Most Reliable Hosting Company Sites in April 2015

Rank Performance Graph OS Outage
hh:mm:ss
Failed
Req%
DNS Connect First
byte
Total
1 Datapipe Linux 0:00:00 0.000 0.094 0.012 0.025 0.033
2 GoDaddy.com Inc Linux 0:00:00 0.004 0.106 0.009 0.170 0.170
3 ServerStack Linux 0:00:00 0.009 0.076 0.069 0.136 0.136
4 Bigstep Linux 0:00:00 0.013 0.117 0.064 0.130 0.130
5 Netcetera Windows Server 2012 0:00:00 0.017 0.061 0.084 0.168 0.169
6 www.dinahosting.com Linux 0:00:00 0.017 0.182 0.088 0.177 0.177
7 Kattare Internet Services Linux 0:00:00 0.022 0.181 0.119 0.268 0.576
8 EveryCity SmartOS 0:00:00 0.026 0.088 0.065 0.131 0.131
9 Codero Citrix Netscaler 0:00:00 0.026 0.175 0.096 0.200 0.396
10 Hyve Managed Hosting Linux 0:00:00 0.030 0.229 0.066 0.130 0.132

See full table

Datapipe had the most reliable hosting company website in April, responding successfully to all of Netcraft's requests; Datapipe has now featured in the top ten for eight consecutive months, and has maintained 100% uptime over the last nine years. In April, Datapipe announced that it had become one of the first AWS Managed Service Provider Partners, certifying that Datapipe "[offers] proactive monitoring, automation, and management of their customer's AWS environment".

With just a single failed request, GoDaddy came in second place. GoDaddy, the world's largest registrar, recently listed on the New York Stock Exchange, bought the GDDY.com domain name to match its stock ticker symbol, and will announce its first quarter 2015 results on 12th May.

ServerStack came in third place in April, narrowly missing second place with just a single failed request separating it from GoDaddy. ServerStack provides managed hosting services to enterprises, targeting companies spending more than $10,000 per month on hosting. Its data centres are based in San Jose, New Jersey and Amsterdam.

Once again, Linux was the most popular operating system for hosting company sites, powering 7 of the top 10 websites. Windows Server 2012, SmartOS and Citrix Netscaler all appear once each.

Netcraft measures and makes available the response times of around forty leading hosting providers' sites. The performance measurements are made at fifteen minute intervals from separate points around the internet, and averages are calculated over the immediately preceding 24 hour period.

From a customer's point of view, the percentage of failed requests is more pertinent than outages on hosting companies' own sites, as this gives a pointer to reliability of routing, and this is why we choose to rank our table by fewest failed requests, rather than shortest periods of outage. In the event the number of failed requests are equal then sites are ranked by average connection times.

Information on the measurement process and current measurements is available.

DigitalOcean becomes the second largest hosting company in the world

DigitalOcean has grown to become the second-largest hosting company in the world in terms of web-facing computers, and shows no signs of slowing down.

The virtual private server provider has shown phenomenal growth over the past two-and-a-half years. First seen in our December 2012 survey, DigitalOcean today hosts more than 163,000 web-facing computers, according to Netcraft's May 2015 Hosting Provider Server Count. This gives it a small lead over French company OVH, which has been pushed down into third place.

Amazing growth at DigitalOcean

Amazing growth at DigitalOcean

DigitalOcean's only remaining challenge will be to usurp Amazon Web Services, which has been the largest hosting company since September 2012. However, it could be quite some time until we see DigitalOcean threatening to gain this ultimate victory: Although DigitalOcean started growing at a faster rate than Amazon towards the end of 2013, Amazon still has more than twice as many web-facing computers than DigitalOcean today.

Nonetheless, DigitalOcean seems committed to growing as fast as it can. Since October 2014, when we reported that DigitalOcean had become the fourth largest hosting company, DigitalOcean has introduced several new features to attract developers to its platform. Its metadata service enables Droplets (virtual private servers) to query information about themselves and bootstrap new servers, and a new DigitalOcean DNS service brought more scalability and reliability to creating and resolving DNS entries, allowing near-instantaneous propagation of domain names.

