NGINX vs. Windows Server

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
NGINX
Score 9.1 out of 10
Mid-Size Companies (51-1,000 employees)
NGINX, a business unit of F5 Networks, powers over 65% of the world's busiest websites and web applications. NGINX started out as an open source web server and reverse proxy, built to be faster and more efficient than Apache. Over the years, NGINX has built a suite of infrastructure software products o tackle some of the biggest challenges in managing high-transaction applications. NGINX offers a suite of products to form the core of what organizations need to create…N/A
Windows Server
Score 8.7 out of 10
N/A
N/AN/A
Pricing
NGINXWindows Server
Editions & Modules
No answers on this topic
No answers on this topic
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
NGINXWindows Server
Free Trial
YesNo
Free/Freemium Version
YesNo
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
YesNo
Entry-level Setup FeeOptionalNo setup fee
Additional Details
More Pricing Information
Features
NGINXWindows Server
Application Servers
Comparison of Application Servers features of Product A and Product B
NGINX
8.1
21 Ratings
2% above category average
Windows Server
-
Ratings
IDE support7.210 Ratings00 Ratings
Security management7.918 Ratings00 Ratings
Administration and management7.818 Ratings00 Ratings
Application server performance8.518 Ratings00 Ratings
Installation9.518 Ratings00 Ratings
Open-source standards compliance7.716 Ratings00 Ratings
Best Alternatives
NGINXWindows Server
Small Businesses
Apache HTTP Server
Apache HTTP Server
Score 8.2 out of 10
Ubuntu
Ubuntu
Score 9.0 out of 10
Medium-sized Companies
Apache Tomcat
Apache Tomcat
Score 8.7 out of 10
Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)
Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)
Score 9.3 out of 10
Enterprises
Apache Tomcat
Apache Tomcat
Score 8.7 out of 10
Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)
Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)
Score 9.3 out of 10
All AlternativesView all alternativesView all alternatives
User Ratings
NGINXWindows Server
Likelihood to Recommend
8.9
(48 ratings)
8.1
(62 ratings)
Likelihood to Renew
9.1
(1 ratings)
2.4
(5 ratings)
Usability
9.0
(1 ratings)
4.3
(6 ratings)
Support Rating
8.1
(4 ratings)
2.8
(18 ratings)
Implementation Rating
-
(0 ratings)
2.2
(3 ratings)
Configurability
-
(0 ratings)
9.0
(1 ratings)
User Testimonials
NGINXWindows Server
Likelihood to Recommend
F5
[NGINX] is very well suited for high performance. I have seen it used on servers with 1k current connections with no issues. Despite seeing it used in many environments I've never seen software developers use it over apache, express, IIS in local dev environments so it may be more difficult to setup. I've also seen it used to load balance again without issues.
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Microsoft
If you have one user or 1000's of users (especially using Windows), Windows Server is a no-brainer! The only reason I would suggest going with a Linux server is if you have old hardware (Windows Server is more process intensive than Linux). But, Linux is open-source, so anyone can publish updates/security updates, but on the flip side, malicious people also have full access to Linux's codebase allowing for much easier writing of exploitations/viruses/malware/ransomware.
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Pros
F5
  • Very low memory usage. Can handle many more connections than alternatives (like Apache HTTPD) due to low overhead. (event-based architecture).
  • Great at serving static content.
  • Scales very well. Easy to host multiple Nginx servers to promote high availability.
  • Open-Source (no cost)!
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Microsoft
  • Easy to use due to its intuitive graphical user interface.
  • Very popular and makes integration easier.
  • Lots of software drivers available.
  • Has many functionalities such as Active Directory, DNS, DHCP, VPN, RDP, VDI server, etc.
  • Many patches and updates available. Maybe abit too much too often.
  • Cost effective and with budget.
  • Remote desktop feature simplifies remote access to this server.
  • It has a built in VPN and ssl certificate feature.
  • Event viewer is available for alerts, although it seems too cumbersome to go through the logs.
  • If you got too many Windows systems to manage, then SCCM is an option.
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Cons
F5
  • Customer support can be strangely condescending, perhaps it's a language issue?
  • I find it a little weird how the release versions used for Nginx+ aren't the same as for open source version. It can be very confusing to determine the cross-compatibility of modules, etc., because of this.
  • It seems like some (most?) modules on their own site are ancient and no longer supported, so their documentation in this area needs work.
  • It's difficult to navigate between nginx.com commercial site and customer support. They need to be integrated together.
  • I'd love to see more work done on nginx+ monitoring without requiring logging every request. I understand that many statistics can only be derived from logs, but plenty should work without that. Logging is not an option in many environments.
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Microsoft
  • DHCP Server could be better - we use the router for DHCP Routing
  • Print Server - not a fan of using the server as a print server since you have to license it. Direct access to printers via IP addresses is a much more efficient way to go
  • Better backup program - we utilize a third-party program that gives us more flexibility when restoring individual files.
