This one is shaking up the web community. F5 Networks announced that it has inked a deal to acquire NGINX. NGINX is the company behind the popular web server that delivers content for the majority of the Top 100,000 sites on Alexa.com, including STH. This is a big deal. F5 is known for products such as its load balancers and web application security lines.
F5 to Acquire NGINX
The terms of the deal are that F5 is paying around $670 million for the ubiquitous application delivery platform. Although NGINX is well known as the “free” alternative to other web servers with better performance than Apache, the company has been working vigorously on its enterprise platform. By adding a greater number of features that appeal to enterprise customers, NGINX has gone down the freemium path that many other free/ open source companies have explored to continue their mission. Some webmasters seem nervous that the acquisition may push NGINX’s new features toward paid versions, rather than maintaining an excellent free product that underpins their sites.
Here is an excerpt from the F5 press release on the merger and working with the community:
- Customers, Partners, Community: We believe that with our combined F5-NGINX solutions, our customers – from the app developer to the network engineer to the security specialist – will for the first time benefit from the agility and flexibility enabled by modern technologies, without compromising on the time-tested fundamentals of security, manageability, and reliability. But it cannot be done without a clear and unequivocal commitment to the open source innovation that has powered NGINX to date. We must steward this thriving open source and developer community in good faith. So, let me make sure there is no confusion on this point: F5 is 100% committed to the continued innovation and increasing investment in the NGINX open source project.
We hope that F5 honors this commitment as NGINX has been a driving force in today’s web infrastructure.