Other companies are also helping to fuel growth at DigitalOcean. Mesosphere created an automated provisioning tool which lets customers use DigitalOcean's resources to create self-healing environments that offer fault tolerance and scalability with minimal configuration. Mesosphere's API makes it possible to manage thousands of Droplets as if they were a single computer, and with DigitalOcean's low pricing models and SSD-only storage, it's understandable how this arrangement can appeal to particularly power-hungry developers.

In January, DigitalOcean introduced its first non-Linux operating system, FreeBSD. Although less commonly used these days, FreeBSD has garnered a reputation for reliability and it was not unusual to see web-facing FreeBSD servers with literally years of uptime in the past. In April, DigitalOcean launched the second version of its API, which lets developers programmatically control their Droplets and resources within the DigitalOcean cloud by sending simple HTTP requests.

DigitalOcean added a new Frankfurt region in April 2015.

DigitalOcean added a new Frankfurt region in April 2015.

More recently, DigitalOcean introduced a new European hosting region in Frankfurt, Germany. This is placed on the German Commercial Internet Exchange (DE-CIX), which is the largest internet exchange point worldwide by peak traffic, allowing Droplets hosted in this region to offer good connectivity to neighbouring countries. (An earlier announcement of an underwater Atlantis datacenter sadly turned out to be an April Fool's joke, despite the obvious benefits of free cooling).

Even so, Amazon still clearly dwarfs DigitalOcean in terms of variety of features and value-added services. Notably, Amazon offers a larger variety of operating systems on its EC2 cloud instances (including Microsoft Windows), and its global infrastructure is spread much wider. For example, EC2 instances can be hosted in America, Ireland, Germany, Singapore, Japan, Australia, Brazil, China or even within an isolated GloudGov US region, which allows US government agencies to move sensitive workloads into the cloud whilst fulfilling specific regulatory and compliance requirements. As well as these EC2 regions, Amazon also offers additional AWS Edge Locations to be used by its CloudFront content delivery network and its Route 53 DNS service.

Yet, as well as its low pricing, part of the appeal of using DigitalOcean could lie within its relative simplicity compared with Amazon's bewilderingly vast array of AWS services (AppStream, CloudFormation, ElastiCache, Glacier, Kinesis, Cognito, Simple Workflow Service, SimpleDB, SQS and Data Pipeline to name but a few). Signing up and provisioning a new Droplet on DigitalOcean is remarkably quick and easy, and likely fulfils the needs of many users. DigitalOcean's consistent and strong growth serves as testament to this, and will make the next year very interesting for the two at the top.

Most Reliable Hosting Company Sites in March 2015

Rank Performance Graph OS Outage
hh:mm:ss
Failed
Req%
DNS Connect First
byte
Total
1 Bigstep Linux 0:00:00 0.000 0.113 0.063 0.127 0.128
2 Netcetera Windows Server 2012 0:00:00 0.000 0.056 0.084 0.168 0.168
3 Datapipe Linux 0:00:00 0.004 0.090 0.012 0.024 0.032
4 Qube Managed Services Linux 0:00:00 0.004 0.096 0.038 0.077 0.077
5 EveryCity SmartOS 0:00:00 0.004 0.082 0.066 0.133 0.133
6 Codero Citrix Netscaler 0:00:00 0.004 0.157 0.095 0.228 0.423
7 Swishmail FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.009 0.117 0.063 0.126 0.160
8 XILO Communications Ltd. Linux 0:00:00 0.009 0.190 0.067 0.135 0.135
9 iWeb Linux 0:00:00 0.009 0.125 0.072 0.143 0.143
10 SingleHop Linux 0:00:00 0.009 0.208 0.075 0.152 0.152

See full table

Bigstep had the most reliable hosting company website in March, responding to all of our requests. This is the 13th time that Bigstep has appeared in the top 10 since Netcraft began monitoring its website in March 2013, and the first time it has topped the ranking. Bigstep offers "full metal" cloud services from data centres in the UK and Germany, providing bare metal hosting with the flexibility of the cloud.

