Most Reliable Hosting Company Sites in April 2016

Rank Performance Graph OS Outage
hh:mm:ss
Failed
Req%
DNS Connect First
byte
Total
1 Datapipe Linux 0:00:00 0.000 0.160 0.012 0.024 0.031
2 Qube Managed Services Linux 0:00:00 0.000 0.153 0.058 0.117 0.117
3 CWCS Linux 0:00:00 0.000 0.189 0.070 0.142 0.143
4 Pair Networks FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.004 0.246 0.070 0.143 0.143
5 GoDaddy.com Inc Linux 0:00:00 0.009 0.257 0.010 0.024 0.025
6 XILO Communications Ltd. Linux 0:00:00 0.009 0.222 0.063 0.127 0.127
7 Kattare Internet Services Citrix Netscaler 0:00:00 0.009 0.517 0.114 0.228 0.228
8 LeaseWeb Linux 0:00:00 0.013 0.351 0.029 0.055 0.055
9 Hyve Managed Hosting Linux 0:00:00 0.013 0.222 0.060 0.120 0.120
10 Aspserveur Linux 0:00:00 0.013 0.343 0.077 0.326 0.471

See full table

Datapipe had the most reliable hosting company site in April, responding to all of Netcraft's requests. Datapipe's performance has seen it appear in the top ten every month so far in 2016, continuing a streak which has placed the company in the top ten 11 times in the past 12 months. Datapipe provides hosting services out of a number of data centres in Europe, Asia and North America. In April, Datapipe announced that it would be partnering with Singapore's largest electronics retailer to ensure the scalability of the latter's online infrastructure.

Qube had the second most reliable hosting company site. As with Datapipe, Qube's site responded to all of Netcraft's requests, but was fractionally slower to do so. Qube's performance is also consistent: the company has appeared in the top ten 9 times over the last 12 months.

CWCS achieved third place in April, also with a 100% response rate, albeit with an average connect time that was marginally slower than both Datapipe and Qube's. CWCS provides shared and managed hosting solutions, with data centre facilities in England and North America, and counts organisations such as KPMG and the University of York amongst its clients.

Linux is once again the most popular choice of operating system with hosting companies: eight out of the top ten companies in April hosted their websites on Linux machines. Kattare Internet Services and Pair Networks were the only two exceptions, using a Citrix Netscaler device and FreeBSD respectively.

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 March 2016

Rank Performance Graph OS Outage
hh:mm:ss
Failed
Req%
DNS Connect First
byte
Total
1 Qube Managed Services Linux 0:00:00 0.000 0.148 0.058 0.118 0.118
2 Netcetera Linux 0:00:00 0.000 0.078 0.082 0.166 0.166
3 Datapipe Linux 0:00:00 0.008 0.158 0.012 0.024 0.031
4 Kattare Internet Services Citrix Netscaler 0:00:00 0.008 0.518 0.116 0.231 0.231
5 GoDaddy.com Inc Linux 0:00:00 0.013 0.244 0.006 0.018 0.018
6 ServerStack Linux 0:00:00 0.013 0.130 0.066 0.132 0.132
7 www.dinahosting.com Linux 0:00:00 0.013 0.267 0.081 0.163 0.163
8 Hyve Managed Hosting Linux 0:00:00 0.017 0.230 0.059 0.118 0.119
9 Pair Networks FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.017 0.239 0.070 0.142 0.142
10 Anexia Linux 0:00:00 0.017 0.197 0.085 0.181 0.181

See full table

Qube had the most reliable hosting company site in March, responding to all of Netcraft's requests. This continues Qube's strong performance from last year, where it placed in the top ten in eight months of 2015, and both January and February of 2016. Qube is based in London and offers a range of managed services, including private cloud hosting, from data centres in London, New York and Zurich.

In a very close second place, Netcetera also responded to every Netcraft request, but with a slightly longer average connection time. Netcetera owns and operates a carbon neutral data centre on the Isle of Man, and recently celebrated its 20th birthday, having been in the hosting business since 1996.

Datapipe takes third place in March, with two failed requests. Datapipe has an exceptionally consistent record for reliability, with its site maintaining 100% uptime over 10 years, and appearing in the top ten list on 42 occasions over the last 48 months.

Linux remains the most common choice of operating system amongst the most reliable hosting company sites, powering eight out of the top ten. Citrix Netscaler and FreeBSD also make an appearance, being employed by Kattare Internet Services and Pair Networks respectively.

