A packaged version of Apache 2.0, the latest version of the Web server, is generally available today - ahead of its release from the Apache project.
Covalent Technologies, whose staff include several members of the Apache core team, is selling the open source Web server along with extensions to improve the reliability, manageability and security of the platform with its Enterprise Ready Server (ERS). ERS, is designed for large enterprises, coming with a Java application server and a sizeable price tag of $1,495 per CPU.
Covalent Enterprise Ready Server includes the complete binary for Apache 2.0, Tomcat 4.0 Java server, as well as added user tracking and logging services (giving a better view of multi server environments). Covalent Management Portal (CMP) provides a centralised management tool for deploying, configuring and managing multiple Apache Web servers and virtual hosts. With Covalent, there's also enhancements to the authentication and authorisation capabilities that come with vanilla Apache 2.0.
Covalent ERS will initially ship on Solaris, Linux, HP/UX and Windows.
Apache 2.0 entered beta testing in April 2001 and is so far only deployed by a couple of thousand sites, according to Netcraft. The current production version of Apache (1.3.x) is the most popular Web server platform, Netcraft says. Like many software releases Apache 2.0 has slipped in delivery time. It was first scheduled for shipment last year.
Mike Prettejohn, of Netcraft, said that Apache 2.0 is probably ready for more widespread deployment, if Covalent is comfortable with the technology.
The main interest in the product is as an upgrade for people who already run Apache; the release of 2.0 is unlikely to spur defections from Microsoft users, who have been encouraged by rival vendors to ditch IIS for security reasons, he said.
Apache 2.0 is HTTP 1.1 compliant and includes support for distributed authoring and versioning; proxying and caching; IP and named-based virtual hosting; and Java, Perl, and PHP applications. It features a revised processing architecture (Apache's Multi Processing Module) which supplies Webmasters with the option of selecting a hybrid prefork/threaded model. Increased performance on all platforms, particularly Windows, is claimed for Apache 2.0. ®
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