Part of the team of developers of the world’s most popular web server for hosting sites Nginx returned to Russia and launched the Angie project. It will actually become an independent offshoot of the Nginx code, the investment in the project in the first phase amounted to $1 million, Kommersant found out. The American F5, which owns Nginx, has left Russia, and the new company will focus on supporting Nginx users in the country, among other things
Part of the developers of the world’s most popular web server Nginx returned from the U.S. to Russia and set up their own company, it was reported by “Kommersant” citing a source on the IT-market and the data of SPARK-Interfax. According to them, LLC “WebServer” was created in July with the registered capital of 500 000 rubles. Zaur Abasmirzoev, director general of the new company, said that he had invested $1 million in the project at the first stage and expected to enter the register of domestic software.
The main activity of the company is listed as “development of computer software”, and on October 10 it filed an application for registration of the Angie trademark. Among the co-owners of WebServer are Valentin Bartenev, ex-head of the Nginx Unit server development team, who worked for Nginx from 2011 to 2022, as well as Ivan Poluyanov, Oleg Mamontov, Ruslan Yermilov (known for his work on the operating system FreeBSD) – former Nginx employees.
The press service of American F5 said that the company “is not associated with any Nginx projects in Russia and does not endorse them. The first version of Nginx was created in 2002-2004 by Igor Sysoyev, then a system administrator at Rambler. In 2011, Nginx was created to develop commercial products, in 2019 it was bought by American F5 for $670 million. WebServer said that Igor Sysoev was not involved in the new project. Angie acts as a fork (independent offshoot) of Nginx, the created company explained.
Nginx is the world’s most popular web server. It became the most widely used web server in the world in 2021 with a 33.8% share, according to W3Techs as of May. Its closest competitor is the Apache server. According to Netcraft’s January 2022 survey, Nginx supports more than 377 million sites worldwide (almost 32.3%), Apache supports 289 million (about 24%), now more than 27%. Igor Sysoev left F5 in January 2022 for personal reasons. F5 stopped sales in Russia in spring 2022 and pulled Nginx code storage from the country. The Angie solution will be distributed under an open license.
The volume of investment in the project in the first phase was $1 million, and WebServer is ready to support Nginx users and integrate Angie into partner products, said CEO Zaur Abasmirzoev. According to him, “it would be reasonable” to include Angie in the register of domestic software. In Russia, the Nginx web server accounts for more than 60% of the market, said Denis Khadaskov, commercial director of R-Style Softlab. The goal of Angie may be the desire to take a share of the Russian open-source software market, Khadaskov suggested.
In 2001 the server was created by Igor Sysoev and Maxim Konovalov, the programmers who worked at Rambler. Nginx technologies are embedded in the logic of many of the planet’s most visited sites, including Apple, Yandex, VK, Netflix, Starbucks, McDonald’s and others. In December 2019, Rambler Group claimed that its exclusive rights to the web server had been violated. In April 2020, the Russian prosecutor’s office closed the case. Rambler Group itself also asked for this.