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From André Warnier>
Subject Re: APR & Tomcat...
Date Tue, 20 Jul 2010 08:18:56 GMT
Christopher Schultz wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> Dale,
> On 7/19/2010 7:42 PM, Dale Ogilvie wrote:
>> Reasons to use httpd being what?
> Here are a few ideas:
> 1. Load balancing
> 2. Use of mixed Java and non-Java webapps (PHP, Perl, etc.)
> 3. Use of multiple Tomcat instances behind a single web server
> If I thought about it, I could come up with a few more.

4. Imperative/beneficial use of one of the multiple Apache built-in or add-on modules 
which exist for Apache, and where comparable ready-made Tomcat valves, filters, 
applications do not (yet) exist or are not as mature.
(ref :

5. Situations where running java webapps under a servlet engine is not the main 
focus/purpose/interest of a website, but things like 2. above are.
I'll enclose in that the situations where the main area of competence of the people 
developing or managing the website is not Java.

To round this off, I'd say that the "right" tool for a job does not depend only on the 
intrinsic qualities of the tool itself.  It also depends on many other local 
circumstances, of which the availability of people with the appropriate competences is 
probably the most important.
 From a relative outsider's point of view, I would compare Apache httpd and Tomcat as 
follows :

To achieve anything other than relatively trivial with Tomcat, at some point you'll need 
to become very competent with Java. Being competent with Java is a lifetime occupation, 
not because of the language itself, but because achieving anything worthwhile with it 
requires learning about many, many class libraries and their API's.
(Anyone challenging the above ?)

In comparison Apache httpd has, built-in, many features that just require configuration, 
and already has many ready-to-use add-on modules which just require to be plugged-in and 
configured, without having to do any programming at all.
This may suit "sysadmins types" better than "developer types".

In both cases, some knowledge of the HTTP protocol is a must, and a good knowledge of HTTP

is a tremendous help.
To achieve a certain goal, if you have a choice, choose whatever you are more comfortable


Technically, I think that Christopher's earlier benchmarks showed that Tomcat can serve 
simple static content at least as well as Apache httpd.
Using Apache httpd as a front-end to Tomcat introduces some overhead, but with a correct 
configuration this overhead will be insignificant in most real-world situations, compared

to what can be achieved (in terms of unnecessary overhead) by bad coding in the 
applications themselves, whether they are running under Tomcat or under Apache.
To connect Apache with Tomcat, you can use either mod_jk or mod_proxy_ajp (or just 
mod_proxy_http).  Again, each one has its advantages and inconvenients, and you should 
mainly choose whichever you feel more comfortable with.  The difference in performance 
between these solutions will likely be insignificant, compared to the mistakes in 
configuration and in the applications.

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