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 2016

Rank Performance Graph OS Outage
hh:mm:ss
Failed
Req%
DNS Connect First
byte
Total
1 GoDaddy.com Inc Linux 0:00:00 0.000 0.266 0.005 0.015 0.016
2 Netcetera Linux 0:00:00 0.004 0.077 0.087 0.178 0.178
3 Lightcrest unknown 0:00:00 0.009 0.301 0.006 0.022 0.026
4 XILO Communications Ltd. Linux 0:00:00 0.009 0.235 0.075 0.143 0.143
5 Bigstep Linux 0:00:00 0.013 0.151 0.062 0.124 0.124
6 Qube Managed Services Linux 0:00:00 0.018 0.152 0.060 0.128 0.128
7 Hostname.cl Linux 0:00:00 0.018 0.485 0.203 0.422 0.422
8 Datapipe Linux 0:00:00 0.022 0.156 0.013 0.026 0.032
9 LeaseWeb Linux 0:00:00 0.022 0.368 0.026 0.054 0.054
10 Anexia Linux 0:00:00 0.022 0.194 0.086 0.177 0.177

See full table

GoDaddy had the most reliable hosting company site in February, responding to every Netcraft request. This is the ninth consecutive month that GoDaddy has featured in the top 10, and the fourth time it has reached first place in the past 12 months.

Netcetera took second place in February with just one failed request. Based in the Isle of Man, Netcetera is celebrating its 20th birthday in 2016 with a series of special promotions. Over 11 years of monitoring by Netcraft, Netcetera has maintained a 99.96% uptime record.

Third place goes to Lightcrest, appearing in the top 10 for the third time in four months. Although both Lightcrest and XILO had two failed requests each, Lightcrest had a faster average connection time. Lightcrest's customers can use its Kahu Compute Fabric platform for Lightcrest-hosted deployments and those hosted remotely.

Linux remains the dominant choice of operating system among the most reliable hosting sites. This is the eighth consecutive month without any sites powered by Windows appearing in the top 10.

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 January 2016

Rank Performance Graph OS Outage
hh:mm:ss
Failed
Req%
DNS Connect First
byte
Total
1 Datapipe Linux 0:00:00 0.004 0.151 0.012 0.025 0.031
2 XILO Communications Ltd. Linux 0:00:00 0.008 0.228 0.069 0.137 0.137
3 Netcetera Linux 0:00:00 0.008 0.073 0.085 0.173 0.173
4 GoDaddy.com Inc Linux 0:00:00 0.013 0.284 0.007 0.017 0.018
5 Qube Managed Services Linux 0:00:00 0.013 0.151 0.059 0.120 0.120
6 EveryCity SmartOS 0:00:00 0.013 0.090 0.065 0.130 0.130
7 Memset Linux 0:00:00 0.017 0.158 0.066 0.168 0.269
8 Swishmail FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.021 0.151 0.063 0.125 0.167
9 ServerStack Linux 0:00:00 0.021 0.133 0.066 0.132 0.132
10 INetU Linux 0:00:00 0.021 0.145 0.068 0.134 0.134

See full table

With just a single failed request, Datapipe had the most reliable hosting company site in January. It featured in the top ten for all but one month in 2015 and last topped the table in July.

In second place in January was XILO Communications Ltd with just two failed requests. XILO’s website has maintained 100% uptime over the past year, and 99.990% since October 2011. XILO’s servers are located in Maidenhead, just outside London, and use XILO’s own network hardware.

Netcetera came in third place, also with just two failed requests, albeit with a slightly longer average connection time. Netcetera is based on the Isle of Man and has recently expanded its Dataport data centre where it offers carbon neutral shared, dedicated, and cloud hosting, as well as co-location options.

GoDaddy reached fourth place in January, marking its eighth consecutive appearance in the top ten. Since June, GoDaddy has maintained an impressive average connection time of just under eight milliseconds, with no single month's average being more than nine milliseconds.

As it did through the entirety of 2015, Linux has once again dominated as the most commonly used operating system amongst the top ten hosting company websites. The only two companies in January’s table not using Linux to host their websites are Swishmail (FreeBSD) and EveryCity (SmartOS).

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.

BBC websites back to normal, DDoS mitigation reverted

The BBC's websites are now back to normal, four days after being taken down by an effective DDoS attack on New Year's Eve.

The BBC mitigated the attack within a few hours by moving its main website onto the Akamai content delivery network, which restored access to its millions of users. However, during this mitigation period, some of the BBC's other websites – which were still hosted at the BBC – remained mostly unreachable.

The BBC's DDoS mitigation was only temporary, and last night it moved its main website off Akamai, back onto a netblock owned by the BBC. This move resulted in another short outage on 4th January, followed by several hours of slightly slower response times within the UK. By the 5th January, the response times had settled down to be almost comparable with when it was using Akamai.

The main BBC website experienced another short outage last night as it moved off the Akamai CDN.

The main BBC website experienced another short outage last night as it moved off the Akamai CDN.

However, as expected, response times from other countries are no longer as fast as they were when the BBC's main website was hosted on the Akamai CDN. Response times from the US are notably slower, but currently no worse than they were before the DDoS attacks on New Year's Eve.

Response times from the US are now much slower again (although international visitors would typically visit bbc.com rather than bbc.co.uk).

