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Re: Is it necessary to have both an application server AND a web server?

Re: Is it necessary to have both an application server AND a web server?

Kevin McMurtrie

6/11/2016 7:44:00 AM

In article <njfg37$1hj0$1@gioia.aioe.org>, Qu0ll <qu0ll64@gmail.com>
wrote:

> DISCLAIMER: Server-side Java is not my forte.
>
> I have often noticed that in many places where I have worked, the
> companies have both a full application server such as JBoss/Wildfly AND
> a web server (typically Apache) installed and both seem to work together.
>
> 1) Is this necessary and if so, why?
> 2) What does a web server "provide" that an application server doesn't?
> 3) What is the nature of the relationship or interaction between both
> applications?

It depends.

Modern web services are split into at least static content and dynamic
content. This divides up work, keeps cookies separate, and makes it
easy to later push the static content to edge caches.

In the early 2000s it was common to put Apache in front of Tomcat via
specialized software endpoints. Sometimes it was to use Apache as a
cheap load balancer and SSL endpoint. Most of the time it was for
entirely superstitious reasons. The combination has poor performance
and it's combining the bugs of two applications that struggle to support
advancing technologies.

Jetty + Nginx is a more modern configuration of the two layer design
that's popular with startups. It's not optimal but it can be deployed
on cloud services to avoid big up-front hardware costs.

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