AWS customers can now use Nginx for media streaming

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After a year-long “pilot program,” server software maker Nginx is officially launching several paid services on Amazon Web Services (AWS) today. While Nginx Plus has been available (if not promoted) for the whole pilot program, there are two new additions to Nginx’s cloud product lineup: support for its streaming media server and annual subscriptions for all its services.

Now sites and applications using Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) can use Nginx’s streaming media server as a video streaming solution. A module extension to Nginx’s web server product, Nginx streaming supports “all common video formats” — from MP4 and FLV to Apple HLS and Adobe HDS — and can adjust the quality of a video on the fly based on the speed of a connection.

Nginx Plus, Nginx’s other AWS product, is the commercial version of the popular open-source, Linux-based Nginx web server technology. Essentially, it’s web server and networking software that you can embed inside an app. The company touts features like application load balancing, advanced cache control, and monitoring tools as reasons why AWS customers should upgrade from the free version.

“Building a great application is half the battle, delivering it is the other half … so our focus is all about application delivery,” Robertson said.

Nginx has brought annual subscription prices to its AWS customers, offering an Nginx Plus instance for $1,500 annually rather than a $0.04 per hour base price (based on EC2 instance type), and streaming media server support for $700 annually versus a $0.10 per hour flat rate. Paying an annual subscription up front can be cheaper than paying for each service hourly, while customers who want to hedge their bets can use a combination of both annual and hourly services.

Many customers “know they’ll run 10 web servers in a year, but there are peak times when they may need another 10, [so] they can then add additional instances by the hour,” said Gus Robertson, CEO of Nginx, in a conversation with VentureBeat.

Nginx is a popular web server choice among customers of Amazon Web Services (AWS). Netcraft’s December 2013 Web Server Survey shows that 36% of AWS customers run their sites on Nginx, compared to 27% using Apache and 14% on Microsoft IIS. Over 100 AWS customers also subscribe to Nginx Plus, according to Robertson.

For more on Ngnix, check out our earlier coverage: Nginx, the web server tech you’ve never heard of that powers Netflix, Facebook, and WordPress.

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