This Russian software is taking over the internet

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Automattic was replacing the web server software that underpins its popular WordPress blogging platform, and things weren’t going well.

This was 2008, and the company was intent on moving WordPress to software in line with its open source philosophy. The world’s best-known web server, Apache, was the obvious choice, but when engineers started tinkering with the way the software was setup, Apache would crash, especially when WordPress was really busy. “We realized that it wasn’t super-stable under production traffic,” says Barry Abrahamson, a WordPress “systems wrangler” who helped manage the transition.

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