June 2014 Web Server Survey

In the June 2014 survey we received responses from 968,882,453 sites, six million less than last month.

The battle between Microsoft and Apache heated up this month, with Apache losing 13 million sites and Microsoft gaining 26 million. The resultant changes in market share have left Apache barely clinging onto the lead — Microsoft is now only 0.15 percentage points behind. This is the closest Microsoft has ever been, giving it a good chance of taking the lead for the first time next month.

However, Apache continues to dominate in terms of active sites, i.e. sites which are actively managed by humans rather than being automatically generated for use in activities such as link farming and domain squatting. Under this metric, Apache's losses were less significant, still leaving it with more than half of the market share, and more than 36 percentage points ahead of its closest competitor, nginx.

In terms of all websites, nginx suffered the second largest loss of 8.6 million sites. nginx is very often used as a reverse proxy, although other web servers can also fulfill this role. Apache's mod_proxy module allows it to be configured as either a forward or reverse proxy, and Microsoft IIS can be configured to act as a reverse proxy with the URL Rewrite and Application Request Routing modules. Microsoft Azure Web Sites can also achieve the same functionality once the proxy feature has been enabled.

Tengine, which is based on nginx, also fell by three million sites this month. This web server software is used extensively by its originators, Taobao, and has been an open source project since 2011. Tengine supports all of the features of nginx 1.4.7, plus some additional features which are not present in the stable releases of nginx 1.4.x or 1.6.x, such as syslog and pipe support. However, the most recent mainline version (nginx 1.7.1), which was released on 27 May, does now allow the error_log and access_log directives to be logged to syslog.

IPv4 addresses nearing total exhaustion

On 20 May, ICANN announced that it had begun the process of allocating the remaining blocks of IPv4 addresses to the five Regional Internet Registries (RIRs). As the total number of available 32-bit IPv4 addresses dwindles, network operators are being encouraged to adopt the use of 128-bit IPv6 addresses, which will allow a significantly larger number of unique addresses: IPv4 can only provide 4.3 billion addresses, whereas IPv6 can provide nearly 8×1028 times as many.

Unfortunately, adoption of IPv6 is proving to be a slow process. Only 3% of the hostnames in this month's survey can be resolved to IPv6 addresses, and the total number of IPv6 addresses used by websites has increased by only 18% over the past 12 months.

ICANN's statement says the process of allocating the remaining blocks was triggered when Latin America and Caribbean Network Information Centre's (LACNIC) supply of IPv4 addresses dropped to below 8 million.

Topically, this month's survey saw ICANN's website at www.icann.org change its Server banner from Apache to BigIP. For the past few years, it had either been "Apache" or "Apache/2.2.3 CentOS", although the operating system has consistently been identified as F5 BIG-IP throughout. Adobe's community forums at forums.adobe.com also switched to BigIP this month, from Apache-Coyote/1.1.





DeveloperMay 2014PercentJune 2014PercentChange
Apache366,262,34637.56%353,672,43136.50%-1.05
Microsoft325,854,05433.41%352,208,48736.35%2.94
nginx142,426,53814.60%133,763,49413.81%-0.80
Google20,685,1652.12%20,192,5952.08%-0.04



DeveloperMay 2014PercentJune 2014PercentChange
Apache95,491,15452.27%93,298,03751.43%-0.84
nginx26,235,34214.36%26,839,84514.79%0.43
Microsoft20,602,75311.28%20,835,64911.49%0.21
Google14,644,7278.02%14,210,2087.83%-0.18

For more information see Active Sites



DeveloperMay 2014PercentJune 2014PercentChange
Apache533,23253.32%519,22751.92%-1.40
nginx181,61218.16%192,14219.21%1.05
Microsoft123,82312.38%124,48712.45%0.07
Google29,2382.92%26,8332.68%-0.24