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Software

+ - To Compile or Not to Compile Apache

Submitted by
zeugma-amp
zeugma-amp writes "We're in the process of migrating to new hardware. In our case, this is a move from Sun Solaris boxes running Apache,PHP,Weblogic and related software to Intel Linux (RHEL) boxes running the same hardware. To date, we've been doing our own custom compiles of Apache/PHP so we could control the version of each module as well as the location where everything runs so we can just tar up a single partition, and have it contain everything we need to support our applications.

We're debating whether to continue this on the new hardware, or just use the supplied RPMS, with our config files in our custom location referring back to where the binaries actually reside. There are a lot of dependancies such as the modules such as the PHP module for Oracle connectivity and whatnot.

RedHat RPMs Pros:

  • Can rely on RedHat to guarantee Apache, PHP, and modules to be stable and secure (or else!).
  • Can rely on RedHat Network for security notifications, and fully tested upgrades (less testing required).
  • Less time required for upgrades, standard upgrade path, 100% supported.
  • /apps/apache only needs to contain configuration files, additional modules (weblogic plugin, ntlm), certificates, and logs (not openssl, openldap, apache, php, etc...)
  • Disaster Recovery would not rely on custom Apache built for a specific machine ... just available RPM packages for the OS.



RedHat RPMs Cons:

  • Most likely cannot run multiple versions of Apache at the same time; however, I believe we should be able to run multiple versions of PHP if we need to.
  • More difficult to customize, relying on RedHat's path to be inline with our own (we don't have to upgrade if we don't want to, but we would be bound to the versions RedHat releases, albeit heavily tested versions)
  • Available versions may not be what we currently have in production (Apache 2.0.58, PHP 4.3.10) ... need to verify.


Apache Compile Pros:

  • More control over versions of Apache, PHP, and modules.
  • Ability to run multiple versions of Apache at same time ... although I don't think we've actually required it to this point.
  • We would be able to produce a build of Apache & PHP identical to the current versions we have in production.

Apache Compile Cons:

  • Takes a lot of work & time to pump out new versions of Apache & PHP.
  • Must handle security fixes manually, and rely on our own upgrade path.
  • May not be as easy to gain support of 100% completely customized install of Apache & PHP.



The question for the /. community is this: What is the most common way to run production corporate webservers? Are you compiling your own, or are you just using the available packages? Do the provided packages come with the modules needed to support an Apache front-end with Weblogic and PHP servers behind connecting to Oracle, and DB2, databases?"

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