What Is Difference Between IHS and Apache Web Server?


Heather Bennett

What Is the Difference Between IHS and Apache Web Server?

When it comes to serving web content, there are several options available, each with its own set of features and capabilities. Two popular choices among web developers and administrators are IBM HTTP Server (IHS) and Apache Web Server. While both options are widely used, there are some key differences between them that you should be aware of.


IHS (IBM HTTP Server) is a web server based on the Apache HTTP Server that is developed and maintained by IBM. It is designed to work in conjunction with other software products offered by IBM, such as WebSphere Application Server.

Some key features of IHS include:

  • High performance: IHS is known for its ability to handle high traffic loads efficiently.
  • Tight integration with IBM software: It seamlessly integrates with other IBM products, allowing for smooth collaboration and enhanced functionality.
  • Enterprise-level security: IHS provides robust security features, including SSL/TLS encryption and support for various authentication methods.
  • Advanced caching: It offers advanced caching mechanisms to optimize content delivery and improve overall performance.

Apache Web Server

The Apache Web Server, commonly referred to as just “Apache,” is an open-source web server software maintained by the Apache Software Foundation. It is one of the most widely used web servers globally and powers a significant portion of websites on the internet today.

Here are some notable characteristics of Apache:

  • Versatility: Apache supports a wide range of operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Linux, and more. This makes it an excellent choice for developers working on different platforms.
  • Modularity: Apache offers a modular architecture, allowing users to extend its functionality by adding or removing modules based on their specific requirements.
  • Flexibility: Its configuration options are highly customizable, giving administrators full control over server settings and behavior.
  • Community support: Being an open-source project, Apache benefits from a large and active community of developers who contribute to its development and provide support.

Key Differences

While both IHS and Apache share some similarities due to their shared codebase, there are a few crucial differences that set them apart:

  • Maintenance and Support: IHS is directly supported by IBM, which means you can rely on their dedicated support team for assistance. In contrast, Apache is community-driven, with support primarily available through online forums and user communities.
  • Integration: IHS is tightly integrated with IBM software products like WebSphere Application Server, making it an ideal choice for users already utilizing IBM’s ecosystem.

    Apache, on the other hand, offers more flexibility when it comes to integration with third-party software.

  • Licensing: IHS follows a proprietary licensing model, which means you may need to purchase licenses based on your usage requirements. In contrast, Apache is open-source software released under the Apache License, allowing you to use it free of charge.


In summary, both IHS and Apache Web Server are powerful options for serving web content. Your choice between the two will largely depend on your specific needs and preferences.

If you are already using IBM software or require enterprise-level security features, IHS might be the better fit. On the other hand, if you value flexibility, community support, and an open-source licensing model, Apache could be the right choice for you.

Ultimately, understanding the differences between these web servers will help you make an informed decision and select the one that aligns best with your requirements.

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