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Likelihood to Renew
F5
Great value for the product
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Microsoft
I've carefully reviewed the servers and services currently running on Windows Server 2012, and given the opportunity would renew them as is going forward. There are two systems I currently have in place, one is a very large Linux implementation for a large ecommerce site, and one is a very large backup solution front ended by FTP servers running Linux. Neither are well suited for Windows, but the overall network infrastructure is and will be Windows Server for the foreseeable future.
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Usability
F5
Front end proxy and reverse proxy of Nginx is always useful. I always prefer to Nginx in overall usability when you have application server and database or multiple application servers and single database i.e. clustered application. Nginx provides really good features and flexibility which helps the system administrator in case of troubleshooting and also from the administration perspective. Also, Nginx doesn't delay any request because of internal performance issues.
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Microsoft
There are simply too many different parts of Windows Server to make it a cohesive piece of software. While some of the newer features found in Windows Server 2012 and 2016 have nice UIs that are logically laid out, there are enough parts of the system that is still based on old code with clunky UIs and confusing options to make Windows Server a particularly user-friendly experience.
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Support Rating
F5
Community support is great, and they've also had a presence at conferences. Overall, there is no shortage of documentation and community support. We're currently using it to serve up some WordPress sites, and configuring NGINX for this purpose is well documented.
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Microsoft
Microsoft's support is hugely wide-ranging from articles online to having to contact them directly for the more serious issues. In recent years when I have contacted them directly, I have found the support o be excellent as I have found myself connected to very knowledgeable people in the field in which I needed the support. The online support available is vast and I tend to find most of the time that there is always someone out there who has had the same issue as me in the past and knows something about how to resolve it! This is the advantage of using industry standard and long-established systems such as Windows Server.
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Implementation Rating
F5
No answers on this topic
Microsoft
Make sure that you have detailed processes in place for every server instance you plan to install/upgrade, if possible get the base OS loaded and Windows Updates applied ahead of time, and if using a VM take a snapshot prior to installing each role, as well as along the way.
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Alternatives Considered
F5
We have used Traffic, Apache, Google Cloud Load Balancing and other managed cloud-based load balancers. When it comes to scale and customization nothing beats Nginx. We selected Nginx over the others because
  • we have a large number of services and we can manage a single Nginx instance for all of them
  • we have high impact services and Nginx never breaks a sweat under load
  • individual services have special considerations and Nginx lets us configure each one uniquely
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Microsoft
I didn't use any other system which gives the same functionality and I am not aware of any. The full integration between all components and especially the ability to integrate mail via Exchange or even via a hybrid setup with the Ofice365 cloud, including the ability to directly manage the cloud from the server, using Power Shell, is something I didn't see anywhere else.
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Return on Investment
F5
  • Nginx has decreased the burden of web server administration and maintenance, and we are spending less time on server issues than when we were using Apache.
  • Nginx has allowed more people in our company to get involved with configuring things on the web server, so there's no longer a single point of failure ("the Apache guy").
  • Nginx has given us the ability to handle a larger number of requests without scaling up in hardware quite so quickly.
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Microsoft
  • Because of our Microsoft Campus Agreement, Windows products are fairly affordable for us and that has been a huge blessing. We are considering some Azure cloud options and some of that is covered under our Campus Agreement, making it a nice incentive to start migrating certain apps and functionality to the cloud
  • I don't have access to our budgets so I cannot give a good answer as far as the impact of ROI on our institution, but if your company can afford it, you cannot go wrong with Windows server. Not having to send your sys admins to Linux or Unix school alone is a big savings as well as not having to train your staff on using a Linux desktop instead of a Windows-based one.
  • The compatibility with end users of all varieties and platforms will definitely impact your ROI in a positive way. We have Apple users, Android, Windows, and even a few Linux end users on our campus and Windows server works quite well with all of them.
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ScreenShots

NGINX Screenshots

Screenshot of Overview of the NGINX Application PlatformScreenshot of NGINX Controller - MonitoringScreenshot of NGINX Controller - Configuration