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What is NGINX Unit?

NGINX Unit is a lightweight and versatile application runtime that provides the essential components for your web application as a single open-source server. It can run your application code (including WebAssembly), serve static assets, handle TLS and request routing, all as a single server. NGINX Unit was created by nginx team members from scratch to be highly efficient and fully configurable at runtime.

NGINX Unit - A Next-Gen Server for Modern Deployments

NGINX Unit simplifies the application stack for web apps and APIs by combining several layers of the typical stack into a single component. NGINX Unit can:

  • Serve static media assets as a web server
  • Natively run application code in multiple languages
  • Reverse proxy to backend servers

NGINX Unit is a universal web app server – intended as a building block for any web architecture regardless of its complexity, from enterprise-scale deployments to your pet's home page. It is equally suited to simplifying modern microservices environments as it is to modernizing legacy and monolithic applications.

Why Use NGINX Unit?

Simplify Microservices

Web applications typically need a stack of reverse proxies, web servers, and application servers. NGINX Unit combines all those functions in a single component with a common configuration, allowing you to deliver an entire single-page application or a web API endpoint from the same server.

NGINX Unit provides a lightweight runtime for application code – ideal for building and deploying microservices. With support for multiple programming languages and frameworks, NGINX Unit provides the same development, configuration, and deployment experience for all your microservices.

Efficiently co-locate microservices without losing any of the benefits of independent development, deployment, and application isolation. NGINX Unit delivers all the benefits of microservices in a simpler and more scalable form factor.

Modernize Monoliths

NGINX Unit uses familiar JSON/REST configuration, a container-friendly footprint, and a modern TLS implementation to traditional apps.

With NGINX Unit you can create a cloud-native monolith from existing applications, without touching the application code.

NGINX Unit also facilitates monolith-to-microservices migrations by performing the request routing – moving it closer to the runtime and within the control of the app dev team.

Secure App Runtimes

Delivering end-to-end TLS still often involves decrypted network hops and opportunities for interception. NGINX Unit provides true end-to-end TLS with encryption all the way to the runtime. NGINX Unit handles the TLS layer and communicates directly with the application code over shared memory.

Certificate management is handled by the same JSON/REST configuration API but is decoupled from the application. A single certificate can be shared across multiple apps or automatically matched against the application hostname.

You can run applications in an isolated environment to protect them and the host from each other. NGINX Unit uses Linux namespaces, cgroups, and filesystem isolation to provide a secure runtime for each application.

For more information View the Technical Specification

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