Response times from the US are now much slower again (although international visitors would typically visit bbc.com rather than bbc.co.uk).

During the period in which the BBC's main website was hosted on the Akamai CDN, its legacy News website at news.bbc.co.uk remained hosted at the BBC. This was mostly unavailable during this period, with most client connection attempts being reset.

news.bbc.co.uk is now functioning normally, too.

news.bbc.co.uk is now functioning normally, too.

This site's availability was restored to normal at the same time that the main BBC website moved off Akamai. This suggests that the connection resets were a deliberate attempt to mitigate basic DDoS attacks, rather than as a direct side effect of a sustained DDoS attack. However, this approach was not ideal – while some browsers (such as Chrome) would automatically retry the connection attempt (often successfully), other browsers would give up at the first failure.

BBC websites still suffering after DDoS attack

Since suffering a crippling DDoS attack on New Year's Eve, some BBC websites are still experiencing significant performance issues.

Around 07:00 UTC on 31 December 2015, the main BBC website at www.bbc.co.uk was knocked offline after being subjected to a distributed denial of service attack. For the following few hours, requests to the BBC website either eventually timed out, or were responded to with its 500 Internal Error test card page. A group called New World Hacking later claimed responsibility for the attack, which it carried out as a test of its capabilities.

Requests that did not time out were eventually met with the BBC test card error page.

Requests that did not time out were eventually met with the BBC test card error page.

The British Broadcasting Corporation is the public service broadcaster of the United Kingdom, and the outage had a significant impact on its user base: The BBC's news, sport, weather and iPlayer TV and radio catchup services are all delivered via www.bbc.co.uk.

Performance chart for www.bbc.co.uk, showing the primary outage period.

Performance chart for www.bbc.co.uk, showing the primary outage period.

At the time of the attack, www.bbc.co.uk was served from a netblock owned by the BBC. It seems that service was restored by migrating the site onto the Akamai content delivery network, after which there were no apparent outages.

OS Server Last seen IP address Netblock Owner
Linux nginx 3-Jan-2016 88.221.48.170 Akamai
Linux nginx 2-Jan-2016 95.101.129.88 Akamai Technologies
Linux nginx 31-Dec-2015 95.101.129.106 Akamai Technologies
Linux nginx 30-Dec-2015 212.58.244.70 BBC
Linux nginx 29-Dec-2015 212.58.246.54 BBC
Linux nginx 28-Dec-2015 212.58.244.71 BBC

Moving www.bbc.co.uk onto the Akamai CDN also resulted in some significant performance benefits, particularly from locations outside of the UK. For example, prior to the attack, most requests from Netcraft's New York performance collector took around 0.4-0.6 seconds to receive a response, whereas after the site had migrated to Akamai, all requests were served in well under 0.1 seconds. These performance benefits are typical when using a globally distributed CDN, as cached content can be delivered from an edge server within the client's own country, rather than from a remote server that can only be reached via transatlantic cables.

Performance chart for www.bbc.co.uk from  New York, highlighting the improved response times and successful attack  mitigation after switching to Akamai.

Performance chart for www.bbc.co.uk from New York, highlighting the improved response times and successful attack mitigation after switching to Akamai.

However, not all of the BBC's websites have migrated to Akamai, and some of these are still exhibiting connectivity issues in the aftermath of the attack. For example, search.bbc.co.uk and news.bbc.co.uk are still hosted directly at the BBC, and these are still experiencing problems today.

The BBC's News service is currently found at www.bbc.co.uk/news, but up until a few years ago it used to be served from its own dedicated hostname, news.bbc.co.uk. This legacy hostname is still used by some webpages today, but mostly redirects visitors to the new site at www.bbc.co.uk/news. This conveniently collates all of the BBC's main online services under the same hostname, but at the expense of introducing a single point of failure. If each service were still to be found under a different hostname and on different servers, it might have offered further resilience to the initial attack.

The performance chart for news.bbc.co.uk shows massive outages long after the DDoS attack on New Year's Eve.

The performance chart for news.bbc.co.uk shows massive outages long after the DDoS attack on New Year's Eve.

As shown above, news.bbc.co.uk was also affected by the DDoS attack which took down the main BBC website, but eventually came back online later that day without having to relocate the website. However, the following morning (New Year's Day), it started to experience significant connectivity problems.

Most requests to news.bbc.co.uk are still failing.

Most requests to news.bbc.co.uk are still failing. Some browsers, such as Chrome, may automatically retry the request.

It is unclear whether this indicates a separate ongoing attack, or an attempt at mitigating such attacks, but nonetheless, it is likely to affect lots of users: Many old news articles are still served directly from news.bbc.co.uk, and some users habitually reach the news website by typing news.bbc.co.uk into their browsers. Some regularly updated pages also continue to be served from news.bbc.co.uk, such as horse racing results.