Netcetera's website also responded to all of our requests in March, placing second due to a slightly slower average connect time. Netcetera run a carbon neutral data centre on the Isle of Man and offers shared, dedicated and cloud hosting services.

Four websites responded to all but one request in March, Datapipe, Qube Managed Services, EveryCity and Codero. Datapipe is ranked in third place based on its shorter average connect time, having taken one of the top three spots in four of the past five months. Datapipe boasts a 100% Network Uptime Guarantee, and has kept this promise on its own site, with 100% uptime for the past 9 years.

Linux remains the most popular operating system in the top 10 with six of the hosting companies choosing to use the OS for their websites. The four other websites all use different operating systems: Windows Server 2012, SmartOS, Citrix Netscaler and FreeBSD.

Netcraft measures and makes available the response times of around forty leading hosting providers' sites. The performance measurements are made at fifteen minute intervals from separate points around the internet, and averages are calculated over the immediately preceding 24 hour period.

From a customer's point of view, the percentage of failed requests is more pertinent than outages on hosting companies' own sites, as this gives a pointer to reliability of routing, and this is why we choose to rank our table by fewest failed requests, rather than shortest periods of outage. In the event the number of failed requests are equal then sites are ranked by average connection times.

Information on the measurement process and current measurements is available.

Most Reliable Hosting Company Sites in February 2015

Rank Performance Graph OS Outage
hh:mm:ss
Failed
Req%
DNS Connect First
byte
Total
1 Datapipe Linux 0:00:00 0.009 0.092 0.012 0.025 0.033
2 EveryCity SmartOS 0:00:00 0.009 0.079 0.068 0.135 0.135
3 Qube Managed Services Linux 0:00:00 0.019 0.099 0.038 0.077 0.077
4 Host Europe Linux 0:00:00 0.019 0.145 0.075 0.175 0.175
5 XILO Communications Ltd. Linux 0:00:00 0.023 0.201 0.075 0.144 0.144
6 Netcetera Windows Server 2012 0:00:00 0.028 0.060 0.091 0.177 0.177
7 CWCS Linux 0:15:18 0.074 0.196 0.106 0.192 0.193
8 Hivelocity Hosting Linux 0:00:00 0.098 0.129 0.099 0.196 0.196
9 Anexia Linux 0:00:00 0.102 0.398 0.097 0.191 0.191
10 Aruba Windows Server 2012 0:19:23 0.121 0.146 0.088 0.206 0.207

See full table

Datapipe had the most reliable hosting company site in February, with just two failed requests. Datapipe recently acquired cloud hosting company GoGrid, claiming that GoGrid's technology will allow its customers to quickly and easily deploy big data services, such as NoSQL databases. The acquisition also gives Datapipe three new data centres located in Amsterdam, North Virginia and San Francisco, bringing the total number of data centre locations to ten.

EveryCity followed closely in second place, with the same number of failed requests as Datapipe but with a slightly longer average connection time. EveryCity's managed hosting customers receive its "elite" service as standard, which guarantees 100% uptime and round the clock support. Netcraft has not observed any outages of EveryCity's site since monitoring began in April 2014, and it has previously been featured in the top ten on six occasions.

In third place, Qube Managed Services had four failed requests. Qube offers a managed private cloud hosting service that provides a secure virtual hosting environment dedicated to individual businesses. This provides the ability to quickly scale capacity up and down according to demand, whilst also ensuring that data is physically segregated between different organisations.

Linux remains the most popular choice of operating system, with seven of the top ten hosting company sites using the OS this month. Netcetera's and Aruba's sites are both served from Windows Server 2012 machines. EveryCity uses SmartOS, an open-source operating system based on OpenSolaris.

Netcraft measures and makes available the response times of around forty leading hosting providers' sites. The performance measurements are made at fifteen minute intervals from separate points around the internet, and averages are calculated over the immediately preceding 24 hour period.

