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NGINX Controller – For lightning fast application delivery

Parshva Shah | DevOps Engineer, Ashnik
India, 19 Jun 2020

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NGINX needs no introduction – the leading open-source software is used for millions of websites globally for web-serving, proxying, caching, load balancing, media streaming, and more.

NGINX had started out as a web server designed for maximum performance and stability. With the climb in digitalization and evolution of e-commerce around us, more and more applications are getting pushed out by organizations today in the market.

And, NGINX is very well known to serve millions of requests without affecting the system performance!

On the other hand, having millions of customers accessing a single application made it difficult for the operations team to manage the infrastructure as any kind of disruption of not serving the application makes customers look for alternatives in the market today.

Pingdom found that 90% of users were willing to wait 3 seconds for a site to load before abandoning it, but that number dropped to nearly half if the wait had to another 3 seconds. That is a top consumer expectation today, faster loading for faster access. And, that’s exactly where NGINX plays a pivotal role.

Running multiple NGINX instances created the need to have a centralized mechanism for a holistic view of all deployments, this is where the NGINX Controller was born.

nginx controller

NGINX’s use case in modern applications has expanded to function as an ingress controller for Kubernetes environment as well.

Now this, coupled with the use cases of proxying (reverse, sidecar) along with the NGINX WAF – makes the NGINX platform an integral part of the modern application.

It has also proved its mettle as a very robust solution for API gateways – and the management of the same is achieved using NGINX Controller. Imagine you have an application that consumes millions of APIs – the sheer complexity it adds to effectively manage and monitor this environment is enough to give nightmares to the infrastructure and monitoring teams.
Here comes the NGINX Controller – giving you a unified view of all your APIs and gives you enough control to publish and manage your APIs securely.

Where NGINX was focused on a single instance, running on a single host, and managing traffic on that host, Controller focuses on managing your Layer 7 networks, integrating all of your systems holistically.

nginx API

Now, imagine tens of hundreds of NGINX instances in your environment – all deployed across applications but when something goes wrong – you need to do RCA on all your instances one by one – NGINX Controller eliminates this by providing a super simple view of all your NGINX deployments and metrics to monitor these – as well as pushing configurations from Controller to your NGINX Plus instances – yes, via GUI!

nginx API

The idea behind Controller was to show traffic flowing in and among all of your instances. And to make hard things easy, like cluster management, blue ‑green deployment, and high-speed encryption networks.

The controller can be installed easily on any given instance – we just need to run the script file of the controller agent on every NGINX Plus instance which we need to monitor through the Controller – and voila, you have a centralized console to manage and monitor NGINX Plus!

Some key capabilities of the Controller include:

• Simplified configuration management: load balancing algorithms
• Monitoring, alerting, troubleshooting: includes transaction monitoring, system performance metrics and many more
• Multi-cloud support

To summarize, NGINX Controller is the first App‑Centric, Multi‑Cloud Application Platform for Modern App teams. If you’re ready to experience a lightning‑fast application delivery, talk to us!


  • Parshva is working with Ashnik as a DevOps Engineer. He has over two years of experience with Tibco Software and has also worked with various Cloud and DevOps tools such as Docker, Kubernetes, Terraform, Ansible, Jenkins, AWS, and GCP.