Two years later – did Traefik replace nginx and HAProxy?

Docker - Kubernetes - nginx - Traefik

Two years ago I wrote Why Traefik Will Replace HAProxy and nginx here, and to be honest I felt a little bit guilty about saying it for a couple of reasons.

Firstly Traefik was very new and secondly I love nginx, I’ve always loved it, probably always will and it’s likely that I’ll never stop using it.

Guilty feelings aside I also wrote the post in the first place because I was very excited about what Traefik was bringing to the party, and the things it brings to the party are driven by a very strong trend.

Here’s the Google trends screenshot I took two years ago:


At the time it looked pretty mundane, other than Traefik being a “new entrant” there wasn’t anything that really stood out.

Now two year’s later here’s how that trend is playing out:

Traefik Trend vs HAProxy and nginx

Red: nginx Yellow: HAProxy Blue: Traefik

Things have clearly changed, and the driver behind that change has a lot to do with Docker, Kubernetes and the management of Microservices.

In March, 2017 nginx domination of the reverse proxy space went into decline. This happened about a year after Traefik started to show up on Google’s radar, and it was a full year before I wrote Why Traefik Will Replace HAProxy and nginx prediction post.

The driving force behind the growth of Traefik:

Docker - Kubernetes - nginx - Traefik

Yellow: Docker Red: Kubernetes Green: nginx Blue: Traefik

Modern web technologies, including Docker and Kubernetes are the driving force behind Traefik’s growing popularity.

Growth Potential for Traefik is Huge

If I were a silicon valley investor I’d be reaching out to the Traefik team about their next round of funding. According to crunchbase the Containous team behind Traefik raised an A series of $10 million in January this year, bringing their total funding to $11.1M.

I have no idea where Traefik is in terms of revenue but I know for a fact their growth isn’t even scratching the surface of what’s possible with the right product management, sales and community building.

As with most technologies like Docker and Kubernetes etc. the strongest user run community can be found on Reddit at /r/Traefik and don’t be fooled by the number of subscribers, you can bet the actual number of visitors is 25x – 35x that number and growing, like all subreddits it has a lot more lurkers than subscribers.

To my original point, did Traefik replace HAProxy and nginx?

For many modern developers using Docker and Kubernetes the answer is yes, it absolutely did and it will continue to do so.

Keep the context in mind.

I’m only talking about the reverse proxy trend here, nginx is more than just a reverse proxy and it isn’t going away but Traefik will continue to steal nginx share of the reverse proxy space.


Someone asked “Where is Envoy?” in the comments so I just posted Traefik vs Envoy – Who’s winning the reverse proxy war and why? in response.



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