comparison between Apache , Websphere and IIS

Posted on 2004-10-06
Last Modified: 2012-06-27

One of my friend who goes to the business school is doing some research on finding which is the most popular webserver on which commercial websites are deployed.

The key parameters to study are scalability,security ,cost and ease of maintenance . He will be doing his research but he needs some pointers to get started. Please tell what you think about this. If you could point to some technical papers then this will also be appreciated.

Finally I am sorry in advance if you think that this is a homework question( but he just needs to get started in the right direction).  In that case I will request the community support to delete this question immediately.
Question by:anshuma
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Assisted Solution

ronan_40060 earned 50 total points
ID: 12246281
Hi there
Well it depends on what kind of applications that you are developing.
Apache and IIS are Web Servers where as IBM Websphere is an application server .
Now what Application server does is it  serves as a container to hold all jsp pages , servlets.  A servlet container is an engine that is able to serve "web applications" as defined by the J2EE specifications.If you talk about deploying EJB then , since EJB implements business logic ,Hence to implement business logic what we need is a high application server that is Bea WebLogic , IBM Websphere etc  J2EE consists of several standards. One of those is servlet, another one is JSP and still another one is EJB.
There is a good article, Application Servers are explained, here:

Now Apache it very widely used used Web Servers almost 60% of web sites run of apache .
The advantages of Apache
- It is Free and hence companies can reduce the cost on
- It is platform independent , it runs on Windows, linux etc
-  Apache has a little better performance on same hardware
- When you have oracle as Backend , then ts wiser to use Apache with PHP/Perl as front end

IIS Web Server
- It is not platform independent
- It is well suited for microsoft technologies like ASP , etc

Le me know if you need to know more
Good Luck
LVL 33

Accepted Solution

humeniuk earned 150 total points
ID: 12248336
Here's a good feature-by-feature comparison of Apache & IIS:

Author Comment

ID: 12249687
great article humeniuk, its awesome. Where can I find on what webservers websites like ebay,amazon and cnn run. I am increasing points by 100
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

ID: 12250131
This info is broadcast as part of the server header when you visit any web page.  You can see the server header for a website by using the tool located at  However, remember that it is possible to mask or alter the header info that your server broadcasts and many people do this for security reasons.

For example, the server header for says: "Server: Microsoft-IIS/6.0".  For it says: "Server: Stronghold/2.4.2 Apache/1.3.6 C2NetEU/2412 (Unix) amarewrite/0.1 mod_fastcgi/2.2.12".  These are probably accurate, but remember that is is possible to manually change them for the sake of misdirection.  For and, it's just "Server: Apache", which may mean that they're masking the version, however it's likely in both cases that they're using some version of Apache.

If you're interested, there's a good article on stopping header broadcasting here:
LVL 15

Assisted Solution

periwinkle earned 150 total points
ID: 12251091
Another place where you can 'find out what that server is running' is at - look for the box that is labeled "What's that server running?".

This site also give historical data on what software a site has run; for example:

shows the various versions of Apache that has run since 2002.

Author Comment

ID: 12252326
Thank you all
LVL 33

Expert Comment

ID: 12252881
Glad to be able to help out.
LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 12253531
Happy to be of help!

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