing you to plow through a cumbersome, doorstop-sized reference.

This Book provides essential information to help you configure and maintain the server quickly, with brief explanations that get directly to the point. It covers Apache 2.x, giving web masters, web administrators, and programmers a quick and easy reference solution.

This pocket reference includes:

  • Summaries of command-line options, configuration directives, and modules
  • Key information about Apache support utilities
  • What you need to know about URL rewriting, filters, caching, proxying and security

Whether you manage huge e-commerce operations, corporate intranets, or small personal websites, Apache 2 Pocket Reference is ideal for savvy administrators who no longer need detailed tutorials and just want a convenient, on-the-job reference. You can have it all in your hands after ordering it from Amazon via the link below.

Apache 2 Pocket Reference: For Apache Programmers & Administrators (Pocket Reference (O'Reilly))

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3. Pro Apache

Pro Apache is a definitive book that covers everything you need to know about Apache configuration and administration. The author, Peter Wainwright, is a developer and software engineer specializing in Perl, Apache, and other open-source projects. He got his first taste of programming on a BBC Micro and gained most of his early programming experience writing applications in C on Solaris.

You will find that the author provides multiple methods and examples of how to solve a particular problem; compares and contrasts the methods rather than recommending a single, “best” solution. He not only gives information about Apache HTTP but goes two more miles to demonstrate how to use many of the most-popular scripting languages such as PHP, Perl, and Python to create dynamic web sites.

Pro Apache (Expert's Voice)

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4. Nginx Essentials

Valery Kholodkov author of this resource crafted it to be ideal for skilled web masters and site reliability engineers who want to switch to Nginx or solidify their knowledge of Nginx. Knowledge of Unix and webmaster skills are required.

Valery in Nginx Essentials provides both basic and in-depth knowledge to help you effectively solve challenges with Nginx, or comfortably go through a transition period when switching to Nginx.

Starting with the basics, you will learn by example how to set up, configure, and operate an Nginx installation and use features of Nginx to elegantly solve challenges you experience every day when running your website. You will learn to use the rewrite engine to solve day-to-day tasks and be able to configure access restrictions in Nginx. You will also be able to manage inbound traffic using a number of Nginx features and use Nginx for load balancing and fault-tolerance features. Finally, you will learn how to solve common performance problems and apply a number of performance-tuning strategies.

What You Will Learn

  • Get started with an Nginx installation from scratch in various environments and customize it for your purposes
  • Start and stop a basic Nginx installation, discover the basics of process management, and learn how to set up Nginx to serve static data
  • Create highly-maintainable configuration files to perform the most critical Nginx maintenance tasks
  • Set up Nginx as a reverse proxy and learn to use the Nginx caching feature
  • Discover how to benefit from the Nginx rewrite engine and how to use access restrictions in Nginx
  • Use various Nginx features to manage inbound traffic and understand how to use Nginx load balancing and fault tolerance features
  • Understand advanced feature-independent performance tuning strategies and optimizations
  • Manage inbound and outbound traffic and configure access control

Through easy exploration of the most intricate topics, this book aims to bring you to the next level in your Nginx experience. Click below to have your level move up and get ahead in your skillsets.

Nginx Essentials: Excel in Nginx quickly by learning to use its most essential features in real-life applications

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5. Apache Cookbook: Solutions and Examples for Apache Administrators

Written by Rich Bowen and Ken Coar, who are members of the Apache Software Foundation and have worked with Apache for a good number of years, Apache Cookbook as the title suggests provides succinct and detailed Solutions and Examples for Apache Administrators. They paced the resource in such a manner that it tackles everything from beginner problems to those faced by experienced users.

Recipes in this book range from simple tasks, such installing the server on Red Hat Linux or Windows, to more complex tasks, such as setting up name-based virtual hosts or securing and managing your proxy server. Altogether, you get more than 200 timesaving recipes for solving a crisis or other deadline conundrums, with topics including:

  • Security
  • Aliases, Redirecting, and Rewriting
  • CGI Scripts, the suexec Wrapper, and other dynamic content techniques
  • Error Handling
  • SSL
  • Performance

The authors provide another way of working. Instead of poking around mailing lists, online documentation, and other sources, you can rely on the Apache Cookbook for quick solutions when you need them and thus have more time to do things that matter most. Go forth to Amazon and get this bold resource to have your Apache HTTP Server skills polished. Click below to order your copy.

Apache Cookbook: Solutions and Examples for Apache Administrators

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6. Apache Modules Book

Author Nick Kew is a leading developer of Apache applications. He is a member of the Apache Web server core development team and of the Apache Software Foundation. He has authored this resource as the first start-to-finish, example-rich guide for every developer who wants to make the most of Apache.

Kew begins with detailed, accessible introductions to Apache’s architecture and API, then illuminates all the techniques you will need, from request processing through code security. He brings together the best of both worlds: powerful C-based techniques for accomplishing tasks Perl or PHP can’t handle, implemented with tools that deliver all the productivity you would expect from higher-level languages. Utilizing realistic code samples, Kew introduces techniques documented in no other book-and, often, nowhere else at all.

The following are Covered in the book

  • Using Apache Portable Runtime (APR) to streamline C development and avoid its pitfalls
  • Leveraging Apache DBD to build applications far more scalable than classic LAMP software
  • Working with the latest Apache 2.x features: filter modules, XML support, and smart proxies
  • Mastering best practices, from thread safety to multi-platform development
  • Utilizing the Apache Authentication Framework
  • Tracing and debugging problems in both Apache and your custom modules

If you are hungry to advance Apache by developing modules that solve problems for your particular use-case, Apache Modules Book is here to give you all the tools and direct you in the right path. For every developer who wants to make the most of Apache, get the experience that Kew shares in this example-rich guide. Click below to have it delivered from Amazon.

