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FastCGI is a network protocol primarily used by a web server to communicate to a FastCGI server. FastCGI servers are typically used to serve web content generated by dynamic web languages, primarily PHP, but also Python, Ruby, Perl and others.
Web servers that supports FastCGI are, among others, Apache and Nginx, and Jetty. Web servers typically act as proxies, converting HTTP requests that they receive from clients (browsers) to FastCGI requests that are forwarded to the FastCGI server. The FastCGI server spawns the dynamic web language interpreter, passing it the information contained in the FastCGI request and a dynamic web language script is executed, producing web content, typically HTML. The web content is then formatted into a FastCGI response that is returned to the web server, which converts it to a HTTP response that is then returned to the client.
The most well known FastCGI server is the PHP FastCGI Process Manager,
php-fpm. In the following we will assume that
php-fpm is used as FastCGI server.
Jetty can be configured to act as a web server that supports FastCGI, replacing the functionality that is normally provided by Apache or Nginx. This allows users to leverage Jetty features such as SPDY, the unique support that Jetty provides for SPDY Push, Jetty's scalability, and of course Jetty's native support for Java Web Standards such as Servlets, JSPs, etc.
With such configuration, users can deploy their Java Web Applications in Jetty, but also serve their WordPress site or blog or their Drupal site without having to install and manage multiple web servers.