From a customer's point of view, the percentage of failed requests is more pertinent than outages on hosting companies' own sites, as this gives a pointer to reliability of routing, and this is why we choose to rank our table by fewest failed requests, rather than shortest periods of outage. In the event the number of failed requests are equal then sites are ranked by average connection times.

Information on the measurement process and current measurements is available.

North Korean websites still barely reachable since Christmas

North Korea's presence on the internet has remained extremely patchy for more than a month, with little improvement since a suspected DDoS attack that took place just before Christmas.

The state-run Korean Central News Agency website at www.kcna.kp has been barely reachable since Christmas day. Only 13% of requests to the site succeeded during the past month, with the worst period being around the end of January when the site became completely unavailable for several days in a row from our network of performance monitors.

kcna-graph4

Although the articles on www.kcna.kp are written in multiple languages, the KCNA clearly acknowledges that North Korea has never been an ideal location to host material that is intended for global consumption — for greater dissemination, the agency continues to publish articles to a secondary site at www.kcna.co.jp, which is hosted at a much more reliable location in Japan.

Even so, both of these sites remain deliberately inaccessible from some parts of the world. Access to both has been blocked in South Korea, and addresses in New Zealand were blocked after scraping content to be used on the KCNA Watch website, which tracks North Korean media.

When they do succeed, most requests to www.kcna.kp are met with an HTTP 1.0 response, which renders as a blank page. These responses can take a few minutes to be received:

$ curl -i http://www.kcna.kp
HTTP/1.0 200 OK
Connection: Close
Pragma: no-cache
cache-control: no-cache
Refresh: 0.1
Content-Type: text/html; charset=iso-8859-1

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/1999/REC-html401-19991224/strict.dtd">
<!-- <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN"
"http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/strict.dtd"> -->
<HTML>
<HEAD>
<META HTTP-EQUIV="Refresh" CONTENT="0.1">
<META HTTP-EQUIV="Pragma" CONTENT="no-cache">
<META HTTP-EQUIV="Expires" CONTENT="-1">
<TITLE></TITLE>
</HEAD>
<BODY><P></BODY>
</HTML>

Occasionally, www.kcna.kp will return its proper content in a HTTP 1.1 response which uses JavaScript to redirect the browser to http://www.kcna.kp/kcna.user.home.retrieveHomeInfoList.kcmsf, but this page — as well as all of the images and scripts it uses — suffers from similar performance issues, making the site practically unusable from many locations outside of North Korea.

When it is accessible, this is what kcna.kp looks like.

When it is accessible, this is what kcna.kp looks like.

Roughly half of the small number of websites hosted in North Korea, including www.kcna.kp, use Apache 2.2.15 running on the Linux-based Red Star 3.0 operating system. The Korea Computer Center (which also administers the .kp top-level domain) released this version of Red Star in 2013, but it was not until the end of last year that the rest of the world gained hands-on experience with it after an ISO image of the installation disk was distributed via bittorrent.

korelcfund.org2.kp

One of the sites using Apache 2.2.15 and Red Star 3.0 is the Korea Elderly Care Fund website at www.korelcfund.org.kp, which seemed to disappear completely for a few weeks after Christmas.

The rest of North Korea's websites are served by Apache running on CentOS, which is a free operating system derived from the sources of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Websites using this platform in North Korea include the Korea National Insurance Corp site at www.knic.com.kp and the Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries at www.friend.com.kp, which ironically failed to respond to 84% of requests from our network of performance monitors.

Two years ago, Netcraft noted that kcna.kp used to run on Apache 2.2.3 with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5. As this Linux distribution is owned, distributed and supported by an American multinational company, it is subject to U.S. export controls, which specifically prohibit its use in North Korea. As a result, this installation was likely unlicensed and so may not have received security updates, and would certainly not have received any official support.

North Korea normally has a very small presence on the internet, even when everything is working properly. Before the alleged attacks, Netcraft's Web Server Survey found 916 million websites around the globe, but only 24 of these sites were hosted in North Korea. To put that in perspective, you would have more chance of winning the UK's National Lottery jackpot than you would of randomly picking a North Korean website out of our survey.

