Put open source to work
July 16–17, 2018: Training & Tutorials
July 18–19, 2018: Conference
Portland, OR

NGINX Unit - how to use the fully dynamic new server

Nick Shadrin (NGINX at F5)
5:05pm5:45pm Thursday, July 19, 2018
Distributed computing
Location: Portland 255
Level: Advanced

Who is this presentation for?

Software engineers, website developers, DevOps, operations

Prerequisite knowledge

Linux, HTTP, web applications.

What you'll learn

Running various applications in a consistent way. Dynamically configure application stacks.


NGINX Unit is a new, lightweight, open source application server built to meet the demands of today’s dynamic and distributed applications. Deploy configuration changes with no service disruptions. Run code in multiple languages. Build the foundation of your service mesh.

In this session we will cover the technical challenges and reasons why we created Unit:
- Modern applications are changing all the time, and they require software that allows fast reconfiguration.
- Every complex application has multiple software stacks in place. It is always a mix of languages and technologies. Inconsistency in technology interaction can be fatal to the application.
- Inter-service communication is a topic that is becoming more interesting today, and service meshes are one of the available solution approaches.

In Unit, we addressed these challenges, and kept the software light and quick, in spirit of the rest of NGINX products:
- It’s open source under Apache 2.0 license.
- Unit runs PHP, Python, Perl, Ruby, Go apps.
- It runs various versions of the same language on the same server.
- Unit reconfigures in real time, and it’s done via a simple REST API.
- A reconfiguration does not create a reload workflow. Changes are done in-memory, instantly, as frequently as you want.

We will show the details on the implementation, and display a technical demo on how to use Unit with a variety of dynamic applications.

Photo of Nick Shadrin

Nick Shadrin


Nick Shadrin is a Product Manager at NGINX. He creates and brings new technologies to the wide audience of engineers and operations professionals. He is a web application delivery professional with many years of international experience. Previously, Nick implemented website-optimization systems for many major well-known websites.