Apache Modules Book, The: Application Development with Apache

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7. Mastering NGINX

You have heard that Nginx is a well polished, performant and lightweight web server, reverse proxy and others. You have given it a try but now you are stuck with its complex configuration details and you would wish to get it to work and utilize its power. Dimitri Aivaliotis in Mastering Nginx has your back. This is an insider’s guide that will clarify the murky waters of NGINX’s configuration. Tune NGINX for various situations, improve your NGINX experience with some of the more obscure configuration directives, and discover how to design and personalize a configuration to match your needs.

To begin with, quickly brush up on installing and setting up the NGINX server on the OS and its integration with third-party modules. From here, move on to explain NGINX’s mail proxy module and its authentication, and reverse proxy to solve scaling issues. Then see how to integrate NGINX with your applications to perform tasks.

The latter part of the book focuses on working through techniques to solve common web issues and the know-hows using NGINX modules. Finally, we will also explore different configurations that will help you troubleshoot NGINX server and assist with performance tuning.

What you will learn

  • Compile the right third-party module to meet your needs
  • Write an authentication server to use with the mail proxy module
  • Create your own SSL certificates to encrypt connections
  • Use try_files to solve your file-existence check problems
  • Cache and compress responses to get speedier user interaction
  • Integrate popular PHP frameworks with the FastCGI module
  • Construct useful logging configurations

The author is a production engineer in Silicon Valley. His career has taken him from building a Linux-based computer network for a school up through multi-datacenter, high-availability infrastructures for banks and popular websites. In this resource, you can trust that he is going to mentor, instruct and share a wealth of skills, knowledge and experience in your own journey. You can get Dimitri’s work from Amazon on the link below and get skilled.

Mastering NGINX Second Edition

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8. Nginx HTTP Server – Fourth Edition

Martin Fjordvald and Clement Nedelcu teamed up to bring this resource that is aimed at teaching, guiding and instructing you about Nginx Server. It is a detailed guide to setting up Nginx in ways that correspond to actual production situations: as a standalone server, as a reverse proxy, interacting with applications via FastCGI, and more. In addition, this complete direct reference will be indispensable at all stages of the configuration and maintenance processes.

Martin and Clement have crafted this resource as a perfect companion for both Nginx beginners and experienced administrators. As a beginner, it will take you through the complete process of setting up this lightweight HTTP server on your system and configuring its various modules so that it does exactly what you need quickly and securely. For more experienced administrators, this book provides different approaches that can help you make the most of your current infrastructure.

What you will learn

  • Download and install Nginx on your system
  • Prepare a basic configuration and test your initial setup
  • Discover the core functionality of the HTTP module
  • Make the most of first- and third-party Nginx modules
  • Set up Nginx to work with PHP, Python, and other applications
  • Learn how to set up Nginx to work with Apache
  • Fully replace Apache with Nginx
  • Optimize your architecture with threads or load balancing
  • Identify errors in configuration and learn basic troubleshooting techniques
  • Consult the exhaustive directive and module index for reference

This book is a perfect match to web administrators both beginners and experienced who are interested in solutions to optimize their infrastructure and make their organizations or personal projects amazing. Click below to get started or deepen your Nginx skills.

Nginx HTTP Server - Fourth Edition: Harness the power of Nginx to make the most of your infrastructure and serve pages faster than ever before

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9. NGINX Cookbook

Tim Butler is currently working in the web hosting industry and has nearly 20 years of experience. With the experience that he has amassed over the years, Butler goes deep on Nginx giving beginners and advanced users an opportunity to learn and gain valuable skills. To get in head on, NGINX Cookbook by Butler covers the basics of configuring NGINX as a web server for use with common web frameworks such as WordPress and Ruby on Rails, through to utilization as a reverse proxy. Designed as a go-to reference guide, this book will give you practical answers based on real-world deployments to get you up and running quickly.

Recipes have also been provided for multiple SSL configurations, different logging scenarios, practical rewrites, and multiple load balancing scenarios. Advanced topics include covering bandwidth management, Docker container usage, performance tuning, OpenResty, and the NGINX Plus commercial features.

By the time you have read this book, you will be able to adapt and use a wide variety of NGINX implementations to solve any problems you have.

What you will learn

  • Practical, real-world examples and recipes on how to use NGINX
  • Common CMS deployments such as WordPress, Joomla and more
  • NGINX configurations for frameworks such as Ruby on Rails, Django and more
  • Detailed SSL recipes, including HTTP/2
  • Real world rewrite examples
  • Basic web and TCP load balancing configuration
  • Bandwidth management and connection limiting
  • Detailed NGINX deployment scenarios with Docker
  • Performance

This is a recipe-based approach book that provides you with up-to-date information on NGINX, allowing you to implement specific use cases immediately whether you are a beginner or experienced user. Click below to order your book from Amazon.

NGINX Cookbook: Over 70 recipes for real-world configuration, deployment, and performance

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Nginx and Apache are undoubtedly the most used web servers, load balancers and proxy servers around the globe. Their ease of use, a great community as well as them being open source has made them giants in the web. As long as you are a regular user of the web, there is a high chance that most of the web pages you visit are either served, cached or proxied using Apache, Nginx or a combination of both. You can serve your pages using Apache and proxy them using Nginx. It is such as beautiful mix of them all.

You can have it all from the books shared above and we hope that they will be as resourceful as we intended them to be. As we continue to appreciate your support you can find other articles of this nature shared below.

Using Let’s Encrypt Wildcard SSL Certificate with Nginx and Apache

Configure Jenkins behind Nginx reverse proxy and Let’s Encrypt SSL

Install Apache Hadoop / HBase on Ubuntu

Install Apache Cassandra on CentOS 8 Linux

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