Can I Replace Apache with Node.js?


I have a website running on CentOS using the usual suspects (Apache, MySQL, and PHP). Since the time this website was originally launched, it has evolved quite a bit and now I'd like to do fancier things with it—namely real-time notifications. From what I've read, Apache handles this poorly. I'm wondering if I can replace just Apache with Node.js (so instead of "LAMP" it would "LNMP").

I've tried searching online for a solution, but haven't found one. If I'm correctly interpreting the things that I've read, it seems that most people are saying that Node.js can replace both Apache and PHP together. I have a lot of existing PHP code, though, so I'd prefer to keep it.

In case it's not already obvious, I'm pretty confused and could use some enlightenment. Thanks very much!

6/18/2013 6:01:32 PM

Accepted Answer

If you're prepared to re-write your PHP in JavaScript, then yes, Node.js can replace your Apache.

If you place an Apache or NGINX instance running in reverse-proxy mode between your servers and your clients, you could handle some requests in JavaScript on Node.js and some requests in your Apache-hosted PHP, until you can completely replace all your PHP with JavaScript code. This might be the happy medium: do your WebSockets work in Node.js, more mundane work in Apache + PHP.

12/15/2018 6:23:06 AM

Node.js may be faster than Apache thanks to it's evented/non-blocking architecture, but you may have problems finding modules/libraries which substitute some of Apache functionality.

Node.js itself is a lightweight low-level framework which enables you to relatively quickly build server-side stuff and real-time parts of your web applications, but Apache offers much broader configuration options and "classical" web server oriented features.

I would say that unless you want to replace PHP with node.js based web application framework like express.js then you should stay with Apache (or think about migrating to Nginx if you have performance problems).

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