Overview of Pivotal Web Server

Note: This product has been discontinued. Technical Guidance ends July 15th 2018.

Pivotal Web Server is based on Apache HTTP Server, providing a familiar, proven foundation for your web tier. In addition to the standard features of Apache HTTP Server, Pivotal Web Server provides the following benefits:

  • Ability to easily install multiple instances of Pivotal Web Server running on a single computer.
  • Scalable management of multiple Web sites and servers; you can run and manage hundreds of instances of Pivotal Web Server.
  • Support for heterogeneous environments (32- and 64-bit architectures): Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), Solaris, Ubuntu, and Microsoft Windows. Pivotal Web Server can be updated and patched across all servers at once.


Information for International Users

Complete Packages and Modules in Pivotal Web Server 5.5

Differences Between Pivotal Web Server and Pivotal ERS

Information for Internationalized Applications (Non US-ASCII Deployments)

If you require multi-byte character-set support, Pivotal recommends that you follow these guidelines for using multi-byte filenames and multi-byte characters in configuration files. These guidelines provide the most flexibility and most consistent results:

  • Use the UTF-8 encoding when running a Unix terminal or Windows PowerShell. For example, to set this encoding on Unix, you can use the following environment variable:


    On Windows, you can run the following command in your PowerShell window:

    PS prompt> chcp 65001 

    Important: The preceding Windows command does not always work as expected on pre-R2 versions of Windows 2008. For this reason, Pivotal strongly recommends that you install Pivotal Web Server on Windows 2008 R2.

    Setting your encoding to UTF-8 results in better display of httpctl output, easier examination of the log files, and so on.

  • Edit and save all Pivotal Web Server configuration files, such as conf/httpd.conf, in UTF-8 format. This improves the legibility of the Web Server access and error log files.

Complete Packages and Modules in Pivotal Web Server 5.4.2

This section lists the complete contents of Pivotal Web Server 5.4.2 .

  • Apache Web Server httpd 2.2.29
  • Apache mod_ftp 0.9.6
  • Apache mod_fcgid 2.3.7
  • Apache mod_jk 1.2.40
  • Apache APR Library 1.5.1
  • Apache APR-util Library 1.5.3
  • Apache tcnative connector
  • Expat 2.1.0
  • GNU libiconv 1.11
  • mod_bmx 0.9.4 (Hyperic plug-in for monitoring support)
  • OpenSSL 1.0.1j
  • OpenSSL/FIPS 2.0
  • OpenLDAP 2.3.43
  • PCRE 8.32
  • zlib 1.2.7

You typically install Pivotal Web Server from the pivotal-web-server-version-platform package, which contains all the preceding compiled modules. For your convenience, Pivotal also makes a pivotal-web-server-devel-version-platform package available which you can use to build HTTPD modules. Typically, you install the -devel package only on development computers, and not on production computers.

mod_fcgid Implementation of Connector to FastCGI

The mod_fcgid distributed with Pivotal Web Server is an implementation of the connector to FastCGI applications. This module allows the user to provision FastCGI providers such as PHP or Ruby on Rails from third parties, running out-of-process from the server itself.

Many applications can be built to support FastCGI; consult your language or application documentation for details. The application providing FastCGI services is launched by mod_fcgid on the initial request, and reused for subsequent requests to that application or language environment.

For details on configuring an application, including the number of persistent processes created, see Apache Module mod_fcgid.

Differences Between Pivotal Web Server and Pivotal ERS

The Pivotal Cloud Application Platform includes two HTTP server and load-balancing products: Pivotal Web Server and Pivotal Enterprise Ready Server (ERS).

Important: The end of general support (EOGS) date for Pivotal ERS is July 1, 2014. Pivotal highly recommends that ERS customers migrate to Pivotal Web Server. The following table describes the major differences between the two products and provides high-level actions that existing ERS customers can take as they prepare for the migration.

Table 1. Differences Between Pivotal Web Server and Pivotal ERS
Pivotal Web Server Pivotal ERS Customer Action
Available as a standalone product. Originally designed for only physical computers. Select licensing based on Pivotal integration or dedicated hardware.
Strictly an Apache HTTPD Server-based product. Pivotal tc Server, a separate product, is strictly an Apache Tomcat-based product. Includes both Apache HTTPD and Apache Tomcat packages. Migrate ERS Apache HTTPD instances to Pivotal Web Server. Separately migrate ERS Tomcat instances to Pivotal tc Server.
Runs on current, vendor-supported 32- and 64-bit releases of RHEL, Microsoft Windows, Solaris, and AIX. See Supported Configurations and System Requirements for the exact versions. Runs on now-unsupported, or “twilighted”, versions of RHEL, Windows, Solaris, AIX, and HPUX. See ERS Supported Platforms for the exact versions. Upgrade to a vendor-supported operating system version for all Pivotal Web Server instances, and apply all patch releases (such as service packs) issued by that vendor no later than 12 months from their vendor release.
Includes the current enterprise-ready release of Apache HTTPD Server 2.2 . Includes the current release of Apache HTTPD Server 2.2 , as well as the now-deprecated 2.0 and 1.3 versions. Migrate all Apache HTTPD 2.0 and 1.3 instances to Pivotal Web Server 2.2 instances. The migration requires updates to the *.conf file.
During installation or upgrade, the Apache HTTPD binaries are written to a path in the format pivotal-web-server/httpd- 2.2 .xx.x-32. This preserves any existing Apache HTTPD binaries without overwriting them. During installation or upgrade, the Apache HTTPD binaries are always written to the same directory ( ers-install-path/apache 2.2 -64), which means on upgrade any existing binaries are overwritten. Point all server instances to the common symlink pivotal-web-server/httpd- 2.2 , modify it to revert/roll back/change 32-64 bit modes.
Includes the most commonly-used modules. See Complete Packages and Modules in Pivotal Web Server 5.5 . Included additional modules, such as mod_perl, mod_php, and mod_snmp. Migrate PHP and Perl applications to the supported, and more optimal, mod_fcgid environment.
Closely tracks Apache Software Foundation (ASF) naming and directory layout conventions. In particular:
  • install-dir/httpd- 2.2 /modules/ directory contains the loadable modules
  • Binaries and configuration file names use httpd prefix
  • install-dir/newserver creates new instances
  • instance-dir/bin/httpdctl controls each deployed instance
  • instance-dir/conf/extras/ offers feature-based small config templates
Has a number of now-stale, legacy file and path conventions. In particular:
  • install-dir/apache 2.2 /modules/standard directory contains the loadable modules
  • Binaries and configuration file names use httpsd prefix
  • install-dir/ers-server.pl creates new instances
  • install-dir/servers/instance-dir/bin/apache_startup.sh|bat controls each deployed instance
  • install-dir/servers/instance-dir/conf/httpsd.conf is one large, monolithic configuration template.
Create a new Pivotal Web Server instance, then migrate customizations from your existing Pivotal ERS instance. Alternatively, modify a copy of the deployed Pivotal ERS instance tree to use Pivotal Web Server path and file name conventions. Use smaller functional .conf snippets to make the configuration more organized and maintainable.