Despite having an estimated population of 25 million people, North Korea has relatively few IP addresses of its own - just 1,024 in total. A third of the websites hosted in North Korea are served from a single IP address within this block, so a successful DDoS attack against this address is likely to take out several sites at once.

Hosted on an IP address assigned to North Korea, cqztjx.com is plastered with adverts for online gambling services.

Hosted on an IP address assigned to North Korea, cqztjx.com is plastered with adverts for online gambling services.

In addition to North Korea's 1,024 native IP addresses, a block of 256 IP addresses in the range 5.132.126.0 – 5.132.126.255 has also been assigned to an End User in North Korea. These addresses appear to be used solely for hosting online gambling websites on virtual private servers. This block is marked as ASSIGNED PA, which means it is not permanently allocated to North Korea; the range will be lost if the local issuing internet registry, Outside Heaven, terminates its services.

inetnum:        5.132.126.0 - 5.132.126.255
netname:        OUTSIDEHEAVEN_MUTI-IP_VPS
descr:          OUTSIDEHEAVEN_MUTI-IP_VPS infrastructure
country:        KP
admin-c:        OHS18-RIPE
tech-c:         OHS18-RIPE
status:         ASSIGNED PA

North Korea's other additional assigned network block at 77.94.35.0 – 77.94.35.255 does not currently appear to be used for hosting websites.

Most Reliable Hosting Company Sites in January 2015

Rank Performance Graph OS Outage
hh:mm:ss
Failed
Req%
DNS Connect First
byte
Total
1 Netcetera Windows Server 2012 0:00:00 0.004 0.061 0.082 0.162 0.162
2 Qube Managed Services Linux 0:00:00 0.015 0.100 0.037 0.076 0.076
3 XILO Communications Ltd. Linux 0:00:00 0.022 0.205 0.065 0.130 0.130
4 EveryCity SmartOS 0:00:00 0.022 0.080 0.066 0.133 0.133
5 Logicworks Linux 0:00:00 0.034 0.129 0.070 0.146 0.337
6 INetU Windows Server 2008 0:00:00 0.037 0.126 0.076 0.205 0.436
7 Host Europe Linux 0:00:00 0.041 0.121 0.070 0.168 0.169
8 New York Internet FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.045 0.220 0.036 0.075 0.200
9 Hivelocity Hosting Linux 0:00:00 0.049 0.147 0.111 0.221 0.221
10 Datapipe Linux 0:00:00 0.052 0.103 0.016 0.033 0.045

See full table

Netcetera had the most reliable hosting company site in January, with only a single failed request. Netcetera offers an SLA-backed 99.9% uptime guarantee on its services, and exceeds this promise on its own site, with an uptime of 99.97% over the previous year and 99.96% over ten years. The company offers dedicated, managed and colocation solutions based out of a data centre in the Isle of Man. Amongst other features, the data centre is carbon neutral, achieved via a combination of carbon offsetting and energy-saving technologies.

Qube Managed Services placed second in January, carrying over its excellent performance from 2014 where it placed in the top ten on eleven occasions, coming first four times. London-based Qube offers managed services out of data centres in London, New York and Zurich.

In third place, with 100% uptime and six failed requests, is XILO Communications. XILO offers services from shared hosting to dedicated servers out of its Maidenhead data centre in the south of England, as well as a corporate broadband service.

Linux remains a popular choice in terms of operating system, with six hosting companies sites served from Linux machines; Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2008, SmartOS, and FreeBSD each make a single appearance.

Netcraft measures and makes available the response times of around forty leading hosting providers' sites. The performance measurements are made at fifteen minute intervals from separate points around the internet, and averages are calculated over the immediately preceding 24 hour period.

From a customer's point of view, the percentage of failed requests is more pertinent than outages on hosting companies' own sites, as this gives a pointer to reliability of routing, and this is why we choose to rank our table by fewest failed requests, rather than shortest periods of outage. In the event the number of failed requests are equal then sites are ranked by average connection times.

Information on the measurement process and current measurements is available.