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Thursday, April 27, 2006

Apache and SSL

This is an odd piece of data. Netcraft reported yesterday that:
Apache has overtaken Microsoft as the leading developer of secure web servers. Apache now runs on 44.0% of secure web sites, compared to 43.8% for Microsoft.
I don't doubt that there are many more sites using Apache web servers vs. Microsoft's IIS. But the preferred architecture of so many medium-large sites is to host SSL certificates on more efficient load balancers, that it seems incomplete to only discuss the web server side of things.

When discussing architecture options with customers and colleagues, I always recommend using load balancers to offload SSL traffic. The maintenance of the certificates is much easier as there are fewer systems to update. Load balancers are generally more efficient, especially with hardware accelerators. Plus the entire environment is easier to scale as needed.

Filed in: operations

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