Arstechnica posted a nice writeup on Nginx, a cut-down webserver that does less than Apache does, but does the few things it does much faster. That’s nothing particularly new, as smaller and faster webservers have existed for as long as I can remember.
What makes Nginx different is that it can work with PHP. And therefore, it can run WordPress.
This looks like a good future project for me at some point. How soon I could get to it would be anybody’s guess. But seeing as my site lags more than I’d like even on my local LAN with a 100-megabit connection, it’s an obvious place for improvement.
And on a semi-related note, I see several places, including Buy.com, selling Pogoplug Pros for $47 right now, less than half price. A Pogoplug Pro, from what I can tell, has a 2-core ARM processor in it running at about 750 MHz. And it consumes about 5w of electricity. It’s possible to turn these into full-blown Linux boxes.
It would seem that Nginx would suit something like this well, allowing it to use its somewhat limited CPU power more intelligently.
It’s tempting. A Pogoplug with a USB-attached SSD would consume a lot less power and take up a lot less space than the server I’m running now. By my rough estimates, the server I’m running now costs me about $70 a year in electricity to run, and a Pogoplug would cost more like $5.
There’s a time investment involved, and arguably I’m better off spending that time writing, except for those times I can’t find something to write about. And experiences like hacking a Pogoplug into a webserver provide good writing material.
And if it proves unsuitable for serving up web pages, I could probably use it as my music repository.