Apache Tomcat Server Alternatives – Jetty and Resin

ApacheTomcatAlternativesJettyResinIf your enterprise Java development is light weight and strictly avoids EJBs, you would probably consider Apache Tomcat as your first choice application server. However not only has Tomcat become rather heavy over time but it also isn’t the only option you have.

The list of Java servers is quite long, but it normally comes down to Tomcat, Jetty and Resin.

Apache Tomcat is easily the most popular of the three and the “Powered By Tomcat” section lists some of the more well known names running Tomcat.

Jetty has been around since 1998 and claims to be a “100% Java HTTP Server and Servlet Container”. Its features are 1) Open Source – Apache 2.0 License 2) Small and Efficient 3) Production proven 4) Embeddable

A recent article titled “What is Jetty” says that “Jetty’s real claim to fame is that it is designed be embedded in other Java code. That is, the development team exposes Jetty as a set of JAR files such that you can instantiate and manipulate a servlet container in your own code, as an object. This opens up new possibilities for servlets and web apps.”

Resin is available in two versions, Professional and Open Source. Professional has features commonly needed in a production environment while the Open Source version is said to be suitable for hobbyists and low traffic websites.

In a recent comparison Jetty vs. Tomcat vs. Resin, while Tomcat and Jetty were quite evenly matched, Resin seemed to lag behind. So if it’s between Jetty and Tomcat, how do you decide?

If it’s the community support, documentation and widespread acceptance, Tomcat is the better choice. If it’s speed and light weight, Jetty supporters are convinced that Jetty is better but there are no actual figures to back this up.

The embeddable nature of Jetty is the most common reason why Jetty is recommended. This is also perhaps the reason why Jetty integrations with Geronimo, JBoss and JOnAS are available. However Tomcat can also be embedded using the Embedded class, a convenience class to embed a Catalina servlet container environment inside another application.

Download for Servlets 2.4 and
JSP 2.0

* Jetty-5.1
* Apache Tomcat Core Download

>> Enterprise Ready Server 3.0 (Apache + Tomcat) released
>> WebLogic blends with Tomcat
>> Java’s failure at shared hosting will contribute to its downfall
>> JBoss is light years ahead of other open source application

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0 thoughts on “Apache Tomcat Server Alternatives – Jetty and Resin

  • August 27, 2007 at 11:24 am

    The biggest issue I have with Tomcat isn’t related to performance but simple stability. Redeploy a Wicket app a few times, and Tomcat’s classloaders can’t find resources any more.

  • March 7, 2007 at 10:01 pm

    After Caucho support Resin two kind of product, Open source and Professional , Open source version of Resin isn’t so fast as Tomcat.
    But performance of Professional version of Resin is worth to pay for it.
    Even in a Open Source version, Resin uses smaller memory and cpu usage than Tomcat.
    Do some stress test with simple jsp application.

  • July 27, 2006 at 11:23 am

    So which should I use

    Tomcat or Jetty or Resin or Geronimo or…
    So may choices no time to evaluate

  • July 17, 2006 at 8:03 am

    If I am not wrong, repeated comments about Apache Tomcat’s growing weight has led to the server shedding some weight in the recent past. The core download is 6.5 MB which is good.

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