IIS 3. Apache 1.3.12. Perhaps it was not a fair comparison. It was
what I had at my disposal at the time. Again, this is not intended
to be a ”Apache is better than IIS” diatribe. I’m merely making the
point that, for most applications, Apache is plenty fast enough,
and compares well to the alternative.
Speaking of the competition, there are several alternatives, when it comes
to choosing a HTTP server for NT. Apache compares well to each of them.
Well, I’ve already mentioned IIS, so I won’t belabor the point. There is
very little advantage to bashing Microsoft. Sure, it’s fun, but this is an
Apache column, so I’ll try to limit my discussion to Apache. So, I’ll be
The obvious advantage of IIS is that you already have it. When you install
NT, there’s IIS, along for the ride. So it is, in a sense, free. In my humble
opinion, the advantages end there. The two main complaints that I have
against it are:
Configuration: There are a very limited number of things that you can
configure. The configuration GUI, while moderately easy to use, simply
does not give you the range of configuration options that you get with
Apache. Apache assumes that you might want to configure everything, and
makes it possible to do that.
Authentication: IIS uses NT accounts to manage authenticated access to
the web server. This might be a good idea on an Intranet (although,
personally, I don’t think so) but is a really bad idea on a web server
out on the internet. Sure, you can lock down NT accounts so that they
don’t have access to stuff, but creating NT user accounts, and then
giving people out on the internet those logins, seems like a recipe for
getting hacked. And that’s in addition to the nightmare of managing
There are other things that irritate me about IIS, but, like I said, this
is not intended to be an anti-IIS article.
According to NetCraft, the next in line is Netscape. I can’t say much about
Netscape, since I have not run it for 3 years and 2 versions. However, in
the pre-Apache days, it was my choice over IIS on NT. This was mainly
because of the ways that it handled CGI and authentication, which were much
closer to the way that Apache did things.
I mention WebSite because many of the people with whom I communicate via
email lists say that it is a great server, and well worth the price.
However, I have never used it myself, and so cannot comment more
intelligently than that.
And, of course, there are many other choices out there. WebServer Compare
(http://webcompare.internet.com/) lists 23 HTTP servers that run on NT, and
I’m aware of at least one that they missed. There’s no shortage of choices.
There are some differences between Apache on Unix and Apache on NT. There
are some differences in the actual way that the code works, which I won’t
say much about, and then there are differences in the way that you configure
and use the server, which is what this article is really about.
One of the biggest differences between Apache on Unix and Apache on NT is
between threading and forking.