Architecture of Apache Tomcat

In this article, we look into the different component of Apache Tomcat architecture that will help us to understand Tomcat in more detail. The Apache Tomcat server is an open source, Java-based web application container that was created to run servlet and JavaServer Pages (JSP) web applications.

Apache Tomcat is very stable and has all of the features of a commercial web application container – yet comes under Open Source Apache License. Tomcat also provides additional functionality that makes it a great choice for developing a complete web application solution. Some of the additional features provided by Tomcat—other than being open source and free—include the Tomcat Manager application, specialized realm implementations, and Tomcat valves.
Regarding the latest release of Tomcat always check Apache Tomcat site.

The Architecture of Tomcat
Before reading this you should look into tomcat conf/server.xml in order to understand this. Download server.xml file.
A Tomcat instance, or server, is the top-level component in Tomcat’s container hierarchy. Only one Tomcat instance can live in a single Java Virtual Machine (JVM). This approach makes all other Java applications, running on the same physical machine as Tomcat server, safe in case Tomcat and/or its  JVM crashes.
Tomcat instance consists of grouping of the application containers, which exist in the well-defined hierarchy. The key component in that hierarchy is theCatalina servlet engine. Catalina is the actual Java servlet container implementation as specified in Java Servlet API

XML representation of the relationships between the different Tomcat containers.

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