Nginx Plus R8 Improves HTTP2, Adds OAuth2

by Sean Michael Kerner

The commercially-supported Nginx web server release gets its first update for 2016.

Nginx Inc is out this week with a new release of its flagship product platform, Nginx Plus R8. Among the highlights of the new web server platform are improved HTTP2 capabilities, OAuth authentication and HTML5 video caching features.

The Nginx Plus web server first emerged in 2013 as a bundled enterprise package that expands on the capabilities of the open-source Nginx web server. NGINX Plus R8The new Nginx Plus R8 release is based on the the open-source 1.9.9 release of Nginx, which first became available on December 9, 2015.

Support for HTTP/2, which is the next generation of HTTP, was first introduced into Nginx Plus for the R7 release in September 2015. HTTP/2 is based in part on the Google-led SPDY protocol, which had already been supported in both open-source Nginx as well as Nginx Plus.

Faisal Memon, technical product marketer at Nginx Inc, told ServerWatch that since the Nginx Plus R7 release, HTTP/2 has been tested and used by a variety of Nginx customers, both open source and Plus.

"With R8 we've taken in all the feedback, fixed all the bugs we know of, and in general are providing a much improved and more reliable implementation," Memon said.

On-the-Fly Reconfiguration API Debuts in R8

Another key area of improvement for Nginx Plus is in the web server's on-the-fly reconfiguration API. With the on-the-fly capability, Nginx Plux users have had the ability to automatically reconfigure load-balanced server groups.

"Starting with Nginx Plus R8, the changes you make with the API can persist across a restart or configuration reload," Owen Garrett, head of product at Nginx, wrote in a blog post.

Video caching also gets a boost in the R8 release, thanks in part to the inclusion of the new Slice module. "The ngx_http_slice_module module is a filter that splits a request into subrequests, each returning a certain range of response," Nginx's documentation on Slice explains. "The filter provides more effective caching of big responses."

OAuth 2.0 Support Added as Well

As part of the Nginx Plus R8 release, there is now also a technology preview of full OAuth 2.0 support. OAuth is a a widely deployed standard for enabled federated authentication and identity.

"The OTP (OAuth Technology Preview) is a demonstration of what can be achieved with Nginx Plus as part of the identity solution for an application," Liam Crilly wrote in a blog post. "It is a collection of components that showcase how Nginx Plus can handle OAuth processing in a real-world example and provide easily consumed user identity information to an application."

Looking forward, Nginx Inc has lots on its product roadmap for 2016. Memon said that security will be a key focus in 2016. Nginx Inc is also currently running a private beta of its Amplify monitoring and configuration platform

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at ServerWatch and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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This article was originally published on Wednesday Jan 20th 2016
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